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News > ODs Around the World > UK ODs celebrate the appointment of the new ODU Patron

UK ODs celebrate the appointment of the new ODU Patron

UK ODs came together in London last night to celebrate the appointment of Raymond Ackerman (S, 1948) as Patron of the Old Diocesans Union
Our Patron talks to UK ODs
Our Patron talks to UK ODs
The Old Diocesans Union has what can only be described as a robust structure, with a president, vice presidents, chairman, vice-chairman, committee members, sub-committees, the OD Secretary and an administrator. And at the top of this pile sits the Patron a largely ceremonial position which adds gravitas and stature to the Union.

Raymond Ackerman (S, 1948) was appointed Patron of the ODU at the end of 2018 filling the vacancy created by the retirement of our previous Patron, Michael Watermeyer (O, 1945). Raymond was previously the President of the ODU, a position which he still retains. Raymond, who does not "do" non-executive, will bring his enormous wisdom, skill and ability to get things done to the ODU.

Last night (Tuesday 29th January) Hamish Sinclair (S, 1992) hosted a reception to celebrate Raymond's appointment at the offices of Stonehage Fleming in London. Among the sixty ODs and guests who attended was Simon Peile (F, 1979) who is Chairman of the Bishops College Council. He was kind enough to update us on the affairs of the School and the progress being made in the appointment of a new Principal to replace Guy Pearson who retires at the end of 2019. We were very pleased to welcome Rudi Beekman (O, 1962) and his wife Marjan who were visiting from the Netherlands

In a fireside chat format, Nicky Bicket (F, 1973) "interviewed" Raymond about the moments in his - Raymond's - life which shaped his extraordinarily successful, influential and philanthropic career. Many of these instances arose out of adversity, starting with the discrimination he experienced at Bishops, unfair dismissal from employment and his unwavering stance against the apartheid government as he built Pick 'n Pay. He talked, too, about the positive influences of key figures in his life (including at the top of the list, his wife Wendy), who taught him inter alia about believing in people, consumer sovereignty - a no-brainer but rare philosophy at the time - and simple models for business success.

Our thanks to Raymond for his talk last night and, of course, his continuing and generous support for Bishops and the ODU.

And our thanks to Hamish for Stonehage Fleming's hospitality and to Bruce Jack (F, 1984) for the donation of his delicious and quickly-consumed wines.

To see this report (again) and the tagged photos, click HERE


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