"You can never home again." Whoever devised that phrase was not speaking literally but metaphorically. Whenever you leave your childhood home and go back years later, the childhood home you fondly remember has changed and so have you. The same can be applied to any place you remember fondly and it applies to me regarding my time at Brighton College.
I had an opportunity to stroll down memory lane when the current headmaster Richard Cairns and his assistant Patrick Meehan held a drinks reception for Old Brightonians. Also coming along were parents of current pupils. There were a few OBs there but there could have been more if they didn't schedule the reception on the opening day of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. It was nice talking to the current headmaster and Patrick about what is going on in Brighton College, finding out that my former housemaster Kenneth Grocott is going back to becoming a housemaster of the boarding house again.
There was a showing of a promotional video about the current state of the school, which is a good idea for OBs who haven't been back for a while. Essentially it was like a piece of propaganda, an advertisement showing how brilliant the school is but you have to accept it as it is - one has to sell the school on the merits in any possible way. I would still recommend Brighton College to any prospective parents out there.
During the video they showed a class learning Mandarin. It was amusing watching English students trying to pronounce Chinese characters from a Hong Kong perspective. I also found it amusing when they showed the Leavers' Day with "Jerusalem" being sung in the background, with one of the parents at the reception asking if that was the school's song. Obviously anybody who has been to Brighton College knows that is the English national hymn which is song at every Leavers' Day but to anybody in Hong Kong is just sounds like a majestic song.
I really hope they do hold more of these gatherings and hope more people will come. I know they are a few more OBs in Hong Kong. Not everybody has fond memories of their school days but there must be some good memories to share with others who have gone through the same experience.