The Devitt family reunion
A unique occasion took place at the College on Saturday 1st April, 2017 when around 60 members of the extended Devitt family – descendants of Sir Thomas Lane Devitt, the founder of the Nautical College – gathered at Pangbourne at the invitation of the Headmaster, Thomas Garnier, and the Chairman of the Governing Board Rear Admiral Roger Lane-Nott to celebrate the centenary of the school.
Much of the organisation and preparatory work had been done by Richard Devitt (53-58), a former vice-chairman of the Board of Governors (1973-90), and his cousin Sir James Devitt, a former member of the Board (1989-99). Attendees were grouped into six branches of the family – offspring of Arthur Devitt, Howson F Devitt, Herbert PS Devitt, Sir Philip Devitt, Lilian (Devitt) Pendlebury and Katherine (Devitt) Eliot.
Many of the gathering had not been to the College before and were taken on conducted tours of the school following a group photo (above) and a buffet lunch. “We all had a marvellous time getting to know family members we didn’t know existed until two weeks ago,” said Richaird Devitt afterwards.
OPs enjoying the occasion included Richard Devitt, Commodore John Harris RN (63-68), James Harrison (80-86), Ian Kirton (81-88) and Timothy Devitt (81-86). In addition Roger Lane-Nott (58-63), chairman of the Board, and Robin Knight (56-61) in his guise as the author of the College’s centenary history, as well as the Headmaster and his wife Alexandra and Karen Hartshorn, the Development Director, were present.
[Roger Lane-Nott gets the Devitts organised for the group photo]