In view of the eminence of the guest speaker, and, I am sure, to the delight of many in the audience, my report this evening will be rather brief. Staff changes are the normal indigestive diet of every Headmaster, but when he loses a Deputy most unexpectedly, then he is really in hot water. The boys at the school are well aware of all that Father Aloysius did for the school, especially in the Library, the founding of the Chess Club and its subsequent successful progress, the Church choir and the cheerful and patient attention he gave to everything connected with school activities. Unfortunately the General Council of the Salvatorian Fathers in Rome had also been aware of Father Aloysius' abilities and he was appointed Provincial of the Salvatorian Fathers in England. He is unable to tear himself away from the school, however, as the Provincial is also the Chairman of the Board of Governors and so we have him with us tonight. This gives us an opportunity to wish him every success in the arduous task he has had to undertake in guiding the work of all Salvatorians in this country through these difficult times of ecumenical change. We also lost the services of Mr. Creaven, who has gone to America. Mr. James who has gone on an extended Geology course for an M.Sc.; Mr. Lythe who has left the teaching profession and Mr. Moroney who has taken up another post. We wish them all well in their respective fields of work.
New members of Staff in the current school year are: - Miss Hearn, who is a part-time Sixth Form Mathematician; Mrs. Coath to the Classics department; Mr. Hall to the Art and Craft department; Mr. Enright to Biology; Mr. Henry to Chemistry; Mr. Bayross to Geography; Mr. Gill to Supply Mathematics and Mr. Browne, an old boy of the school, to the Modern language department. We hope that their stay with us will be a long, fruitful and happy one. During the present term, until the new Deputy Headmaster - Mr. J. Montgomery, formerly of the London Oratory, takes up his duties in the Spring term - the Governors appointed Father Raymond as Acting Deputy Head.
A highlight of the school year was the Art Exhibition of Old Boys work, organised by the Association and put on in the Art Room in the third week in February. As Father Ignatius, the Art master, has been on the Staff of the school since 1929, the range of activities and abilities of his former pupils came as no surprise to those who know him, but did come as a surprise to those who had the good fortune to view the range of interests which this exhibition covered. We had samples of the work of Architects, Etchers, Industrial and Commercial Design; Graphic and Typographic Art and Design and some fine examples of the skill of the Scraper Board artist. We hope that the success of this venture will be followed up by an exhibition of work from established artists in other media who are past pupils of the school.
Other intra-mural activities included the annual Hobbies exhibition at which the President of the Old Boys Association adjudicated and awarded prizes for the most imaginative entries. The annual Drama festival attracted five entries and the entry adjudicated by Mrs. Gray and Fr. Matthew as best was put on the boards for the entertainment of the guests on Speech day. The school play this year was a great challenge, not only to the producers, the stage crew and the, lighting crew, but most of all to the boys concerned. It was not quite enough to be able to speak and move correctly at the right time and in the right posture, but the meat of the play called for almost philosophical interpretation of the argument involved. “A Man for All Seasons” will long be remembered for the excellence of the stage production and setting, for the depth of feeling it evoked and for the keen characterisation of all the actors.
Extra-mural activities included the annual school pilgrimage to Lourdes at Easter when we had the pleasure of taking three Handicapped children in our party. Behind that bald statement lies months of effort on the part of a number of boys in the school who organised concerts, plays and raffles to raise the funds to take these children - this year they excelled themselves and raised over £90. At Christmas a party of boys went to Switzerland for a skiing holiday - another venture which is fast becoming not only an annual, but ever more popular event. Besides the joy of a holiday in the refreshing air of the mountains and the broadening of attitudes in meeting people of other nationalities, there is a more competitive side – they compete for the first skiing award - the bronze medal. A small party of boys, under the care of Mr. Trevelyan also went this year to the Black Forest on a language-cum-hiking holiday. The enjoyment, expressed in the article in the magazine, seems to indicate that this too will become an annual event. A brief but unusual event also took place; a party of boys went to the Vocations Exhibition at Earls Court by launch from Westminster pier and then walked in procession in a group of 800 children - through Battersea and Chelsea, much to the consternation of many flat dwellers who are not normally accustomed to hear the skirl of bagpipes and the singing of hymns so early on a Sunday morning. During the exhibition, several parties of boys went by coach.
In March we had a visit from the then Mayor of Harrow and the Mayoress, Alderman and Mrs. MacRae, who were very impressed with the school and all the activities they saw. As a memento of their visit they gave to the school attractively framed copy of the Borough Coat of Arms, with a full description of the heraldic design. May I say at this point how much we appreciate the interest of the Mayor and Councillors of the Borough in the school and the appreciation they show in their attendance at many of the school functions.
The G.C.E. examinations are, of course, the kernel of this report. It may be of special interest to note that while in 1960, we presented 27 boys in a total selection of 9 subjects for the Ordinary Level, this year we presented 129 boys in a selection of 20 subjects; at Advanced level in 1960 only two boys attempted the examination in 2 subjects, while in the examination this year, 24 boys offered papers in a selection of 14 subjects. Of the Sixth form leavers in the current year 5, have gone on to University; 6 to Colleges of Technology; 4 to Technical Colleges; 1 to the Forestry Commission; 1 to the Civil Service; 1 to Cranwell R.A.F.; 1 to Shipbroking. As from September of this year we have rearranged the 4th year course so that the boys will have a definite 2 year course for the G.C.E. at the beginning of the 4th year. They are grouped generally in 3 streams; Arts, Science and General, but so that there is free movement between the groups in various subjects. The C.S.E. examination, which is being tried in Harrow for the first time in 1966, and which aims at giving another approach to examination work from that of G,C.E. may be a suitable examination for some of our pupils in selected subjects.
The records of the boys in the sports and athletics fields are given their due prominence in the school magazine and it is not my intention to duplicate that report. Several more trophies repose on the school shelves as a result of their efforts and the unstinted encouragement of the Staff responsible. On a note of gratitude I should like to thank all the staff for their help and encouragement in many strenuous hours in school and outside; in the generous way in which they respond to taking extra classes in the event of the illness of a colleague, or the absence of one at a Conference, or one of the many extra-mural visits undertaken to Museums, Lectures and Galleries in the course of the Year.
Our sincere gratitude is due to the Director of Education and his staff, especially in this new Borough of Harrow, and the new offices to which they had to transfer at a most difficult time of the school year. We are conscious of the burdens we place on them at times and of the courtesy with which they endeavour to meet with our requests or demands. As well as the officials at the Education office, we should like to thank the Medical Officer, the Welfare Officer, the Maintenance Officer; the Kitchen Supervisor and her staff; the Caretaker, his assistant and the cleaners, who do so much to make life more bearable. Finally, though not as an afterthought, we are most grateful to the Parish Priest who makes the Church available to us for our twice weekly Mass and Benediction and the priests who make themselves available for the boys' confessions.
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