At various times in the history of the St. Olave’s and St. Saviour’s Schools there have existed societies of Old Boys. A Society of Old Salvatorians was in existence in the late nineteenth century. In 1882 was founded the Old Olavians’ Society “to promote the association of Olavians and to promote mutual intercourse” and accounts of its annual dinners were printed in the Olavian magazine beginning in 1896. in 1900 W. G. Rushbrook founded a society of Old Olavians under the name of “the Elizabethans” more closely associated with the school through him. The two societies continued alongside each other until 1926 by which time the Old Olavians’ Society had become less active and an amalgamation of the two took place under the name “The OldOlavians”.
The period of the two great wars proved difficult times for the society because of the absence of the majority of members in the armed services and because of the difficulties of holding meetings. After the 1914-18 war in which 192 Old Olavians lost their lives, the Society gradually regained its strength under a succession of secretaries. In 1929 A. H. P. Holyoak was elected Honorary secretary and Treasurer, posts which he occupied until his death in 1962. Holyoak’s great contribution to the Society was his tireless work of communicating with individual members and maintaining contacts between them, and the strong focus he provided, closely assisted by a committee of active members, whose Chairman from 1942 to 1969 was A. J. Huemann. Holyoak maintained the vitality of the Society during the Second World War in which ninety- seven Olavians lost their lives.
In 1929 when the Cricket and Football Clubs became affiliated to the Old Olavians a fund was instituted to raise £10,000 for the purchase of a sports ground and clubhouse. The capital raised proved insufficient and when the school moved to Orpington the governors provided a clubroom for the Old Boys, now known as the Holyoak Room, and the amenities were made available to the Old Olavians.
In 1998 girls were admitted to the sixth form and subsequently become Old Olavians when they leave the school. In 2004 the headmaster, Anthony Jarvis founded the Young Olavians who celebrated their inaugural annual dinner at Westcombe Park RFC following the past v present fixtures for rugby and netball.
In 2005 “www.oldolavians.net” was launched as a service to Old Olavians for them to keep in touch through the use of the internet.
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