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Ali Allawi

Ali Allawi

Mary Bignal

Mary Bignal

Tony Williams (1958-61; Day) presents the OMS 'Lifetime Achievement' Award to Mary Bignal in the Millfield Library

Tony Williams (1958-61; Day) presents the OMS 'Lifetime Achievement' Award to Mary Bignal in the Millfield Library

Pam Cookey

Pam Cookey

Pam Cookey in the news

Pam Cookey in the news

Helen Glover

Helen Glover

Paul Lister

Paul Lister

Chris Robshaw

Chris Robshaw

Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson

OM of the Year 2012

Awardees in 2012 were:-

Ali Allawi - Iraq’s first post-war civilian Minister of Defence in 2004

Mary Bignal Rand - in 1964 became the first-ever British female to win an Olympic Gold Medal in a track and field event

Pam Cookey - Captain of the England netball team which won the 2012 Europe Open Championships

Helen Glover - Great Britain Olympic Gold Medallist 2012 - Women’s Rowing Pairs

Paul Lister - Founder of Alladale Wilderness Park in Scotland and eco-projects in Carpathian Mountains

Chris Robshaw - Captain of England Rugby Team 2011/12 and Aviva Premiership Player of the Season

 Peter Wilson - Great Britain Olympic Gold Medallist 2012 - Men’s Double Trap Shooting

 Ali Allawi (1961-64; Etonhurst) 

After leaving Millfield in 1964, Ali attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from which he graduated with a BSc in Civil Engineering. He went on to obtain an MBA from Harvard University in 1971. Following a period as a consultant to the Arab Fund in Kuwait, he co-founded in 1978, Arab International Finance, a merchant bank in London. Between 1999 and 2002, he was a Senior Associate Member at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, at its Centre for Middle Eastern Studies. In September 2003, Ali was appointed to be the Minister of Trade of Iraq under the Iraq Governing Council. In April 2004, he was appointed to be Iraq’s first post-war civilian Minister of Defence. In January 2005, he was elected to Iraq’s Transitional National Assembly as a member of the United Iraqi Alliance. In April 2005, he was appointed to be the Minister of Finance in the Transitional Government, holding that post until May 2006 when he returned to private life.

He has served on a number of international political and economic panels including at the World Economic Forum in Davos, at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and at the IMF and World Bank annual meetings. In February 2007, the Independent newspaper, devoted its full front page in presenting Ali’s plans for a comprehensive settlement for Iraq.

As an author, he has published two books (see “Authors” section), both of which have been well received by critics and the reading public. In January 2007, he was presented with the Robert and Joanna Bendetson Global Public Diplomacy Award by the Institute for Global Leadership, Tufts University.

Ali is affiliated with St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, where he is a Senior Associate Member. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies at Exeter University. In 2008-09, he was elected a Senior Fellow at Princeton University. In June 2009, he was elected a Senior Visiting Fellow for the 2009-10 academic years at the Carr Center, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Mary Bignal Rand (1955-58; Day) 

In 1957, Millfield boys and girls were largely instrumental in Somerset winning the Bradford Cup, the athletics championship for smaller counties, which was presented to Mary Bignal and Jack Archer by Countess Mountbatten. Their photos reached a few papers and Mary was noted as having set up a new record in the Senior Schools’ high jump. She was then seventeen and a half.

Coached by “Brom”, EJC Bromfield, Mary had moved to Millfield from the local school, her family having been encouraged to approach Boss, when she was fifteen. 

Concentrating on the high jump she was selected to represent Great Britain at the end of the 1957 season against Germany and Poland. She won the event. Subsequent publicity noted that she also, from time to time, had taken part in sprints, hurdles, relays and the long jump, as well as playing hockey for the Somerset Junior XI.

Leaving school the following year she turned to long jumping as her main event with such success that she travelled to the Rome Olympics in 1960 carrying Britain’s highest hopes for a gold medal. A series of “no jumps” ruined her performance but encouraged her to train for the Olympics in Japan in 1964 with even greater determination. The long jump remained top priority, but she now added the pentathlon to her training schedule. As in Rome, she took part in three events, but this time she won the gold medal in the long jump while setting a new world record, the silver medal in the pentathlon, and a bronze in the 4 x 100 metres relay. At the end of 1964, Mary was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Pamela Cookey (2001-03; Martin’s) 

Netball was an integral part of Pamela’s life from an early age and, at Millfield, she was a surprise inclusion in the England squad for the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games – as an uncapped 17-year-old. Sadly, Pamela had to withdraw from the squad two weeks before the Games suffering an injury whilst training with the England team. Pamela showed determination to battle her way back into the senior England set-up, making her international debut against Australia in 2004. She was a member of the University of Bath team that won the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) title for the first time in 2005, and she helped England under-21s win silver at the World Youth Netball Championships in Florida in 2005. Rated as one of England’s most exciting young attacking netball players, Pamela played a key role in helping Team England to win bronze at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. She also played in the Australasian ANZ Championships in 2009. She gained a second bronze medal in the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, and later that year won a silver medal at the World Netball Series. She was a member of the England team which won the World Netball Series in 2011. In May 2012, Pamela captained the England team who were crowned champions of the Netball Europe Open Championships.

