An International Gathering For Virtual VSOP Reunion
On Saturday we celebrated the biennial (virtual) reunion for the former pupils of St. Mary’s Priory, who were at school here at Princethorpe prior to 1966, known as VSOPs (Very Special Old Princethorpians).
It was our first ever virtual reunion – hosted on Zoom – and we were joined by 14 former pupils who were all at school here in the 1950s and 1960s.
It was a truly international gathering, with former pupils joining the call from as far afield as Miami, Pennsylvania and Dinklage in Germany. Hosted by Assistant Head, Alex Darkes, they enjoyed two hours of reminiscing, a virtual school tour, a look into Princethorpe’s archives, a Princethorpe-themed quiz, and a special Mass led by Father Teddy O’Brien MSC from the Princethorpe chapel.
It was a fascinating session and as always, we enjoyed hearing stories and facts from Princethorpe’s past. The event was so well-received that we will be hosting future VSOPs reunions in a hybrid format – to allow those who can’t be there in person to join us as well.
Assistant Head, Aled Darkes, said, "Princethorpe friendships continue to be strengthened and renewed. Our Very Special Old Princethorpains (VSOPs) express enormous enthusiasm for their school days at the priory. Their stories help us to fill in missing pieces of the jigsaw and the VSOPs are also keen to celebrate the College’s ongoing success, we have 919 pupils in 2020 compared with only 60 back in the 1960s. This is all so fascinating for me, having spent nearly 49 years of my life here, as a pupil and as a member of staff! Sadly, because of Covid, this year the reunion had to be virtual, but it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good – four of our attendees were from overseas this year and there is no way that they could have journeyed to be with us in person at Princethorpe. With this in mind, we are already busy planning a hybrid event for next year."
We have rescheduled the in-person meet up to next year, on Saturday 11 September 2021, and we hope to see many of our wonderful VSOPs again then.