The Tower from Trinity Avenue
Reunions 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Speech by Ian Dow

Thank you Peter.  I will say more about Peter later.  Can I add my welcome to Peter's, and thank you all for coming.  It's great to see you all here again.

I would like to start off by giving you an update on David Baker - [see separate page]

Last year at this time, I asked people for volunteers to take on some of the work of running the reunion.  Peter was finding that it was spoiling his enjoyment of the event, the same as I used to when I ran everything rather than just the admin, and so he wanted to hand over to someone else.  The admin side is very busy for me at this time of year, and this year has been particularly difficult, as I am very busy with the work that I do for the YMCA, which has unfortunately reached a peak at the same time.  Last year, when I asked for volunteers, various people suggested extra things that Peter and I could do, which wasn’t quite the point of asking for someone to take over!.  Three years ago, we reached our highest number of people ever with 142 people, 2015 had 119, and last year was 91 and this year we have just 65.  Previous years have generally been around the 100 mark.  The previous low point was 67 people in 2009.  Our 50th anniversary of the Tower celebration in 2007 had 109 people.   So although being down in the 60’s has happened before, this is our lowest number of people attending ever.

The Beginning for these events was in 2003, which was the first and meant to be the only Reunion, as far as I was concerned, but at the end of that one, Mary Kelly persuaded me that we should do it every year.  I was reluctant, but did it.  Well, I have done 15 years now, and the same way as Peter, I feel that I have reached the end of the road, so I am very sorry to have to say, that this will be the last one!  Peter and I discussed this earlier in the week, and both agreed on this.

What I will do is keep the Facebook Group and the website running and I will then help anyone who wants to run mini reunions (or even another big one) with the administration and the communication.  This has been a very tough decision, but one that was bound to happen. 

For the 1963 group, which is where it all started, then we will probably run a 1963 lunch once per year.  We will organise a lunch in a place that is open all afternoon, has reasonable food and a good selection of drink, and will start at midday and keep going until 6pm.  Very much the timing as we have now.  The only differences, it will just be for the 1963 group, there will be a sit-down lunch, and it will need to be on a weekday to be able to get a suitable booking.  I would strongly urge other year groups to do something that suits them. 

On the other hand, if someone (perhaps from the younger age-group) wants to organise another large Reunion, perhaps in three years’ time, then I will give them all the help they need in administration and communications.  If you are thinking of doing that, then don’t leave it too late – I am already 70!

I would like to thank Peter very much indeed.  Without him stepping in 8 years ago, these reunions would have died a long time ago.  He has done a great job, so thank you very much Peter.  I have enjoyed working with you, and still enjoy watching your activities on Facebook.

This is a very sad day for me.  I will miss this once a year gathering very much, and it is the reason that it has gone on for so long, but all good things have to come to an end.  It has many happy memories for me, although it also has some memories of a different type.  3 days before the first reunion in 2003 I was diagnosed with cancer.  I later decided to delay any treatment and monitor it, but 4 days after the second reunion, I had the operation for cancer.  14 years later I am still here, so it is actually another good memory.   At that first reunion, I started off feeling pretty down, and by the end of it, I was feeling good again.  Many, many Good Memories.

Please contact me via the website, the usual e-mail address or via the Facebook Group with any news, and I will still love to hear from you all.  And of course, if you find any more items of interest like the blazer, then get in touch.  I would still like to be able to add to the website.

Thank you and Good Luck. 

[Peter's Speech]

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