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New Award Keeps Memory Alive

Friday 15 June 2018

On Speech Day this year, a new cup was added to the list of academic prizes to recognise a member of the Christ’s Hospital Band for their dedication, reliability, enthusiasm and musicianship. The ‘Oliver Hare Cup' is the prize given in association with the Worshipful Company of World Traders for the 'Christ’s Hospital Band – Musician of the Year' and was presented for the first time to Charlotte Suckling, 18, an “excellent” bassoonist and an assistant Band Captain.

Awarded in memory of Oliver Hare, a former pupil (Old Blue) of Christ’s Hospital, Oliver (known as Olly), was a Drum Major and a high achieving young person who very sadly took his own life just two days before his 23rd birthday at his home in Worthing last year. Olly led the Band at the Lord Mayor’s Show, the School’s annual St Matthew’s Day parade through the City of London and at Lord’s Cricket ground for the MCC. He gained a first class honours degree in History from UCL and whilst at School, not only did he achieve four A grades at A level (Mathematics, Economics, History and French), but he also won a top economics prize to become the apprentice at the Worshipful Company of World Traders, one of the biggest livery companies in the City of London. Olly spent two summers working at orphanages in Romania and went on to tour Barcelona with a big band. He loved singing jazz and also sang with the Schola Cantorum at Christ’s Hospital. He toured with the UCL Big Band after leaving School. A speaker of Spanish, German and French, he travelled the world in his gap year and following his graduation, Olly worked as a language teacher for the British Council in Shanghai.

Mark Hardy, Past Master of the Company of World Traders said: “Oliver Hare was my apprentice at the Worshipful Company of World Traders and occasionally sang with the Company Choir which is directed by my wife, Mary. We got to know him very well over the few short years we knew him and were shocked and saddened by what happened in early 2017. Working with his parents, and the charity Olly’s Future, set up in his name, we and the Company decided that recognising the contribution this lively, engaging and enthusiastic young man made to the musical life of Christ’s Hospital would be the appropriate way to commemorate his life.  We were delighted to meet Charlotte Suckling, the first recipient of the Company’s award and the Oliver Hare Cup, at the Speech Day and wish her well in her musical career when she joins the Army later this year.”

The cup was presented to Charlotte by the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Charles Bowman. She said:  “It was an honour and a proud moment to receive the prize, especially being the first recipient of it.”

Oliver's mother Ann said that £26,000 was raised soon after Oliver died and that many of his close friends from Christ's Hospital were the founding members of 'Olly's Future', which aims to celebrate his life through awards and events, as well as working to raise awareness of preventing suicide in further young people, men in particular.

"Oliver loved his time at Christ's Hospital. He was very popular, well loved and achieved so much. It is a testament to him that he will be forever linked with the School through the Oliver Hare Cup and that Olly's Future will be working with the School to provide suicide awareness training to pupils and staff.”

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