Christmas message from JCC President, Richard Oblath


06 December 2019
Fellow Old Citizens,

Last month I was honoured and humbled to have been elected as President of the John Carpenter Club for 2019/20. 

This past year, under the wise and energetic leadership of Neil Edwards, the JCC built significantly on the work initiated by his predecessor, John Gee Grant, in collaboration with the then new headmaster, Alan Bird, to reassess and significantly improve the relationship between the school and the John Carpenter Club.

One of my goals this year is to finalise this work so that we are fully integrated with the School’s latest 5 year strategy (which if you have not read I commend to you) and with the Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Kathrin Ostermann.

At last month’s AGM and JCC dinner I was delighted to hear during speeches from the current head boy, Philip Michallet, and the headmaster, the wish to further enhance the role of the JCC in the School’s life and even more importantly in the life of current pupils as they progress to becoming Old Citizens. They also both spoke of the ever more impressive performance of the School in both the academic and just as importantly extra-curricular

During my speech at the same event I reflected on the history of the School from the time of John Carpenter, who was a pioneer in education, preparing young men for the wider world that beckons once they leave secondary education. In the mid-1800s CLS was the first school to include science on the curriculum and scientific experiments as part of its teaching and to offer education in commercial subjects as well as the traditional public-school subjects of the classics and mathematics. More importantly it did not discriminate against pupils on the grounds of religious persuasion and included pupils from non-conformist and Jewish families unlike other public schools. CLS still leads in the diversity of its student body and educational opportunities afforded while continuing to be situated right in the centre of one of the great cities of the world. I also noted that the then headmaster, Mortimer, in 1848 reached out to the then Old Citizens to support the School and its pupils once they left the School, which led to the foundation of the John Carpenter Club. The current generation of pupils will likely spend on average ten times the number of years as Old Citizens than they do attending the school.

The JCC is in good health and along with the Committee I will continue on our path of enriching our Club in all aspects of its being for the benefit of all current Old Citizens and those who join in the future when they leave this wonderful school.

I wish all of you a wonderful festive season with a safe, healthy and peaceful 2020 to follow.

Richard M Oblath PhD CEng FEI (Class of 1972)
President of the JCC