THE OLD COLSTONIAN SOCIETY was founded in 1853 as The Colston Fraternal Association Friendly Society with its objectives at that time being 'to assist members leaving Colston's Hospital, on commencing business or on being overtaken by unmerited distress, at any period of life, more especially in old age'. Whilst in the intervening years the Society's name has become less cumbersome and its constitution has changed somewhat (it is now a Benevolent Society rather than a Friendly Society) its objectives remain much the same and are currently specified in the rules as ' to assist scholars and former scholars and members of the Society'.
THE SOCIETY'S AFFAIRS are governed by a Committee of Management, which consists of its officers and general committee. The officers are elected annually and the 12 committee members re elected for a three-year term, with one third retiring annually. The Society has four trustees who are appointed, usually for life, by a general meeting of the Society.
PAST PRESIDENTS of the Society are members of the committee, as is the Headmaster. The trustees must include two Governors, one member of The Society of Merchant Venturers and one former scholar. The Management Committee of the Society therefore includes representatives of all the bodies concerned with the operations of the school.
THE SOCIETY'S MEMBERSHIP currently stands in excess of 1000 and this is predominantly made up of former students, although there are a number of honorary members who are mostly members and past members of staff who have made a particularly notable contribution to school life.
IN RECENT YEARS THE SOCIETY HAS:-
Refurbished the pavilion at the school as a social area, making it the home and focal point for all OCs at school
Development the area under the arches on Parade to provide four new changing rooms
Financed the modernisation of the Elementary Physics Laboratory (now the M. Jenkins Memorial Laboratory)
Purchased computers, video equipment, musical instruments, theatre and other equipment for the school
Provided annual bursary grants (P.I.E. Awards) to assist many students in educational, artistic, musical, sporting, travel or occupational projects
Provided grants to former students to assist with further education or occupational training
Provided financial assistance to the Old Colstonians Sports Club to help improve its facilities.
Whilst the Society is fortunate in having some investment income to help it achieve its objectives, its membership is its life-blood and their subscriptions are vital to the Society's continued growth. The efforts made by the committee in recent years have resulted in a significant growth in membership, with many of the students leaving school joining the Society. This has been in part due to the success of the Pupil Purchase Scheme, introduced to enable pupils to purchase Life Membership whilst at school.
THE SOCIETY ORGANISES various social events throughout the year, enabling many members to keep in touch with friends and colleagues, as well as the Annual Dinner held at school each year. These events have included; theatre trips, canal cruises, barbecues, garden parties, boules (petanque) competitions, clay pigeon shooting, golf matches etc.
THE SOCIETY OF OLD COLSTONIANS IN LONDON, the Society's sister organisation, has an active social programme including monthly meetings at a comfortable London hostelry and an annual dinner and other events throughout the year. The London Society has a small but active membership, which provides an excellent opportunity for Old Colstonians living, working or studying in or around London to maintain friendships and make useful contacts. The London Society has a healthy bursary fund, which provides scholarships for the benefit of students at the school.
THE OLD COLSTONIAN SPORTS CLUB is currently based at the Society-owned ground at New Road, Stoke Gifford on the outskirts of Bristol. Whilst retaining the existing ground for use for football and cricket, the O.C.R.F.C., which celebrated its Centenary in 2002, has moved to the school. Over the years, members of the RFC have represented Bristol RFC, Gloucestershire, the British Lions and national teams.
It is hoped that this will provide the catalyst for more sporting clubs to be formed, based at and using the facilities at school.
MEMBERSHIP is open to any person who has been a pupil or a member of the teaching staff at Colston's School. The annual subscription is a modest £10 per year or there are special rates for Life Membership, dependent upon age.
The Society's annual publication CRIBSHEET maintains a vital link for all OCs all over the world to keep in touch with what is happening at School and within the Society. This quality publication is supplemented by regular flyers called CRIBSHEET NEWS, which publicise Social events and are sent to those who request a copy.
By e-mail at school:- email@example.com
Or to our Membership Secretary: - Fred Forse Tel. no: 0117 9025901 and Mobile: 07813667532 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
London Society Secretary:-
Derek Nicholson, 3 Lane Gardens, Bushey Heath, Herts. WD2 3RF.
Tel. no: 0181 9501855.