Last year's QE(K)A reunion was held in the Franklin Wilkins Building at the Waterloo campus of KCL on Saturday October 16th. As with the previous year, about 80 members attended. As well as catching up on lost time and enjoying each other's company, we were able to look at photos from those halcyon days and also heard from Professor Barry Keverne FRS who spoke to us about Higher Education in Cambridge and also some of his research interests at the Behavioural Neurosciences Unit there.
I am now writing to invite you to the next Reunion planned for October 15th in the Council and Committee Rooms of the main building of Strand campus. Our guest speaker will be Professor Martin Hughes of the Chemistry Department (both QEC and KCL) who will be talking to us about the QEC Chemistry department and the spirit of interdisciplinary research that was fostered there.
The Strand Campus is only a 10-15 minute walk from Charing Cross, Waterloo and Waterloo East stations. Just over Waterloo Bridge on the South Bank, are the London Eye, County Hall, National Theatre, National Film Theatre, Royal Festival Hall and Hayward Gallery. Our venue at KCL (Strand) is just a few minutes walk (or a short bus, tube or taxi ride) from Covent Garden and/or the West End to make the most of your trip with some shopping or theatrical entertainment. There is a wide choice of pubs, wine bars, cafes and restaurants within walking distance for you to carry on your reunion after leaving us in the late afternoon if you don't have to hurry home.
We hope that as many former QEC staff and students as possible can attend to help make it another year to remember. We are especially keen that former Chemistry students and staff will come along to celebrate the successes that QEC Chemistry produced over many decades. If you are feeling shy, don't worry - we have name badges to help the memory cells and you'll find that there are usually people that you knew by sight, if not by name, from your time at college. The characteristic bonhomie of the old QEC is very welcoming even if you come on your own, but if you can coordinate with some of your old friends to make up a party so much the better. We are also keen to invite those who graduated 20, 25, 30, 40 and 50 years ago to meet up with old classmates - if you wish to use our web pages to announce a class gathering, please contact our webmaster.
Last October we had lots of photos which were scanned during the afternoon by Lyn and Henry Embling. Photos of the last reunion and earlier ones can be seen on our website (www.qeca.org.uk) as well as in Envoy.
Further details of the day appear on a separate page. Please return your reply to Henry Embling by 30th September so that catering numbers can be established.
Special Reunion 2006
Next year will mark the closure of several degrees at KCL, many of which were 'QEC degrees'. These include Biology, Zoology, Botany, Biological Sciences, Microbiology, Environmental Sciences and Environmental Health. We plan to celebrate the extraordinary successes of those degree programmes by having a special reunion on the Strand Campus as part of the KCLA Reunion Weekend in 2006. The date for your diary is Saturday June 10th 2006. We hope that staff and graduates, old and new, will come along to mark the end of an era. I am co-ordinating the organization of the day with Dr Jill Sales in my own department, and with Barbara Thorpe-Tracey in KCLA and will keep the QE(K)A website updated with the latest information.
The normal reunion combined with our AGM will still take place in October 2006 as usual.
We extend our thanks to Lyn Embling for putting Envoy together over the past few years and to the numerous contributors. This message should come to you at the same time as the latest edition of Envoy is loaded onto our web pages for you to download.
IMPORTANT: Those of you without web access may continue to receive a hard copy of Envoy but following the decision of the AGM last October, we are asking you for a one-off payment of £5 to help pay for future printing and postal costs.
We know that both Envoy and the website are extremely popular, with the website getting about 1000 'hits' each month but we continue to need you to supply us with news, information, articles, photos and so on, about yourselves or colleagues. Please write or e-mail to Lyn Embling with any reminiscences, anecdotes or general interest articles for inclusion in Envoy 2006 or if you prefer, send them to Gary Thomas for inclusion in our website instead (see below).
QE(K)A is run as informally as possible with much of the organization of events and the website going on in the background. I want to acknowledge the assistance of the members of the committee who are currently involved with running the organization. They steadfastly turn up to the Committee meetings we hold every 3 months, keep the wheels turning in between times, and always respond to my e-mails when I need help. Please feel free to contact any of us to make your points of view known at our meetings. All contact details are on our web site and on the back cover of Envoy.
Gary Thomas has continued to run our web site which has been growing steadily as has its number of monthly 'hits' - so we know many of you are logging in to take a look. Do let him know what you think or include suggestions for possible improvements (firstname.lastname@example.org)
You may also be aware that former colleagues from QEC, school and work can be found at www.friendsreunited.com. Why not register there as well, or at least take a look.
Almost everyone will know at least one friend or colleague that did not join or has lost contact with the Association. If you could pass on our details (e-mail addresses, website) to someone that you know who might be interested in the Association's activities we could increase the number that get to hear of events and Reunions to the benefit of all.
Maintaining up-to-date contact details helps keep our costs down so please spare the time to fill-in and return the separate sheet for changes to personal details and preferences - it doesn't take very long to reply. Many of you will use e-mail so, if you would like to receive future information via this medium, please let us know. This, of course, also avoids wasted paper but don't forget to keep us informed of any changes. We will use contact details you conveyed to us last year unless otherwise informed.
I do hope that you will stay in touch with the organization and hope to see you at the Reunion in October.