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Toast "Staff and Students of 1955" by Bob Dowdell

Ladies and Gentlemen

The time has come to recall those not able to be here this afternoon, but are thinking of us as we are thinking of them. In particular, Mike Thompson, Charlie Marshall and Taffy Harris who had intended to attend but due to health and family commitments were not able to come. We remember the staff and students who have, unfortunately, passed away: Jack Bates, Charlie Bruce, Lou Daniells, Alan Holding, Dave Perryman, George Walker, Doug Wright and Mike Ward.

But before we raise our glasses, let me take you back to the summer of 1955, the date of the photograph. High tech in those days was a slide rule, a set of log tables, LP and EP records. We had no CDs, no DVDs, no mobile phones, no laptops, no emails, no digital cameras and no ipods, whatever they are. How did we survive?

The photograph with your menu shows 34 young students together with the staff of the Royal Dockyard School. The students had just completed their 4 years of study and were eagerly awaiting the results of their final examinations. The names of everyone in the photo are shown at the bottom. However, this photocopy is derived from the official photograph and downloaded from Keith Hart's excellent website.

For various reasons 5 of our colleagues are missing from the photo. They are Pete Schembri, Brian Scott, Tom Wells, Mike Ward and Mike Thompson. Perhaps they were a little camera shy, or more than likely they were down the pub either celebrating or drowning their sorrows.

The staff of the Royal Dockyard School, headed by the principal Mr Goss assisted by Mr George, Mr Crowder, Mr Haigh, Mr Kaye to name but a few, had set very high academic standards and we are indeed indebted to them.

For them and us, may I now ask you to raise your glasses and drink a toast to:


I now invite Malcolm to respond. Thank you.