80th Anniversary Ball
The 80th anniversary of Gordonstoun’s foundation by Kurt Hahan in 1934 was held on 27th September 2014 in London. As I climbed the grand staircase of the Caledonian Club with my wife Adrienn, I found myself reflecting back 30 years to 1984 when I had attended the 50th anniversary at The Café Royal – I was a young man then still in my twenties, recently returned from studies in America and full of energy and enthusiasm to change the world….. Where does the time go?
The Caledonian Club with its Scottish tradition was the perfect setting to hold a Gordonstoun anniversary. The kilts, and later Scottish country dancing together with the sound of bag pipes brought back many memories of a previous life in the frozen North of Scotland. The memories include shorts in winter, hands numb with cold during seamanship, ‘Red Cross’ parcels of food from home, my first cigar behind the physics labs and the attractive blond girl in class who I never did kiss and the inevitable cold showers….
I found myself sitting on a table with the headmaster Simon Reid and his wife Michele. On my left was a very good friend of mine Faraj Saghri who also studied in the States and left with me in the summer of 1977. We spent a great time finishing a bottle of wine or two and catching up on 38 years of life! My wife Adrienn who is from Hungary was amazed at how international the gathering and how friendly and approachable everyone was.
The high point of the evening for Adrienn was being introduced to Scottish Country Dancing. I should mention that Adrienn is an accomplished ball room dancer but had never tried Scottish reels before, however under the expert tuition of the headmaster she soon mastered the movements with confidence.
Faraj Saghri is now CEO of J.P. Morgan Europe and frequently travels between the USA and London. My studies took me to the state of Iowa in the mid west where I studied Chiropractic and graduated in 1983. I joined my fathers practice in Reading UK and have been in practice for more than 30 years. Faraj Saghri and I, along with several other members of Cumming House from 1977, both intend on attending the association weekend at Gordonstoun in May 2015. It will be a great opportunity to exchange life stories and catch up after 38 years.
As the evening drew to a close I came away impressed at how down to earth Simon Reid was and how dedicated he is to the task of educating those who now pass through Gordonstoun under his watch. Hahn’s philosophy and ideals today live on through the unique experience of Gordonstoun’s moulding of youth’s delicate clay and inspired teaching. We find ourselves in a world governed by so called leaders who are increasingly guided by self gain and corruption. Rather than being inspired by a resolution of principle that is required to achieve noble work and make lasting change. The future of Gordonstoun is firmly rooted in its past and that is to educate young men and women who will make their mark on the world having developed a set of unique tools for life, so they can build a better future with increasing confidence.
( Cumming House 1977 )