The Annual OCA Dinner took place on Friday 22nd November at Simpsons in the Strand, London, and once again proved a most enjoyable evening with entertaining speeches from the President, former Deputy Head Paul Sorensen and OC, Oli Goulden (Cornwallis 2000). It was attended by OCs of all ages and was well supported by the younger members of the Association.
Guests of Honour were Mr Steve Duddle and Mr Alistair Fairey and were accompanied by the ‘Senior Four’ – Head boys Ed Woolgar and Finn Hulbert and Head Girls Emily Webb and Katie Hewitt as the newest and very welcome guests. They very much enjoyed networking with OCs and making a few contacts for the future!
Guest speaker, Oli Goulden, entertained everyone with tales of his cycle ride across the world from Shanghai to London, arriving only the night before to attend the dinner.
Big groups of OC’s from the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s to 2005 filled the room and as the evening drew to a close, the volume of banter grew, as fond memories of times and more importantly friends, were recounted. Click here for photos
In April 2013, Oli Goulden started his incredible journey cycling from Shanghai to London. After crossing the breadth of China, he passed through 16 other countries, crossed four deserts, climbed the equivalent of Mt. Everest three times, and experienced temperatures from -8⁰C in Kyrgyzstan to 43⁰C in Turkey and pitched their tents in some of the most inhospitable terrains in the world.
He did all this to raise money for Operation Smile, a children’s medical charity that treats children born with cleft lips, palettes, and other facial deformities. He finished his journey at the Tower of London, received by Johnson Beharry, the only surviving recipient of the Victoria Cross.
Oli left Cranbrook in 2000 and was Head Boy in his final year. He graduated from Warwick University with a degree in History before embarking on a career in Advertising. At 22 he was selected from 1,200 people to begin work at one of the world’s most famous advertising agencies. At 29 he was named “Young Suit of the Year” by Ogilvy APAC and travelled through Burma, Kashmir and Inner Mongolia.
He shared his story with Cranbrook students and encouraged them to think for themselves and to follow their dreams. He added, “I have taken all that I learnt at Cranbrook and applied it to my life. I learnt how to set goals and to achieve them and realise that no matter where you are from or wherever you are in the world, you can always get on people and make a difference.”