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Messages for the Class of 2020

St Peter's 13-18

Messages for the Class of 2020

The Old Peterite Club are delighted to welcome you to our friendly community of Old Peterites across the globe. 

Maj Georgie Blenkinsop

“Dear Team Peters 2020! 

I am so sorry it’s been a tough end of school for you- but with every experience we must positively adapt and change whilst growing personal strength and resilience- and you guys are going to be life long experts at that in the Information Age... I hope you find a way to play mischief on your incredible teachers in different innovative ways given the circumstances and to party with friends even if delayed.... welcome to the OP club class of 2020!” 

Maj Georgie Blenkinsop (Temple 2000- 2005)
Military doctor, medical innovation fellow and mum of three

Professor Tim Stephenson

“St Peter's School was the last place on earth at which I would have wished to study. However, over five years I encountered inspirational staff and interesting students. Many of my year including myself are professors in fascinating subjects. Some are professional musicians. Some are self-made billionaires. Some are Knights of the Realm for services to humanity. With patience and with the support of the staff at the school you can exceed your ambitions. You are most fortunate and if you would like a chat just contact me via the Alumni Office. I mean it. I'd happily hear from you.”

Professor Tim Stephenson (Dronfield 1970-1975)
MA (Cambridge) MB ChB (Hons) (Sheffield), MD (Sheffield), MBA (Open) FRCPath (London)

Andrew Johnson

“Dear Alumni of 2020, 

First of all: congratulations! You have made it through the intellectual, physical and emotional rigours of a great school. I am sorry that you are missing so much of the excitement and emotion of your last days at St Peter’s and are entering the next stage full of uncertainty and perhaps fear on so many levels. How will this pandemic physically pan out for me, my family and friends? How and when do I take my next steps? How am I going to celebrate the end of my time at school with my friends? Will there be the same opportunities, jobs and freedoms as existed four months ago? Will it be Barbados or “Scarbados” for some sun this summer?

I wish I could give you reassurance that this is a nightmare from which we will soon wake up to the world as was, but this would be dishonest: No-one knows exactly how the situation will develop and how we will have to adapt. However, I would urge you to look at St Peter’s and its history through so many hundreds of years of wars both hot and cold, international and civil, invasions even of the City and the School, plagues, famines and economic crises. The school and its alumni have continued, have adapted and, despite much suffering for many, in large part have thrived.

But take nothing for granted: those who thrive will have had some luck and will have used their gifts to look at their world and to have adapted the opportunities and threats with which they are confronted. The world owes you nothing, but the world will offer you much, as long as you have the vision, commitment and courage to seize the opportunities. 

I write as someone who has moved from criminal law in the North-east of England, to the military in Germany, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and the First Gulf war, to an international career in law and law-making. Professionally I have dealt with everything from Prisoners of War to Penguins to PPE to Pollock. I live in Brussels, watching my dreams of internationalism crumble into protectionism and popularism and trying to work out the next stage for me and my family. A strange route for a kid from Dringhouses, but not at all uncommon for a Peterite!

So get out there, think of others, accept differences whilst fighting the haters and have a great life! Good luck (and keep washing your hands)!”

Andrew Johnson (Temple 1974-1979)

Bill Hudson

“I left the School in 1964. I kept in touch with it from the word go by playing for the Pandas, the Old Peterite Hockey Club. In those days you actually had to join the OP Club, it was not automatic, but because of my Hockey involvement I felt it appropriate to do so.  As the years went by, however, I began to participate more in the Club and attended Dinners, Sporting events and other School functions. I then began organising the West Riding Dinner and subsequently went on to the Committee becoming President in 1996 and then Secretary from 2008 to 2017.

 As a result of this I have met a significant number of Old Peterites, mainly those in the Club or who kept in touch with the School but also several who did not keep in contact with it at all. I can say, in all honesty, that those who have kept in contact seem to me to have lived more fulfilled lives than those who haven't. 

