It is now 10 years since work first started on setting up the Bursary Fund (which is why we called it the Centenary Bursary Fund 2001), and I therefore thought it would be useful to review where we are, and what has happened in that period.
It was at the AGM in March 2002 that following a proposal by (the late) Hugh Roe, the 29 members present unanimously approved the set up of a Bursary Fund that would be for the benefit of talented or gifted pupils and students of the Crypt School
In July 2002, a Resolution to establish the Bursary was put to a Special General Meeting, and unanimously passed, and the first trustees set about completing all the documentation, and formally registering it as a Charity with the Charities Commissioner.
Formal registration with the Charities Commission occurred on 15 November 2002, and the first trustees meeting took place on 23 November 2002 at the Cheshire Cheese Inn, in Fleet Street London, prior to the London reunion meeting. In attendance were Greg Barton, Gordon Jones, Graham Russell, and David Lamper (Headmaster) with a Mr Thomas giving his apologies!
Dr Graham Russell was elected as the first Chairman of the Trustees.
Since then, the Bursary has attracted £35,792 in donations up to 31 December 2010, and made Bursary awards totalling £4,625.
In all, 92 different donors have contributed to the Fund, ranging from £15 to £5,000, and 21 individuals have committed to regular monthly/annual donations.
Over the last few years, not only have a lot of the regular donations from generous donors in the early years come to an end, but we have also suffered a major fall in income from our investment accounts as a consequence of the very low interest rates, and this position is not expected to alter very much in the near future.
We therefore need to make an extra effort to boost the core funds via committing to making regular annual donations to the fund, however small.
I therefore encourage all OC’s to complete a standing order and gift aid form (download from OC website), and send them to me, so we can ensure the Fund continues to grow and fund talented pupils of the school. The school made such a difference to our lives, and now is our chance to put something back to help the next generation of OC’s excel, and continue the great OC tradition.
In addition, if you are reviewing your will, please consider including the Bursary as a legacy. You can be assured that the money will be put to good use.
In 2010, the Headmaster made no Bursary awards, however this year we are for the first time rewarding academic achievement, and are awarding bursaries to those students successful in gaining conditional places to Oxford and Cambridge. We will report in more detail on these achievements once the awards have been made.
So, before I sign off on this year’s events, I cannot let this opportunity go by without paying tribute to the huge contribution that Hugh Roe made to the Bursary throughout his period of office as a trustee.
Not only was he committed to the ideal of the Fund, which was to give students of the school every opportunity to excel in their chosen pursuit, but he also attended the majority of the interviews where the Bursary awards were decided.
It was then in 2008 that Hugh, along with Howard Allen, spear-headed some major fund-raising activity which increased the Funds from 2£5k to just under £40k, and put us well on our way to the target £50k.
And now as we remember the life of Hugh, it would be a fitting tribute to him for all OC’s to dig deep and make some kind of commitment to the Bursary however small, so we make it to that magical target of £50k.