In domestic netball, Pamela has played with Team Bath in the Netball Superleague since the competition’s inception in 2005, and has featured in all four of Team Bath’s winning Superleague campaigns. In September 2011 Pamela left Team Bath to join Surrey Storm, but has returned to Team Bath for the 2013 campaign.

Pamela has to balance her netball with a full-time career. She gained her degree in Business Administration at the University of Bath and now works for Airbus as a Site Services Manager.

Helen Glover (2002-04; Martin’s) 

On leaving Millfield, Helen went on to the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, where she studied Sport and Exercise Science, and then studied for a PGCE at the University College Plymouth St Mark and St John, intending to teach PE to infant school children.

As a junior she ran cross-country internationally, and was part of the England Satellite Squad for hockey. Helen only began rowing four years ago when her mother saw an advertisement in a newspaper calling for “tall people” to take up the sport. Despite her lack of experience, she was fast-tracked by UK Sport’s landmark “Sporting Giants” programme, which groomed the “future giants of British sport” to compete at the London 2012 Olympics. While teaching PE in Bath, Helen began competing having “never picked up an oar or sat in a boat before” and, two years later in 2010, earned a place in Team GB where she won silver at the World Rowing Championships in New Zealand, with her rowing partner Heather Stanning. In 2011, they won the British rowing trials. They then went on to become World Cup winners and achieved a further silver medal in Slovenia. On 1st August Helen and Heather won the Olympic gold medal for the women’s coxless pairs. This was Team GB’s first gold medal of London 2012, and a first ever Olympic gold medal for British women’s rowing.  Royal Mail printed a stamp depicting the rowing pair and painted a post box, in Helen’s home town of Penzance, gold to commemorate the event.

Paul Lister (1971*-1977; Keinton) 

After 20 years in the furniture business, Paul Lister, a passionate environmentalist and conservationist founded and endowed The European National Trust (TENT) in 2001 and purchased the Alladale Wilderness Reserve in the Scottish Highlands – all 23,000 acres of it – in 2003.  His vision for the Reserve is a unique and pioneering ecological and social regeneration programme that benefits local wildlife, landscape and  local communities.  The Reserve has received much coverage on television and in the press.  Paul’s longer term vision for the Highlands is to see wolves, bears and possibly lynx living within a minimum 50,000 acre fenced Reserve allowing for natural processes, rather like those which have evolved in South Africa.  TENT has bestowed numerous grants on projects designed to address the protection of the wilderness.  Their recent, high profile co-venture was the production of “Wild Carpathia”, the first in a three part documentary series highlighting Romania’s beautiful yet deeply threatened old growth forests and cultural heritage.  Prince Charles was interviewed as part of Wild Carpathia which was shown in 110 countries in 20 languages worldwide.  Paul remains deeply involved in his eco-projects and especially in Romania and Scotland. See www.theeuropeannaturetrust.com 

Chris Robshaw (1997*-2004; Butleigh)

Chris began his rugby journey at the age of seven when he started playing for Wallingham RFC, before going to Millfield Prep. At Millfield he captained the 1st XV. Chris played for England Schools U18 and subsequently England U21s. At the start of the 2007-08 season, he made his Premiership debut against London Irish where Harlequins were victorious 35-27. Since then he has gone from strength to strength, winning the Guinness Premiership Player of the Year in 2009 and being awarded his first England cap versus Argentina later that year. As the current captain of Harlequins, when he was named as England captain for the 2012 Six Nations tournament, few outside club rugby had heard of the flanker. However, by the end of the tournament he had made the position his own and was seen as a key part of coach Stuart Lancaster's rebuilding after England’s poor showing at the 2011 World Cup. He was also awarded the Aviva Premiership Player of the Year.

Peter Wilson (2000-05; Holmcroft) 

On leaving Millfield, Peter went on to study Graphic Design at The Arts University College at Bournemouth. Initially, at Millfield, he took up shooting at his father’s suggestion after he suffered nerve damage to his shoulder in a snowboarding accident which left him unable to play squash and cricket. Within four months of trying shooting at the Bisley Ranges, Peter became the 2006 European Junior Champion. In 2008 he was invited to the Beijing Games as part of GB’s Olympic Ambition Programme. As a result of his early success, Peter benefitted from UK Sport funding until that was cut in 2008. He tried to raise money himself by working as a waiter, but that affected his training. Fortunately his parents supported him financially until he was back on the funding programme. His fortunes then took a turn for the better when, in 2009, Athens gold medallist Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Hasher Al Maktoum agreed to coach him without charge. The results began rapidly improving in the years that followed. Peter finished the year top of the British rankings, before excelling on the international stage with gold medals in the World Cup. He collected team silver in the European Championships last year, and in 2012 set a new world record in the double trap with a remarkable score of 198 out of 200 at the World Cup in Arizona. On 2nd August Peter won gold in the double trap; it was Britain’s first Olympic shooting medal since 2000. As with Helen Glover, Royal Mail printed a stamp depicting him shooting and painted a post box, in his home town of Sherborne, gold.