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News > Alumni News > A Reunion of Friends and a Return to School

A Reunion of Friends and a Return to School

Back in touch after 47 years
15 Oct 2019
Alumni News
Hani and James
Hani and James

It seems a long time ago now but those 11 years still remain strong in my mind, and I still recall various skills learnt then which prevail today. I was pleased to receive an email some years ago from the USA from an old OI friend Hani Bibi and we have subsequently kept in contact. The last time we met was 47 years ago, so on his recent trip to the UK we arranged to meet up!

An email to the OI Club requesting a possible return visit to the School was met with charming enthusiasm and on the 20th September we, together with our partners, spent an interesting and very enjoyable day looking around Ipswich School and Westwood. Needless to say, the memories came flooding back, of places, people, and some antics which are probably best left as distant memories. I thought it was time to admit to some schoolboy graffiti carving as a 12-year-old on the back wall of Junior House, and was amazed to discover this has survived the last 50 years!

I would like to thank Carrie Baker, Development Officer and Melissa Joralemon, School Archivist, together with everyone else we spoke to for their lovely hospitality. I hope our recollections and thoughts showed that Ipswich School has played an important and positive role in our lives, and it is heartening to see that Ipswich School continues to flourish. Semper Eadem. 

James Salmon OI


I attended Ipswich School as a boarder from 1967 to 1972. I left the School when my family moved to the United States. Due to the nature of my father’s work, my five-year stint at Ipswich School was the longest I spent at any one school growing up. While I’ve always had positive memories of those formative years at Ipswich, I did not come to fully appreciate the experience until well after the fact. Without a doubt, the School’s emphasis on academic and personal excellence played a major role in making me the person I am today.

In 2012 I reconnected with Jim Salmon, my friend and school mate at Ipswich. We have since shared our thoughts and memories about our time at Ipswich and decided a visit to the School on my next trip to the UK was in order. In September 2019 I visited Jim and his family at his home in England. It was the first time we had seen each other since I left the School 47 years ago – and we effortlessly picked up right from where we left off.   

Prior to my arrival in England, we made an appointment with OI Development Officer Carrie Baker to visit the School. Carrie gave us a memorable six-hour tour of the campus that included lunch in the School’s dining hall and a meeting with Headmaster Nicholas Weaver. We also met and reminisced at length about our time at Ipswich with Carrie’s colleague James, the school archivist, Melissa, and the current matron at the Westwood boarding house. The School is much the same as I remember it - steeped in history and tradition. It was an outstanding walk down memory lane. Thank you so very much Carrie - and thank you Cardinal Wolsey. 

Hani Bibi OI, Long Beach, California


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