Welcome to the Old Johannian Association

OJA Crest

The OJA is the Alumni group for students of St John's College Southsea.

The association produces regular news letters, and holds regular events including its annual dinner and reunion and renowned Golf tournament. It prides itself as being a mechanism for past students of the college to keep up to date with the latest information and news.

Recent Notices

Tony Baker

Tony Baker image It is with great regret that we have to announce the death of Tony Baker. Tony was a dedicated OJ serving for many years on the Association committee, many of which as Chairman.

In recent years he has suffered from ill health. Unfortunatelly he died peacefully in his sleep on 30 March 2010.

At this time our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

His funeral will be held at St Colmans RC Church in Cosham at 11:30 AM on Friday 16 April 2010.

The church is located at
St Colmans Avenue,
Havant Road,

Annual Dinner 2009

Annual Dinner 2009 image The OJA Annual Reunion Dinner, although in its 90th year played host to a greater celebration this year, and to coin a phrase used by our previous publication editor, "you must have been living under a rock not to know what this was."

It was indeed the centenary celebration of St John's College, a real benchmark in the life of St John's, celebrating and commemorating 100 years since the founding of the College on the 4th November 1908.

Prompted by this occasion we looked for a new venue and made our debut at the Queen.s Hotel, Southsea, which provided for us magnificently. The OJA, which as the alumni association is the incarnation of its history, had 143 voices of its 100 year narration attend. Unfortunately some OJs were not able to be present as we had reached our capacity two weeks prior to the dinner date. The support of the committee, the Headmaster Mr Nigel Thorne, deputy headmaster Mr Adrian Steele and OJs flying in from around the globe from as far as Australia all contributed to make what was an extremely successful evening.

The day started with OJs being invited to attend an 'open doors' tour of the college campus. Special thanks goes to Mr Adrian Steele (Deputy Headmaster) who has worked tirelessly to locate and systematize a wealth of documents, photos and memorabilia, creating what he has coined 'The Timeline Project'. This Johannian archive was on display in the auditorium and had an audience of around 30 OJs all in high spirits identifying themselves and contemporaries in pictures of bygone eras.

Mr Steele sadly leaves the college this month to start his new role as Headmaster of Meoncross High School, Stubbington. His time and effort working along side the OJA and genuine enthusiasm for the College and its past (noted by several OJs during the tour of the school campus) have been invaluable. We wish him all the best in his new role.

Following this pre-dinner mass was celebrated in the college chapel by Rev Brian Croughan where a good attendance upheld this tradition.

The dinner got underway with the AGM where our esteemed and loyal chairman Tony Baker was nominated and unanimously voted into his tenth year of office and revealed that he has never missed an OJA Annual dinner since leaving the college in 1947! The success of this dinner has been a real uplift to those on the committee who are long standing stalwarts of the Association and without whom it is certain The OJA would have been consigned to the archives some years ago.

We have unfortunately lost two of our female members of the committee; Sophie Goehlert and Kristen Gardner who are both being subjected to the taxing demands of their University finals. Their hard work and dedication over the last two years have been responsible for the success of the publications and extending our reach to OJs through other social networking sites such as Facebook and Friends Reunited. We would like to wish them the best of luck in their new ventures. The AGM saw two new additions to the executive committee. One old face rejoining was Mr Stefan Bartkowiak who previously worked as membership secretary and publications editor as well as newcomer Mr Tim Basford who filled the breach of Publications Editor. We look forward to working with them over the next year.

Leavers spanning over a 70 year epoch, Brothers, teachers past and present, Head boys Jonathon and Simon Priestley and Head Girl Annabel Massey as well long and loyal friends from St Peters all sat together. Guest of Honour, Ben Mackay gave a witty and heartfelt speech reliving fond moments and regaling anecdotes reminiscent, even today of the caring and Christian ethos so characteristic of St John's. The response was made by Headmaster Mr Nigel Thorne who addressed the room with a vote of Thanks. It was greatly appreciated having his presence at the dinner, as his dedication to the school and the demands made upon him make his time a very precious commodity and one the OJA value immensely.

The evening lasted until the early hours of the morning with OJs propping up the bar, exchanging memories and making merry. Many took the opportunity to stay at the hotel and familiar faces continued conversing over breakfast.

The OJA would like to extend their sincerest gratitude to all who helped to support this event. We hope very much to emulate this success next year.


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