Meet the MCOBA 2020 Executive (1)
Our President, Grant Little & Vice-President, Robin Westley
The newly elected Executive of the Maritzburg College Old Boys’ Association (MCOBA) were announced recently, at their AGM. We thought it would be a great idea to introduce you to these OCs and highlight their roles.
The MCOBA has been in existence for nearly 125 years playing a significant and influential role in supporting and guiding the School. College is quite unique in the loyalty and even devotion that it manages to engender in many of the scholars who pass through its buildings. For such men, Maritzburg College is not a school. It’s a way of life.
In the words of its current President
“MCOBA has moved on in the past decade or so from a typical “country club” type organisation, and is rapidly transforming into a hugely diverse, global network of men who shared a school that has greatly changed and transformed from when they attended.”
The Executive of MCOBA has three key roles:
- Guide the MCOBA in all operational activities and ensure that it delivers benefits and events for members annually.
- Set strategic direction for the MCOBA while making sure that it is aligned with the Constitution and needs of the greater College community and associated bodies, and that the traditions and ethos of the MCOBA are maintained.
- Champion the position of the Old Collegians and ensure that best interests of the MCOBA are represented.
We will start by introducing the two men whose job is it to lead the Executive; the President, Grant Little, and the Vice-President, Robin Westley.
We asked each of these gentlemen some questions about themselves and their roles:
Grant Little (President) is the father of young men – Alex (21) and Lloyd (18) who both spent time at College. He currently works in the sustainability and Climate Change field, assisting in the certification of projects and business across sub-Saharan Africa. Grant has a degree from UKZN in pure and applied Chemistry as well as an MBA from the University of Pretoria. When asked what he remembers most about his time at College, Grant highlighted our Zarm Farm as one of his more endearing memories, especially since his mom worked there and he got extra zarms (mainly to feed the rabid boarders). Grant was a good all-rounder College boy taking part in a number of elements of school life. The final rugby match of his 6th form year was very special, the day College beat Grey for the first time and the atmosphere on Goldstones was electric – rivalled probably only by Reunion day in 2015 for the 150th. For him, a special part of being an OC is to experience the College brotherhood;
“35 years later – where it doesn’t matter if you were a straight A student, a hot shot sports star or a quiet chap guys battle to remember – we are all accepted and have that special bond.”
Grant has served as President of the MCOBA for the past 3 years, and sees his role as being to ensure that the Association keeps firmly in sight, the principles on which it was formed, while moving with the times and meeting the needs of the current and future old Collegians in a global and far more dynamic environment. He believes he is fortunate to be surrounded by both a very energetic and professional Exec and a hugely supportive base of elder statesmen in the Past Presidents and Honorary Life Members who he can draw on to guide him. His aim is to hand over an association to his Vice President that is well poised to meet the needs of its members in the coming years.
Robin Westley was elected this year as the MCOBA Vice-President. Robin matriculated from Maritzburg College in 1989, and despite the busy schedule that comes with being a practicing attorney, he has remained a very involved member of the College community, also currently serving as Chair of the Maritzburg College Foundation. He believes one of the best opportunities he got as a College boy, was the chance to make lifelong friends who are really more like brothers.
“There is something about the bonds made at College, which makes them unbreakable;
perhaps it is in the shared values and morals, which are instilled by the school.”
Robin has outlined his main priority on the Executive as being to serve the old boy community as best as he can and lists his most vital goal as growing the Old Collegian community with a particular focus on the inclusion and involvement of younger old boys. They are, after all, the future of the Association.
We will be introducing the rest of the MCOBA 2020 Executive in subsequent articles.