Act of Commemoration

Arts

We returned to The Rose Theatre on 6th March for our Annual Act of Commemoration, the theme of which was freedom

"Students should be free to be happy, and free to succeed in ways that would be of benefit to others. In short, they should work well, be happy and be free." Mr Lehec

It was a great pleasure to return to the Rose Theatre on Friday 6th March for our annual Act of Commemoration, to be able to bring the whole School community together and to welcome guests from the ranks of current parents, current and former governors, former staff, alumni and friends of the School and the outgoing head of Tiffin Boys’ School, Miss Hilda Clarke.

The theme of the celebrations was Freedom. The Head Master began proceedings with an address in which he looked back into the mists of the School’s thirteenth-century beginnings, acknowledging the debt we owed to those who had been the benefactors of the School in that time. He also recalled the significant milestones of the last 100 or so years, before expanding on how education was not just a key part of freedom, it was a freedom in its own right, providing a wealth of opportunities and the chance to benefit the world around us. He wanted students to be free to be happy, and free to succeed in ways that would be of benefit to others. In short, they should work well, be happy and be free.

Music featured strongly in the celebrations that followed, with a superb concert piece for French horn, ‘Libertus’, written and performed by Peter le Tissier, accompanied by Mr von Freyhold. There was a lively rendition of the theme from ‘The Naked Gun’ by Mr Gough’s jazz band and a sensational version of Queen’s ‘I Want to be Free’ from Mr Hoj’s rock ensemble ‘Bare Feet’.

The spoken word was represented by a series of readings from Gibbon Society illuminati Ben Doble and Serena Sekhon, highlighting the contribution of five key individuals: Mary Wollstonecraft, Mahatma Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi, a powerful personal piece by the CCF’s Lance Corporal Flo Haly on the Liberation of France in 1944, and a lively, entertaining and crowd-pleasing informal debate between Oliver Cole and Matthew Pugh, chaired by a very patient and calming Joe Underwood.

The dramatic element was provided by A2 Drama students in an extract from Steven Berkoff’s adaptation of Kafka’s ‘The Trial’, superbly realised and performed by this very strong ensemble using many of the techniques of physical theatre.

The Act of Commemoration was, then, a hugely enjoyable but also seriously thought-provoking celebration of this most important but perhaps most fragile of our values. Our thanks to all the staff and pupils who put so much into making this event so special and so successful, not least the technical team, the CCF, who stewarded the event, and the Rose Theatre who were our hosts.