I wish all the 2020 leavers every success in the future. You are not starting out in the easiest of times but I know what you have gained from being at St. Peter's will stand you in good stead. An involvement in the Old Peterite Club to a greater or lesser extent, however, and the acquaintances you will make through it will add something more to your ability to make a success of your future.”

Bill Hudson (Grove 1959-1964)
Old Peterite Committee

Peter Emsley

“In all our school’s illustrious history and going into the future, you people will forever be unique. No-one else will ever be able to say “ We left St. Peter’s School York with a virtual goodbye from staff and friends”. Your place in the school’s long history is already being written.

You now become members of The Old Peterite Club. Please take some time in your busy lives to give some thought to your old friends, colleagues and all the staff at the School: Try and come back and see us all on the next OP Day, whenever that may be. If the Alumni Department have anything to do with it, you’ll have a great day and possibly make some new friends as well. Good luck for the future, whatever it may hold, but remember..........you are UNIQUE.”

Peter Emsley (Grove 1959-1964)
Old Peterite Committee

John Coles

“Welcome to The Old Peterite Club – I wish you well as you leave our wonderful School  - please engage with us and enjoy attending events , sharing stories of your life at St Peters and beyond  – we look forward to seeing you as your life moves forward but never forget your School life – it made you into what you are today! “ 

John Coles (School 1959-1963)
Old Peterite President

Harry Gration

“You are all amazingly creating history!

However I do realise just how sad and disappointing your final months at your school must feel. Thank you for your wonderful contribution to St. Peter’s over so many years. Please remember the good times .This school is special because of what you have given to the whole life of the place. I hope that your memories prompt you to come back and play an active role in the OP club. Once again thank you. So sorry that your farewell has been taken away from you.

Once a Peterite, always a Peterite!”

Harry Gration (Queens 1965-1969)
Old Peterite Committee

Andrew Miller 

“A huge welcome to all those joining the OP community in 2020. Leaving school is an exciting time and I wish you all luck in your future career. What ever lies ahead of you the OP community is a network of supportive people who have common ground in their schooling. So keep in touch, attend OP events and if you play golf, make sure you attend OP golf day!”

Andrew Miller (Queen’s 2000-2005)
OP Golf

Jack Coulthard

“It’s been a strange way to end your final year of school, but you now get to look forward to all of your exciting ventures, may it be to university or a gap year!

Make the most of the OP events each year such as the OP day, and come down to the boatclub and get involved in the yearly OP races and catch up with old friends and teachers!”

Jack Coulthard (Hope 2012-2017)
OP Rowing

Robert Hudson

“As your journey at our wonderful school reaches its climax I hope that you will join the Old Peterite Club. It is a very proactive way of staying in touch but more importantly it is an excellent networking environment. The outside world is a very exciting and exhilarating place ready for you to embrace but always be assured you are never far away from an excellent support network in the Old Peterite Club”

Robert Hudson (The Rise 1971-1974)
Old Peterite Committee

Victoria Bradley-Inness

"I'm sure that I won't be the only person today who mentions that 2020 hasn't quite turned out as we expected….plans will have changed and the end of year will not be what you envisaged this time last year.  The world suddenly seems an uncertain and challenging place.  None of us know what lies ahead in the coming months and all of our lives have been disrupted beyond recognition but we can be sure that with change and uncertainly comes opportunity. 

The Friendships you have forged at St Peters and the values of Trust, Wisdom, Compassion, Endurance, Humility and Hope - are just some of the things from school that you will, no doubt, carry with you forever.  My own experience of school was that it really does stand you in good stead to face the many challenges and opportunities that the world throws at you.  But what I didn't fully realise when I left school was the strength of the OP community and how welcoming it is  - we do hope that you will come back to join us at OP Events and make new friends, build the OP Network and celebrate being part of St Peters. 

Good Luck and hope to meet you all soon! "

Victoria Bradley-Inness (Queen's 1988-1990)
Old Peterite Committee