The Association was first formed after the then Headmaster, Mr Greenfield, called a meeting on 31st October 1928 to discuss an Association for “Sports and Social Activities”.
Alderman Mockridge became the Association’s first President. Mr Herbert S Carter J.P. was one of the vice-presidents and Mr W H Froud was the honorary treasurer. In those early days tennis, cricket and hockey were played against the School, while a dramatic society put on plays and a social outing to Arne was organised.
A constitution was drawn up in in 1930 and by 1931 activities had been expanded to include football, dancing, a reunion supper and a Christmas draw. The Association flourished for a time but began to decline during the War and in the following years, even though separate football and cricket clubs continued to operate.
A central organisation was re-established in 1950 when the constitution was adopted and still exists in a very similar form today. The Annual Reunion Dinner was re-instigated in 1957 and has continued almost uninterrupted ever since. The venue for this event has varied over the years, being held at a variety of hotels and restaurants throughout the Borough as well as at the school itself. Currently it is held at the R.N.L.I. College in Poole and combines good food, beer and wine, excellent company and much reminiscing.
The central purpose of the Association is to “provide facilities for past and present pupils and teachers of the School and social activities for its members”
During its long history the Poole Old Grammarians’ Association has had many successes to its name. It has raised money to help provide the sports pavilion, opened in 1968 at the new Gravel Hill site following the School’s move from the Seldown site in Poole. It has also provided a variety of social functions including dinners, dances, barbecues, retirement parties and wine-tasting. It has organised countless sports matches against the School. The Association was also instrumental in helping to move the War Memorial from the Seldown Site to its present position in the grounds of St. James’ Church in Poole. Each year, on Remembrance Sunday, a wreath is laid there on behalf of the Association. The Association was also responsible for saving many of the artefacts from the old buildings after their demolition. It has planted various trees around the school in memory of former members It currently provides enough financial support .to pay for the production costs of the school magazine each year. Members can receive the Dolphin Magazine either by picking up a copy from the school or by having it delivered to their home. Since 1983 members have also received the Associations’ newsletter three times a year. This is sent out to members via e-mail although hard copies are available for those without a facility to receive it in this way. For many years the Association also provided a handsome engraved trophy to the pupil awarded the distinction of being “Sportsman of the Year”. This has now been replaced by a prize awarded at the school’s annual prize-giving ceremony.
In 1990 the Association contributed to the establishment of the Poole Grammar School Trust Fund, thus helping to maximise the value of any funds held by the school through its acquiring charitable status. All new members to the Association can pay their subscription into the Trust Fund and, if a taxpayer, make a Gift Aid Declaration which means that the Association can claim back a further 20% from HMRC.
In more recent years the Association has held an “Old Boys Day” in July when former pupils are invited back for lunch and a look around the school. Since 2012 there have been a number of significant improvements at the school, including the Ashley Thorne Building. More recent developments have reflected the fact that the school once again admits pupils at Year 7, following transfer from their primary school.
Nigel Paton, Secretary
Poole Old Grammarians’ Association