I would like to welcome all Old Cranbrookians to our new and much improved website. The OCA committee hopes that both members and non-members find it useful and beneficial when communicating with the OCA and between members. The OCA has always endeavored to provide a forum in which Old Cranbrookians can share in and benefit from their special affinity, being former students of Cranbrook School. Since its formation in 1921, the OCA has had three clear objectives: to foster unity and close fellowship amongst Old Cranbrookians; to promote the general welfare of Cranbrook School; and to establish scholarships, prizes and donations for any purpose connected with the School. This new website going forward will enhance the opportunities to meet these very worthwhile objectives.
From the earliest days, the Association lived out its creed in providing opportunities for old boys to reconnect with and to support the School. The first Old Boys’ prize was presented on December 14, 1921 for the best literary contribution to the School Magazine. 1922 was an energetic year in the Association’s history: the first Old Boys’ dance was held, the Old Cranbrookians’ Boat Club was founded, and the inaugural Old Boys v School rugby match was held on the playing field later to be renamed Hordern Oval. These and other sporting activities expanded over the years to include tennis, football and basketball.
The OCA has played a significant role in supporting the School: in the 1920s, old boys raised funds for the Rose Bay playing fields (Dangar), and in 1940s supported the initiative to build a War Memorial Hall dedicated to old boys who had lost their lives in WWII. In recent years, the OCA has reached out to support the current students of Cranbrook; in 2006, the OCA Scholarship was launched, making a Cranbrook education possible for students who would not otherwise be able to attend the school. More recently, the OCA Committee set up the ‘mentoring module’ for recently graduated students to seek advice from old boys, and also supported a Careers Night for current students. These initiatives have been important in fostering close relations between old and present Cranbrookians.
In December 1920, The Cranbrookian published the first ‘Old Boys’ Notes’ column. It covered details of the whereabouts and recent achievements of old boys, who could subscribe to the magazine for 5/- per annum. The communication of old boys’ news had made a modest début. In 1962, The Old Cranbrookian magazine was launched. This being the fiftieth year of its publication is testament to the value placed on it by all old boys and those who have contributed to its magnificent contents. The OC Magazine is still and will remain an important part of communicating old boys’ news and other archival material. As our first editor, Rex Morgan (1954) recently stated in reference to the original iteration of the magazine, ‘The Old Cranbrookian is a potent bonding tool for that great brotherhood of four thousand scattered throughout the world today’. For those of us who prefer to read the same material online, the OC Magazine will be available in the new format, but the quality of content and copy will follow the example set by all those who have contributed to our magazine over the years.
The OCA now has a long and illustrious heritage and this new website will continue that heritage into the future. It will play a vital role in increasing the bonding of Old Cranbrookians in the years ahead by providing the modern facilities to assist with networking that will not only be beneficial from a social perspective, but also from a career and professional standpoint. On behalf of the OCA committee, I encourage all Old Cranbrookians to make use of and enjoy this new medium of communication.
Anthony Lees (1972)