AGM – April 2019


The Society of Old Friends had another great night at the recent AGM & Dinner at the RAF Club in London, including the time-honoured Old Friends tradition of wonderful steak and kidney pudding.

The AGM included reports from both the President and the Treasurer. 

In his President’s Report, Old Friend David Langdown commented on how honoured he was to have been President for the last 2 years and how fast the time had flown and reflected on the many successful dinners with engaging and entertaining speakers we have enjoyed. The President also talked about the many changes that have been made to freshen up The Society and the work that has been done to increase the membership. It was clear to all that The President stands down after his two years tenure with The Society in great shape. 

The Treasurer then shared a summary of the finances of The Society, explaining that The Society remains in a robust and stable financial position. The Treasurer also explained that with the help and support from Old Friend Steve Hilleard, our accounting is being automated and brought into the modern age with Xero, a proven cloud-based accounting system which will make our Finance management more efficient, professional and transparent.

After some brief debate about process, the AGM was brought to a close after 28 minutes!

It was also a very special night as Old Friend David Langdown handed over the chains of office to Old Friend Steve Robinson who became the 83rd person in our 110-year history to be President of the Society of Old Friends.

After explaining how honoured he was to have been asked to take on the role of President of this historical institution, Steve thanked David for all his hard work and enthusiasm during his 2 years presidency. There was a rousing toast and cheer “To David”. Steve also thanked all the members of the committee for their support and ongoing commitment and again the members were delighted to toast “The Committee”.

After wishing everyone a Happy St Georges Day, Steve then shared thoughts and stories of his three passions of rugby, cycling and family. Rugby Tours were a particular feature and whilst no secrets were shared, of course, the importance of camaraderie and togetherness were clear. 

In recent years, cycling has become a great catalyst for both fitness and charitable work, but it is the social interaction that most cyclists enjoy and not just the coffee and cake!

Family clearly plays an important part in Steve’s life as he shared, for example, the story of his Mother learning to ski at nearly 70 wrapped in bubble wrap, a lesson she had learnt after breaking her wrist trying to skateboard a few years earlier.

Steve talked about what the world was like during the time when Jack Barwick founded The Society and that, despite ongoing turbulence in our industry and in our world today, it is important to always look for the positive. 

Finally, he shared a conversation with David from many years ago, when the pair had discussed that the good old days were not in the past, thesewere the good old days!

The raffle was won by Old Friend Rob Green, who kindly donated it to the BOSS Business Supplies Charity. 

Steve brought the evening to a close with a quote that Honorary Secretary Frank House gave at one of the first Society of Old Friends dinners that took place at The Old Bell in Holborn a hundred years ago. Frank said;

“Of all the blessings to be desired, give us that of a pure friendship. True friends are a true refuge, soothing us in our trials and sorrows, sharing our joys, and a help in our adversities. 

True friendship is the strongest bond two human souls can possess”

The Society then stood and raised their glasses with the toast …

“To Old Friends”


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