For a full version of the History of the ONLA, please click on the link at the bottom of this page
First considered in 1873, the Association of Old Pupils was formally set up by Frances Mary Buss at her home in 1874. Meetings were then held three times a year and aimed to be informative and educational. Members of the Association held membership cards known as the ‘Old Pupils' Board of Intercession'.
Following Miss Buss's death in 1894, the then Foundation day was renamed Founder's Day. The Association took the opportunity to commence a member register from those former pupils attending the ceremony.
1898 saw the formation of "The ONL Missionary Union" which aimed ‘To help our old school fellows who are working in the foreign mission field...'.
A more formal structure of the Association was introduced by Miss Sophie Bryant in 1902 and regular meetings to present lectures covering the political and civic issues.
By 1916 the Association had grown to the extent that it proposed to consolidate the member constitution. This resulted in the organisation being renamed and it became the Old Girls' Association. Lists of committee members were published for the first time and former staff joined on an ex officio basis.
The OGA started to fundraise from their members to support its charitable aims which included volunteer support at the North Islington Maternity Centre for Mothers and establishing a home for motherless children of serving army or navy men.
In 1919 there was a further name change to the current Old North Londoners' Association.
An Extraordinary General Meeting was called where the then Headmistress, Isabella Drummond, proposed that ‘The ONLA and the school shall undertake a definite piece of social work..' and in 1921 the Association funded a full time social worker and later the Frances Mary Buss House in Bromley by Bow.
Following the tragic death in Chamonix of Sophie Bryant, ONLs contributed to the cost of a granite cross memorial erected there in her memory.
In the 1930s the organisation included several clubs such as athletics, literary society, drama, the ‘rough sketch' club and later a Madrigal Club. ONLs had their own blazer, ties and badges and members were bound by rules of membership.
After the war the constitution was revised and introduced an Annual General Meeting and more social events took place.
Decade reunions were introduced in the 1990s.
ONLine magazine appeared in 1995.
In 2008 a dedicated Alumnae Office was established, based at Canons and a full time Alumnae & Development Officer appointed.
A new constitution was introduced in 2009 formally binding the ONLA and NLCS together with a contractual agreement established to set down working arrangements between the two organisations.
2009 also saw the formation of the Advisory Council to honour former committee members who have given generously of their time to the Association.
The Headmistress of NLCS is also the President of the ONLA.
Membership is open to all past pupils of the school, who are warmly invited to visit and are welcome at school events such as concerts, plays and sports matches, especially the annual ONL v NLCS games.
Kindly compiled by Jane Cole (ONL 1970) and Barbara Nathan (ONL 1961)