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News > Old Oakhamian Stories > Thank you Jon Wills

Thank you Jon Wills

The OO Club held its Late Summer Drinks last Friday (23 September) in honour of Jon Wills, the retiring Chairman, in gratitude of his decades of service to the OO Club.

It was a chance for OOs and Honorary OOs of all ages to say thank-you to a man who has touched thousands of lives as Chairman of the OO Club, teacher, coach, housemaster, colleague, and friend.

Jon is succeeded by Jonathan Stevens (’79), who thanked him in a moving speech, where he shared his gratitude on behalf of the OO Club, as well as their own shared history and friendship as stalwarts of the Oakham School community. Jono himself spoke, sharing some stories of his time as Chairman and thanking all for coming.

The OO Club will undoubtedly miss his presence as its fearless leader and champion, but Jono reassured those present that the Club is in safe hands with Jonathan as its new Chairman.  

Jon Wills came to Oakham as a boy in 1968, boarding first in Deanscroft and then following in his father’s footsteps to School House in 1972/73, which had recently become a Seventh Form house. A talented sportsman, he played first team rugby, hockey and cricket, as well as playing hockey for Lincolnshire, captaining them a record 50 times.

He returned as a teacher in 1980, and he stayed at Oakham until 2018, creating a legacy unmatched in its depth and diversity. He taught sport and geography, ran the cricket programme for 15 years and coached rugby, hockey, and tennis; he was a house tutor in Peterborough House, before becoming Housemaster in Lincoln House in 1989 with his wife, Kim. They moved to Haywoods House in 1997, and then rounded it off with 5 years in School House from 2001 to 2006 — a housemaster of girls and boys and in the Lower, Middle and Upper School. Not finished with filling his CV, he worked as registrar for five years, and then finally the inaugural School Archivist.

His commitment to the OO Club is unparalleled, and it was in 1994 that another legendary OO and Oakham Schoolmaster, Terence Treanor, passed on the torch to him as Honorary Secretary and Chairman, a post which he filled admirably for 28 years. Jono organised and attended countless OO events, reunions, dinners, and funerals, and brought his unique charm and warmth to each and every one of them.

We in College House will certainly miss his drop-in visits and the wealth of knowledge and respect that he brings with him, although we know that Jono will never truly stay away from his beloved Oakham School for too long.

There was a message book for attendees to sign with messages to Jono — if you were unable to attend but would like a message transcribed into the book, please email

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