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Andy Valvona

I was born in Southsea in 1960, and lived with a mile of St John’s College during my time at the Senior School between 1971-78, having previously attended St John’s Cathedral Junior school in Edinburgh Road, Portsmouth. I came from a predominantly Italian background, with 6 of my 8 great grandparents having been born in the Frosinone province of Lazio.


Many members of my family went to St John’s, including my Brother, Tony Valvona (1966-1973), and my uncles, Joseph Dagostino, Eugene Dagostino, Peter Dagostino, and Julian Dagostino. My cousin, Dario Dagostino (son of Julian), was Head Boy at SJC, and another cousin, Jourdan Prowting, is also an OJ.


You might recall my maternal family running a well known Ice Cream business, J Dagostino (Portsmouth) Ltd, friendly rivals (despite what you may have read in the local press!), to the Verrechia clan, many of whom also attended SJC. My paternal family were heavily involved in the Fruit & Veg industry, having various pitches at the Charlotte Street Portsmouth market, and greengrocer shops in and around the City. With both of my grandfathers being keen amateur boxers, and 2 of my uncles fighting professionally, you might think I would have taken that path. However, whilst serving as a Royal Naval Sea Cadet on HMS Victory, this saw me enter the ring, and I then decided that it was not for me!


I wasn't the strongest academic in the family, leaving the door open for Dario to become the first (and only, so far) member of the family to attend Oxford University. I left St John’s after my A levels to study Business Studies at Bristol Polytechnic (now the University of the West of England), and then entered my career in Banking and Finance, becoming the youngest Branch Manager in the country for my Bank at the age of 23. I am still employed in this industry, having enjoyed a long and largely enjoyable career in some varied roles.


I have 2 grown up children, and my elder child has just become a Mother, so I am now discovering the joys of being a grandfather.


I am currently the Chairperson of the OJA, with additional responsibilities as Membership Secretary and Treasurer. I have served on the Committee, initially as Membership Secretary, for the past 10 years.

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