How do You Spot an Old Brentonian?
Amidst the contagious excitement and enthusiasm prevalent at Brentwood this Regatta weekend, it’s hard to imagine we have time to focus on anything other than rowing. And yet, in true Brentwood fashion, this Saturday saw the tasteful transformation of the lobby of the T. Gil Bunch Centre for Performing Arts into the scenic venue of the 2017 Old Brentonian Awards.
Our esteemed alumni, both old and young, gathered in the building for a well-deserved afternoon of libations, conversation, nostalgia, laughter and delicious treats. Wandering around the crowded room and searching for my next interview, I briefly wondered how exactly does one spot an Old Brentonian. Was it in the way they walked or talked or smiled? Was there a sure formula to determine the “Brentwood Effect”? What exactly was it that set Brentonians apart?
Well, after a pleasant afternoon talking to Old Brentonians and listening to a number of speeches, I’m more than happy to provide you with an answer. Ready? Okay. Here it comes…. Nothing. That’s right. I’m happy to report that there is no “one trait” or “defining quality” that makes a Brentonian a Brentonian.
Rather with each new interview, I met distinct personalities and experiences and mannerisms. In fact, this was best exemplified by Michael Moran and Jim Robson, Privett Class of 1972. Robson and Moran each personified that Brentwood spirit. Having both been a part of Brentwood rowing, the two proudly agreed that the “camaraderie and friendships” were the best part of their Brentwood days. In fact, Moran proudly states that “the whole rowing crew of 1972 met up in Victoria last night to celebrate winning Brentwood’s first national championship 45 years ago.”
Excitingly, long-lasting friendships seemed to be a running theme at the event. From introducing a former Rogers House roommate on stage to receive an award, to hosting a long-time Allard House friend, the friendships made at Brentwood seem to only strengthen with time.
So does, it would appear, the connection to the school. With a vast alumni communication system sustained by Reesa Hinks, it’s easy to feel like you’ve never left.
Christina Hyun, Allard Class of 2012, further explained “Yes, it feels weird to walk into Allard and have people stare and not know who I am. But at the same time, as I look around and meet people, they kind of realise…. it’s my house too.”
Chelsea A, Hope ‘17