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This month Bill Taylor, Development Director at Brockwood, has been in contact with Alumni from the 1970’s and with the help of two of them, Lais da Silva and Bruce Granger, has put together the following piece on the upcoming 1970’s Reunion in August. Please do join us for this unique event from 17th – 20th August 2014, and if you recognise anyone in the photos let us know who they are! Contact Vijay at email@example.com for more details on the 1970’s Reunion. Hope to see you there.
Brockwood opened its doors in 1969 with just two students and throughout the 1970s the school grew slowly. It was an intense time with revolution and flower-power in the air for young through-out the West and the small, but burgeoning community of teens and adults at Brockwood were considering together what revolution might really mean and look like. This was done in the light of Krishnamurti’s teachings and often in the company of the man himself, that challenging, affectionate, fiery, demanding individual who joined in on meals, jokes, walks and always the talks! It is little wonder that those early students, now in their 50s and 60s, have such vivid memories and strong feelings about their time spent at Brockwood.
For some years now there has been a group of the 1970s alumni in regular communication, via a closed Facebook page (‘Brockwood 1970s’, membership open only to students from this time) and it was here that the idea first started to take shape for a pre-Reunion Reunion. In communication with Brockwood it was agreed that a group of 1970s alumni could arrive at Brockwood five days prior to the official August Reunion, and have their own mini gathering, ensuring that there really was more time for them to spend together, because they have more to catch up on!
Alumna, Lais Ribeiro da Silva, has taken responsibility for co-ordinating this event and here she explains how she came to be at Brockwood in the first place, and what it meant to her:
“The students and staff of Brockwood became my family for almost 4 years of my stay as a student, from April 1971 to the Autumn of 1974. We were only 17 students when I arrived and about 25 or so when I left. As the cloisters had only just been built (in 1973) we were able to ‘expand’ to more than 25 students!
I was a single child, from Brazil, so this BIG family of people from so many countries, was such a wonderful thing! And, as Krishnaji then met with just the students once a week (besides his usual weekly gatherings with everyone) we developed very close relationships, based not only on teenage interests, but life-inquiry as well. And, so many of the teachers also became such close friends! The relationships, as well as the new insights that developed throughout this period, were completely life changing for me – and have stayed with, and guided me during the rest of my life. I am still very close to Brockwoodians who live in California (where I live too) and the contact with them continues to infuse my life with such richness! It is as if there were an unspoken bond of friendship and deep inquiry that is re-awakened and fed by the contact, and by the support I receive from them, and give to them too.
So, we have decided to come together at Brockwood, all who are able, from the early 1970?s period, from August 17th through to the 20th, just before the main Reunion, for a more intimate time together. It will be such a wonderful thing… and I so look forward to seeing many of you! Please, 70?s Brockwoodians, do come and join us!”
Finally, if you were a student in Brockwood in the 1970s and are still not convinced about coming, perhaps a few words from another Brockwood pioneer, Bruce Granger, will tip the balance: “When the idea of the “1970s Reunion” was first floated I found it instantly appealing. I attended the last Brockwood Reunion in 2009, and have to say that, as one of the very small group of “oldies”, I found myself somewhat lost among the hundreds of younger people. Now, when I look forward to being in the company of my Brockwood contemporaries, all of them now in their 50s and 60s, I get a warm feeling of familiarity and shared experience. I sense that it is going to be a pretty unique and rather powerful – spiritually powerful – gathering. And I am reminded that it really is time for me book my travel and accommodation. To all those who already know they are coming: see you there! And to anyone who is still thinking about it: I hope it’ll be a yes!”