The Old Diocesan Issue5 Mar2020 - Page 86



Branch influence
The ODU is spread across five continents, a global reach
of increasing significance in these interconnected times
The distribution of 30 OD branches across the globe.
(Any ODs in South America looking to start one?)
The ODU branch network reflects
and supports the global diaspora
of its membership. Cape Town may
be the heartland, with almost 35%
of our 7,500 ODs, but the Union is
unique among alumni associations
in the number of branches – 30 – it
has serving alumni who live away
from “home”.
The first ODU branch was
established in 1886 in Johannesburg,
10 years before the ODU itself was
constituted, underscoring just how
important it was for ODs to remain
84 | THE OLD DIOCESAN
in touch, especially once away from
the centre of gravity, the school.
Today, branches differ in scope,
scale and activity. Some cover
countries, some regions and some
states/provinces. Each with their own
secretary, their role is to ensure that
ODs across the globe have a familiar
OD face to turn to for anything
ranging from commercial, career
and mentoring support to travel
and relocation advice. And, of
course, just connecting with
each other and with Bishops.
This is – or should be – a reciprocal
relationship, with local ODs involved
in and supportive of their branch.
Not all branches will host a calendar
of events; each to their own. The
main objective, however, is shared
across them all: to represent all that
the ODU stands for and to continue
a mission, started 134 years ago, to
support ODs for life wherever they
are in the world.
Nicky Bicket (1973F), UK branch
secretary, February 2020





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