90th Birthday Celebrations of Honorary Life Member, Keith Olivier (Class of 1948)

A word of welcome to those special guests who attended Mr Olivier’s birthday celebration from the master of ceremonies, Matthew Marwick (Class of 1988)

A special welcome to the Forder Oval today goes to our guest of honour today, Mr Olivier, and his family.

We are especially delighted to welcome back to his Alma Mater, Alan (OC 1977), who has exchanged the life of a high-rolling shipping magnate for that of a tractor-driving dairy farmer.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is most appropriate that we stand –

  • On a patch grass named after our 2nd headmaster,
  • Overlooking a field named after our 4th headmaster,
  • In the shadow of a dwelling named after our 3rd headmaster,
  • As we celebrate and honour the passage of nine decades on God’s sweet Earth of our 10th headmaster.

I have to say, sir, that it swells our hearts with joy to find you in such fine fettle having attained such noble maturity!

Mr Olivier was my own headmaster when I arrived here as a tremulous 2nd Former in 1984, and we reserved almost God-like status for our headmaster, who was called simply “The Boss”.

But, as many an errant College boy was to find out to his detriment, one could never take Mr Olivier’s polished, cosmopolitan and erudite exterior for granted – for beneath the groomed exterior of our headmaster there beat (when the occasion merited it) the pumping heart of disciplinarian of repute.

Many a well-padded teenage backside – including of College stalwarts standing here amongst us today – felt the lasting sting of Mr Olivier’s well-aimed application of birch on grey flannels.

We trust, sir, that the lessons were well learnt by these villains (who I’m sure were all boarders), and that your firm words of admonishment were heeded.

Thank you for sharing your special milestone with us today.

[I then called upon the headmaster to say a few words, followed by Mr Colenbrander on behalf of the College community]

OC Richard Ford (Class of 1982) presents Mr Olivier with a birthday gift on behalf of the MCOBA