Alumni gather in Melbourne
On 22 November 2018, a number of Melbourne Trinity Hall alumni gathered at a drinks reception hosted by the Hon Tony Pagone QC (1982). A few months prior to the event, Tony informed me of his recent appointment as Regional Representative for Melbourne, and asked me to assist him to establish a more formal association of Melbourne Trinity Hall alumni. The recent drinks reception marked the first event held by the Trinity Hall Melbourne Alumni Association, and it was pleasing to see so many alumni in attendance. The guests constituted a diverse body of alumni, representing a broad range of matriculation years (from 1955 to 2017) and areas of study (including natural sciences, criminology, law and economics).
Many older alumni in attendance recalled the social gatherings held in the past by the Melbourne alumni, which involved alumni taking turns to host annual dinners, often accompanied by speeches or presentations about Cambridge experiences. Continuing that tradition, two short speeches were made at the drinks reception by the Revd Dr Brian Porter (1973) and David Foster (2016), who each reflected on their experiences as Trinity Hall students and upon the value of maintaining connections with fellow alumni, and the College, more generally.
At the drinks reception, alumni from across the decades broke the ice with questions including “did you live at Central Site or Wychfield?”, “did you manage to master the art of punting?”, and, in an accurate and tongue-in-cheek reflection on the disciplines represented at the event, “let me guess, you’re a lawyer too?” Many alumni also brought partners along with them to the event. The partners enjoyed sharing memories of their time as Cambridge residents, their experience of Cambridge by correspondence, or of visits they had made to Cambridge in subsequent years. Whilst the group had many different experiences of Trinity Hall and Cambridge life, they all shared many fond common memories: formal dinners, May Balls, Bumps and Evensong, to name a few.
It has been a pleasure working with Tony to revive the connections between the TH Melbourne alumni, young and old. The role of Regional Representative is incredibly rewarding, as it enables us to maintain our connections with Trinity Hall and Cambridge, and connect with friends within the alumni network in Melbourne. The success of the recent drinks reception indicates a promising future for the Trinity Hall Melbourne Alumni Association, involving more frequent and varied social gatherings. Although the Association’s primary aim will be to facilitate social events, we also hope that it will assist in forging informal mentoring relationships between alumni, and provide a point of contact for future students who are interested in studying at Cambridge, and in particular at Trinity Hall.
A number of alumni have already made some excellent suggestions for future Association events. We are grateful to those who have provided positive feedback about the drinks reception, and also for the support we have received from the College’s Alumni & Development Office. If any Melbourne alumni would like to provide further comments or suggestions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next task, planning the events calendar for 2019!