So I’m on the demon mailing list from my former school. They track you down to the corners of the Earth. You might have heard of it – Harrow, in northwest London, where Sir Winston Churchill attended miserably.
I get news that the school orchestra is on its way out here to Hong Kong to play. Curious. This school – annual fees now in excess of £25k a year – does not do things for free, ever.
Despite the costs – doubled since I left 12 years ago – the queues for signing up to this top school are so enormous that they can barely squeeze every one in. Diluting the brand, two ‘international’ affiliates have been set up in Beijing and Bangkok, while a 12th house for overspill students has been created at Harrow – aka the Dump on the Hump – with the unfortunate name of Gayton.
So just what are these guys doing out here in Hongkers – a top delegation including the Headmaster and perhaps key, the Burser, he of the purse strings.
Chez the Main Bar of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club last night all was revealed. Macau casino mogul, Stanley Ho, has recently sent his umpteenth son to attend the north London school, and as my senses proved correct, this trip was all about quite literally singing for one’s supper. It is a prostrating show for Casino Stanley, with a begging bowl asking for some severe cash injection to build another house on the hill. Hos will go well alongside Gayton.