First OP North American Reunion – A Success!


 (L-R): Karen Hartshorn, David Nicholson, Peter Lonstrup, Headmaster, Julian Coles, Phillip Plato, Tiger Leahu, Richard Kendall, Gyles Thornely, Michael Keigwin, Charlie Bown.



“A small but enthusiastic band of OPs, Honorary OPs and partners gathered in Chicago for the weekend of 27-28 October for the first known OP North America event,” writes Karen Hartshorn, the College’s Director of Development. “The Hotel Sofitel, located just off the Magnificent Mile and very near the John Hancock Tower, was the base for the weekend, and OPs took advantage of the location to visit many of Chicago’s fine attractions.


The weekend proceeded in a similar format to the very successful Auckland weekend of February, 2017: a drinks party on Friday evening at the Sofitel, a river and lake boat tour on Saturday afternoon and a black tie dinner at the Chicago Yacht Club on Saturday evening. The Headmaster, Thomas Garnier, spoke about the current state of the College and our plans for future development, and many very insightful questions and comments were taken from the assembled OPs.


Guests travelling over from the UK for the event included the freshly installed Chairman of the OP Society David Nicholson (64-68), Phillip Plato (73-77) and his wife Barbara, and Larry Howard (05-11), who had piloted the British Airways jumbo jet which also brought in Headmaster and myself to America.


Most US-based guests travelled a distance for the weekend, including Julian Coles (59-63), Peter Lonstrup (71-76), Gyles Thornely (88-93), Michael Keigwin (86-93), Richard Kendall (75-79), and, from just across Lake Michigan, Tiger Leahu (70-74).


A huge vote of thanks must go to Charlie Bown (73-75) and his wife Ann, who between them instigated and masterminded the arrangements for the weekend. They even managed to persuade the hotel to fly the Pangbourne College flag and for the Chicago Yacht Club to take an external group which they would not normally consider.


All those attending agreed that we must not leave it another 100 years before organising a second North American reunion, and that they would encourage all those OPs based in the USA and Canada to participate in the future. The weekend was an excellent event to meet new faces and reconnect with former colleagues.”



[ltor: Amy Bown, Jenny Kendall, Richard Kendall, Gyles Thornley,

David Nicholson, Thomas Garnier, Julian Coles, Peter Lonstrup, Karen Hartshorrn]










[[Phillip Plato (l), Larry Howard]

[ltor: Charlie Bown, David Nicholson, Larry Howard, Thomas Garnier]