A Roaring Success: Back to Scots and the Dedication of the Graeme Dedrick Scoreboard
Growing each year, the Back to Scots Weekend offers us a chance to reconnect and engage with our Old Boys, as we move towards the celebration of the College’s 125 years in 2018. Back to Scots represents where we are heading in the future and our proud living history; specifically, the traditions of mateship, camaraderie and sportsmanship that are emblematic of not just Scots but the broader Great Public Schools (GPS) community.
Back to Scots consists of three key events: the Old Boys’ Union Annual Dinner, a home rugby fixture and a family chapel service. This year, we entertained Old Boys from the Class of 1936 right up to the Class of 2016.
Starting on Friday evening, the Old Boys’ Union Annual Dinner was an opportunity for Scots Old Boys to reconnect with each other and to hear from one of our most distinguished Old Boys, Lt Col Rowan Tink AM. Lt Col Tink is a decorated combat veteran from the war in Afghanistan and a recipient of the United States Bronze Star. You can hear from Lt Col Tink AM here. With well over 150 Scots Old Boys in attendance, it was particularly inspirational to hear from Old Boys who haven’t returned to Scots in many years. Their commitment to our vision to transform boys’ education globally is buoying as we head toward our 125th anniversary in 2018. A number of young Old Boys — in particular, the classes of 2012 and 2014 — attended the Old Boys’ Union Annual Dinner for the first time. Indicative of our efforts to broaden the appeal of the Old Boys’ Union and build a community that connects, these young men are developing deep connections within industries that will ultimately enhance not only their own potential but that of our entire College community.
As all staff at Scots would know — sport is synonymous with the Scots experience. The sportsmanship, talent and endurance of our schoolboy rugby players at Back to Scots is an outstanding drawcard and this year was no exception. For the first time, the Classes of 1977, 1987, 1997 and 2007 joined with future boarding parents in the Dining Room for an outstanding lunch and to listen to some exceptionally talented Old Boy musicians. While these Old Boys reminisced in the Dining Room and demonstrated to our future residential families the depth of affection for Scots from Old Boys, a number of our oldest Old Boys enjoyed lunch in the Aspinall Ballroom. With the driving tenacity of Mr Alan Lambert (’48), our senior Old Boys have enjoyed a reinvigorated connection with Scots that has offered them the chance to shape the recording and presentation of our rich living history. Remembering a time when the Aspinall Ballroom was a long dorm rather than a restored function space, Old Boys like Mr John Ryrie spoke and bonded with each other over their passion for all things Scots. After the event in the Aspinall Ballroom and the Dining Room, Scots Old Boys moved to the Lang Walker Business Centre and Principal’s Balcony to watch an exhilarating game of rugby. Best described as positively electric, Old Boys and their families cheered for our boys as they played in a tough fixture against a strong opposition.
In addition to the usual elements of our Back to Scots programme, we dedicated the Graeme Dedrick Scoreboard to the former Sportsmaster; Mr Graeme Dedrick (’74). In the presence of his family, this technologically advanced and cutting edge symbol of Graeme’s lifelong contribution brought a new level of engagement to our fixtures. Sports broadcasting is a growing field and, like most of the traditional professions, it is increasingly being defined by an embrace of highly technical digital broadcasting equipment. In the same way that the study of carpentry requires a workshop — the learning of advanced broadcast design skills requires a modern day ‘canvas’. All those at Back to Scots, or watching the fixtures remotely, would have seen the professional execution of a television quality broadcast; this was led by a Scots Old Boy, Mr Jock Swan (‘14), and executed by current students studying film at Scots.
For far too long, geographical barriers have prevented many from being able to enjoy the electric atmosphere of sport at Scots. With the advent of so many new systems and services, increasing access to these events using digital systems was an area in which we could obviously support improvement. Our investment in the Graeme Dedrick Scoreboard brought with it the introduction of live broadcasting tools that can now be deployed to distribute high-definition video and audio to Old Boys across the world.
This weekend, a monumental display of our ability to deliver high impact events, would never have been possible without the efforts of countless support staff at Scots. The work they all put in — often, well above and beyond the call of duty — has left our Old Boys with the warm and fuzzy feelings borne from a community that supports and cares for each other.
Scots to the fore!