President 2019

The President of the Old Southendian Association 2019 is Christopher Sorrell (Sparta, 1975-1982)

The Members gave their unanimous approval to the appointment of Christopher Sorrell as President Designate for 2018. He therefore is Association President for 2019. A message written by Chris last year as President Designate is below.

Christopher Sorrell, President 2019

I find it quite hard to comprehend that I will be President of the finest Association there is and follow in the footsteps of all those upstanding fellows who have gone before. All the former Headmasters, a Knight of the realm, doctors and well qualified men who have achieved so much in their various disciplines. I have known many, and immediately agreed when Graham Glover rang me saying I was the committee’s first choice for 2019. I accepted the invitation and am incredibly proud.

My connections with the school began back in September 1902 when my grandfather Charles Sorrell walked up the steps on the day the previous building opened. He went there for two years when it was still a co-educational school and was followed by two of his brothers; Alfred (1906-1908) and Bernard (1908-1912). Bernard is forever remembered on the WW1 memorial board. It is a rather nice coincidence that I will be President on the day his name will be read out at Remembrance assembly. My Uncle Dennis attended from 1936-1941 and was evacuated to Mansfield and his sons Philip (1970-1977) and Richard (1974-1981) were at school at the same time as myself. My dad’s cousin Ray was on the board of Governors from 1977-1984 and to top it all off my mother’s brothers Edward (1958-1965) and Clive Gregory (1964-1966) went there too. My mother’s brothers were Athenians, but I will always be a very proud Spartan.

Although not an elite pupil I thoroughly enjoyed my time at school, whether it was in lessons or on the sports field. It was made that way by the excellent teachers I had and the camaraderie with fellow pupils. When Martin Stansfield became my form master in my 3rd year (year 9 in new money) I discovered he had been my Great Grandmother’s lodger.

When I left school, I had had enough of education and took the offer of a job with the local Civil Service in the VAT office in Victoria Avenue. After a year I was promoted to work in the Benefit Office and there I stayed until early 1989 when I was told about a job working for Pearl Assurance, as an agent out on the road. This was the making of me and not being stuck in an office all day was great as well. I was a natural salesman and I was, for the most part, very happy for twelve years. I was looking for a move when I had a conversation with my old friend Keiron Root about selling advertising in London, he took my CV from me and got me an interview with Charterhouse Communications, a publishing company he worked for. In 2005 I was approached by Moneywise, where I am to this day.

I have been blessed with a son Joseph who is 19 and a daughter Georgia who is 6, her mother is Kerry Martin (Tuscany, 1998-2000) so more to be grateful to SHSB for. I have played cricket for the Old Boys ever since I left school and am now an Honorary Life Member. Although I played for other clubs first I eventually joined the Old Southendian FC and was honoured to be their President in 2014/15. I have become friends with so many Old Boys over the years I have lost count and wouldn’t like to list anybody for fear of missing someone out. I joined the OSA Executive in 2007, initially as cricket club representative and then took on the role of magazine publisher in 2008. This year sees the eleventh issue that I have published, I do hope you all enjoy the way it looks and feels. I also help with the recruitment of the school leavers and have ended up as MC at the Annual Reunion and London dinners. I am not sure how all this has happened, but I enjoy it all, even though it can be very time consuming sometimes.

I look forward very much to serving as your President and will make sure I meet as many of you as possible during the course of the year.

Chris Sorrell (Sparta, 1975-1982)