Old Boys Weekend

Andrew Hawkins Deputy Headmaster and Head of Senior School

This week sees the annual Old Boys Weekend here at TSS. For the new families I will try my best to explain how the week and weekend operates.

The ‘weekend’ actually starts on Thursday with our Annual Generations Dinner held in the Old Gym Cafe for second, third and fourth generation families to celebrate the generations that have gone through the school. As the school was predominantly boarding up until the 70s most of these families are from our three original Houses of McKinley, Delpratt and Thorold. It is nice to see a lot more Day House families slowly join the list of second generation families that attend the dinner each year.

Assembly this week will be on Period 4 Friday with Cadets and Leadership happening on Thursday Period 4. Boys will be required to wear Chapel Dress both Friday and Saturday. The Assembly on Friday is called the Older Old Boys Assembly and these are men that were enrolled in the school more than 60 years ago. Our oldest Old Boy in attendance will again be Mr Alan Radcliffe who attended Thorold from 1935-1939. Alan’s father John, who was a Rhodes Scholar himself, was the fourth TSS Headmaster from 1941-1950 and the school has very close ties to the Radcliffe family. Radcliffe House was named after Alan Radcliffe in 1975, two years prior to his retirement.

After studying in Oxford, Mr Radcliffe joined the RAF in 1941 and flew Tiger Moths in Canada, then he trained at Harvard and Yale as a ‘low-wing’ trainer going on to fly Hurricanes in the UK. He also flew in Northern Africa and France. He then took a teaching post back here at TSS and ran the Cadet Corp for 33 years. An amazing life story that always gets a huge round of applause at the Older Old Boys Assembly.

The Older Old Boys have a dinner together in the Dining Hall on Friday night and that is where many of the stories they shared together are relived. A special night for the school and a very important part of the heritage of TSS.

Saturday is Round 6 in Basketball and Rugby V BGS and this coincides with the reunion day for Old Boys that graduated in 2007, 1997, 1987 and 1977. They start with a tour of the school, a BBQ in the Old Gym Cafe, they will watch the 1st XV game then head up for a meal together in the Dining Hall where the stories continue to get exaggerated as the day progresses.

Old Boys Weekend is a special weekend on the TSS calendar that illustrates the high regard many previous students hold the school in their development. More importantly it highlights the strong sense of belonging that boys have to the school while they are here as students and many years beyond. As an Old Boy I can say that being a TSS student benefits you just as much once you leave, and that is what makes this community so special.


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