Battersea Annual Reunion
On Sunday 16th March 2008 the Annual General Meeting and Reunion of the Battersea Association took place. Chairman, Nicholas Potter, was delighted at the number of young Past Pupils and of the number of Pupils who are in their final
year at Battersea Salesian College, who had joined this event.
He, and the gathering gave them a warm and heartfelt applause. From the pictures above showing some of the younger attendees, many might recognise that, on this occasion, the meeting was taking place in Surrey House, so dear to the
hearts of the older members. It was being held in the former Science Room which, for reasons outlined later, may not be an opportunity for much longer.
Chairman then welcomed Stephen McCann, Headmaster, who had kindly given his day to the Association to deliver a presentation on the proposals for a new Voluntary Aided Catholic Secondary School in Wandsworth. This will be built in the
grounds of the current Salesian College, to replace the existing College and the John Paul 11 School.
Stephen then presented an excellent PowerPoint display which dealt with the numerous issues involved in such a major undertaking. The new School will be a mixed school and will have a 6th Form, some- thing that was gladly accepted by
many of the Battersea Past Pupils. It was also something that impacted the opportunity to develop the Battersea Old Salesians Association.
The presentation was warmly applauded and lead to many questions from the meeting, both from young and old. Stephen was able to give useful answers to the many questions put to him, on this interesting and imaginative project.
Stephen provided copies of the Consultation Document. This is a joint proposal by the Diocese of Southwark, The Salesians and the London Borough of Wandsworth.
The meeting was preceded by a wonderful Palm Sunday Mass in the College Chapel. This was celebrated by the Rector, Father John Dickson SDB. The Concelebrants were Fr Des O'Riordan SDB, Fr Joe Brown SDB, Father Peter Burns SDB
and a visiting Priest from Poland, Father Tadeusz SDB.
Father John preached an inspirational Homily, which our Master of Ceremonies, David Relton, on behalf of the Congregation thanked him for at the opening of the speeches at the Excellent Luncheon. The Annual luncheon was up to its
customary very high standards. 70 members, guests and friends sat down to enjoy a really good, entertaining and enjoyable repast; preparing themselves for the inevitable speeches which were so amusingly introduced by Master of
Ceremonies, David Relton.
The first up was one on the young- sters, James Harris, who read out a number of Poems that he had written, which he called "A Poetic Offering". Then the School Captain, Ben Xiberras, read out a short "Thought for the Day". This showed
the deep effect on him of the Salesian ethos gained during his education at Battersea Salesian College.
Father John Dickson and Stephen McCann gave short addresses, but then, what they were all waiting for happened. Their Association President, Nicholas Potter, strolled to the Podium and before long had the whole place in stitches. He
had some new stories, even if some of them were lost on some, or most, of his audience.
This rounded off yet another wonderful reunion, topped by the knowledge, that their members have already raised over £7,400 towards the 2007/8 National Mission project in support of the education and boarding for 90 students in three
African countries. Both Nicholas Potter and National President, Patrick Morrissey, had already expressed their immense gratitude to the Battersea Old Boys and their friends and families for this wonderful generosity.