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New Year's Honours

12/01/2016

Congratulations to David Shalit (1941-47), who was awarded an MBE in the recent Honours List, “For services to the City of London Corporation and voluntary service to Older People in London”.

Read our interview with David from page 11 of the 2014 Old Pauline News below.

If you know of any other Old Paulines who were recognised in the New Year's Honours list, please email opcadmin@stpaulsschool.org.uk 

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Age Concern in the City

David Shalit (1941-47) is behind several initiatives that will ensure the older generation remains in touch.   

David retires as Chair of Positive Ageing in London this autumn. He will have been in his post, an appointment by the Common Council of the City of London, for just over six years. He is also a member of the Development Group of the Age Action Alliance, a member of the Board of Trustees of AgeUK London and of Age Concern City of London. David is also a Past Master of  The Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers, a livery he joined in 1963, and for whom he was cited for his Master’s Award in 2011 as "being the driving force behind reconnecting the Livery to its roots in the traditional industry of coachmaking and to the sport of carriage driving".

David began his work with AgeUK and Positive Ageing in London when he retired from the Court of the Common Council, which is the City of London’s primary decision-making body, after 35 years’ service, “when I was a mere 78!”

As someone who has a lot of sympathy with those who find the digital age very difficult, he is currently leading the fight to help preserve the option of hard copies for bills etc for older people who have never worked with computers before, or who are less confident about them. He has also been involved with a major initiative whereby ‘Age’ charities support manufacturers with the aim of reconditioning old PCs so that they can be given away for nothing to those without the means to acquire new computers. 

David was at School in Crowthorne during World War II, where he cycled everywhere and got very fit. “The only sad thing on reflection was that we were using a lot of the facilities of Wellington College. As a rival group of schoolboys we rather disliked each other. They called us ‘The Roughs’! As we had to use our bikes in all weathers, our clothes were by necessity distinctly utilitarian. We were fairly informal to say the least, whereas the boys at Wellington were regimented, so the culture was very different.”   

David remembers his teacher Charles Hendtlass being very helpful to him by giving up a free weekly period to help get him through his matriculation examination. Mr Hendtlass taught at St Paul’s from 1939 until 1966. 

David enjoyed fencing for the School, and was first choice on sabre. He came fifth in the public schools competition in 1946. He also went on to become runner-up in the British Championship, and was later selected for the 1952 Olympics. He would have competed had it not been for one of his knees unfortunately collapsing the year before. Shortly afterwards, he started driving a pony and trap instead, which he went on to do for 25 years.   

Starting his professional life as a chartered account with Merritt Son & Street, David later became a FCA at Deloittes. Subsequently, he was invited to join the merchant bank Charterhouse Japhet, where he was to become a director. It was then that he stood for election on the Common Council. “In addition to a couple of chairmanships, I also became Deputy Governor of The Honourable The Irish Society when I was over 70 in 2002. The Irish Society looks after our charitable interests in the County of Londonderry, which was originally the small fishing port of Derry until the City of London, under the direction of James I, paid for the town to be fortified, and for a Cathedral and Guildhall to be built, when it became a city. The City of London still maintains an interest. The Governor is always a past Lord Mayor, and the Deputy Governor is always a commoner.”    

David remains in contact with Sir Alexander (Mike) Graham GBE (1952-56) who was Lord Mayor of London at the time David was a senior liveryman, Adrian Barnes (1956-61) CVO who, as City Remembrancer, was one of the five High Officers of the City of London, and Petrie (Bowen) Wells (1948-54), a retired MP and Government Whip. David has a daughter, Belinda, who is an Old Paulina, now a Maths teacher living in Belfast, whose son Zack has just achieved Cambridge entrance to read Medicine, and a son, Jonathan, who is an impresario – working in all areas of the entertainment industry as a highly regarded manager of talent in television and music. 

Simon Bishop, OPC Editor 

Address: Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London SW13 9JT • Tel: 020 8746 5390 • Email: opcadmin@stpaulsschool.org.uk