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A picture of a wooden owl on a black background with purple paint splatter

It was very good to be joined at our formal on Friday night by many of South College's postgraduate students and by undergraduate Southies who live outside college.

Olivia's Kitchen, a local catering firm, provided our lovely meal. Those who joined my high table guests for pre-dinner drinks enjoyed some of the few remaining bottles of college champagne. After dinner, I spoke about our College values and raised our traditional toast to 'Libertas, Aequalitas, Civitas Totius Mundi' (and, of course, to Oswald). When I sat down, we were privileged to hear a spontaneous, thoughtful, and passionate response from postgraduate student Anas Almassri. It was pleasing to hear such sincere appreciation of liberty and democracy.

After dinner, many of us visited The Nest. I was delighted to see it so busy. Many thanks to Josh Harrison for his skill as an entertainer and compere and for his generosity. We Southies are a truly diverse and talented community. I was also pleased to note that visitors from several other colleges, both Bailey and Hill, have discovered our cafe/bar. South's amenities add to the obvious attractions of its people, spirit, and values.

Among those exercising restraint on Friday evening were, I suspect, many of the sportsmen and women who went on to such success in weekend fixtures. To all whose outstanding performances in football, netball, hockey, rugby, badminton etc. I was obliged to miss, my apologies. My absence did not prevent some very impressive performances, but I shall attend matches again soon. This weekend, I was in London to see my children and to visit the British Library and Imperial War Museum. My only regret is that I was in the library when Chelsea scored seven without reply against Norwich. I failed to visit Stamford Bridge for that auspicious occasion, but I shall make it to Maiden Castle next weekend.

With term properly under way, many of us appear to be achieving a good balance between academic, sporting, and cultural activities. The College feels happy and calm. Long may this atmosphere persist. Note, however, that help is always available at South for Southies who need it.