The Old Diocesan Issue5 Mar2020 - Page 87



BRANCHES
LETTER FROM SYDNEY
Greetings to all from down under,
where our branch has grown in
strength and numbers in the past
12 to 18 months. We have seen an
influx of the younger set, who often
cite the socio-economic realities
of building a future in Africa or
the realities of the cold and wet
in London as reasons to settle in
Australia. Either way, we welcome
all, and have been working hard to
include them in our ODU network.
Through 2019, we held a number
of functions, some arranged, some
impromptu. With most members
in the Sydney region, we have an
annual dinner set to the last Friday
in November at the iconic Oaks Hotel
in Neutral Bay, a venue that allows for
a cheerful gathering, great food and,
as James Deane (1990F) says, “At
least we can all hear each other!”
We are in full swing planning for
2020, and will look at a wide range
of events, from dinners to golf and
perhaps joining the Old Knox School
Grammarians for functions. Old Knox,
similar to Bishops in tradition and
values, is where a number of current
ODs have sent their children –
including Mike Stirzaker (1976O)
whose son Nic played Super Rugby
for the Rebels and currently does
duty with the Bristol Bears in the UK.
As all will be aware, New South
Wales and Victoria have suffered
an unprecedented bush-fire season.
In late January, there were more than
150 fires burning, most out of control.
Recently we had some excellent
rains, which has helped ease the
pressure. The coronavirus outbreak
also has significant impact on the
region and we, like many countries,
are closely monitoring the situation.
Our thoughts and prayers go to any
ODs impacted by this situation.
On a lighter note, thank you to the
Springboks for winning the Rugby
World Cup. It’s given us bragging
rights over the Aussies and Kiwis
for the next four years!
Our branch is always ready
to welcome newer members to
Australia, as well as those travelling
through. At the start of 2020, we
had 100+ registered members on
the ODU Connect database – and
this number is growing.
Jonathan Jackson (1991S), NSW
branch secretary, February 2020
A view of ash-enshrouded Sydney
in January, taken by James Carolin
(1995B) on his Manly ferry commute.
Right: Sydney ODs: James Deane
(1990B), Sandy Calder (1976O), Robert
Estcourt (1966F), Matt Gregorowski
(1992G), Jacques de Haan (1995B),
Hylton Taylor (1986F), Jamie Carroll
(1995B), Michael van Niekerk (1980G),
Anton Handley (1974G), Chris Marlow
(2012M) and Matt Stanley (2012G).
For specific branch details, see www.odunion.com or email odu@bishops.org.za.
THE OLD DIOCESAN | 85





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