Viewing archives for Old Elizabethans’

It is with regret that the Association announces the death of Jim Winchester who passed on 18 June 2018.

It is with regret that the Association announces the death of Tim (Torj) Herbert who passed on 25 June 2018.

Curry favoured! Founder’s Day combines formal traditions with fun and food aplenty at the fete

Pupils past, present and even future all helped make the 2018 Queen Elizabeth’s School Founder’s Day a resounding success.

The day, a great highlight of the School’s summer calendar, included a morning church service and subsequent ceremonial proceedings, before culminating in the popular afternoon fete on Stapylton Field.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “This was a splendid and enjoyable day and it was a great pleasure to see everyone, from boys and their families who are set to join the School in Year 7 in September right through to the Old Elizabethans spanning several generations who came along.

“Founder’s Day really brings together the whole Elizabethan family in celebration both of the School’s history and of the strength of our present community.”

The day got off to a stirring start with the School Choir’s rendition of Handel’s coronation anthem, Zadok the Priest, performed as the introit in Chipping Barnet Parish Church.

The service included hymns and Bible readings, including from the current School Captain, Aashish Khimasia, and his predecessor, Oliver Robinson, as well as the traditional Founder’s Day prayer, concluding with the petition that “our School may endure as a home of sound learning and of true godliness”.

Guest speaker for the service was Major Charles Russell (OE 1997–2004) who spoke on the theme of service, reflecting on QE’s “rich history of military service” and pointing out that 2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. He went on to articulate how service to others is demonstrated throughout the Elizabethan community.

Major Russell told the congregation of boys, staff and VIPs of his experiences in 2010, when he and a fellow soldier were very seriously injured in Afghanistan, where he was serving with The Royal Gurkha Rifles. “We were on the operating table in Camp Bastion within 25 minutes of the blast, and back in Birmingham two days later.

“Although I wasn’t conscious at the time, I was visited in the intensive care unit by an Old Elizabethan – a consultant working at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital Birmingham who had been a senior prefect when I was a brand new Year 7. The note he left me: ‘To a fellow OE in the new QE hospital; don’t worry you are in the care of the very best.’ Imagine the comfort this provided me and my family – he was absolutely right – this was the cutting edge of complex trauma medicine. No surprise to find an OE at the forefront of his profession.”

Major Russell added that he had been “touched beyond words” to receive a card from the QE staff as he lay immobilised in his hospital bed. “Not only was there a card, but a parcel was delivered containing a spanking new iPad: these had just come out in the UK and were seriously hot pieces of technology then.”

Guests at the service included Major Russell’s father, Martin Russell, who is Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Barnet. Also in the congregation were: the Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Reuben Thompstone; local MP Theresa Villiers and Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School Headteacher Violet Walker, as well as QE governors, former members of staff, parents and boys.

After the service, the day continued, in accordance with cherished QE tradition, with the roll call and the reading of the School Chronicle in front of the main building.

Then it was time for the fete, organised by the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s, to get into full swing, to the accompaniment of the School Concert Band. Among the many stalls, activities and attractions, the International Food Tent proved as popular as ever – takings for the Sri Lankan curry alone reportedly topped £4,000! These sales helped the FQE raise a total sum for the day provisionally put at around £21,000.

The afternoon also saw the annual Stanley Busby Memorial Cricket Match between old boys of the School and the current First XI. Played on the Third Field at the rear of the School, it was this year won by the pupils after a close encounter with a strong team of OEs.

A good many other Old Elizabethans attended the formal aspects of the day, the fete and the cricket, with some having travelled a considerable distance in order to be there.

The Association has recently been advised of the passing of Tony (Trevor) King in 2009.

It is with regret that the Association announces the death of John C B Bradley.  He passed on 7 June 2018 after suffering a stroke on the previous weekend.

It is with regret that the Association announces the death of Tony Lane.  Tony passed on 21 May 2018.

It is with regret that the Association announces the death of Maurice Gent who passed towards the end of May 2018.

It is with regret that the Association announces the death of Hugh Sinclair. Hugh passed on 1 May 2018.

It is with regret that the Association announces the death of John Mills. The Association has only recently been advised of his passing which occurred some years earlier.

“Love is oblivious to the outside, even with an audience of millions”: George the Poet and the royal wedding

Old Elizabethan George the Poet’s latest composition was hailed as a fitting introduction to the global television coverage of the royal wedding.

George Mpanga’s performance of The Beauty of Union was chosen by the BBC to introduce the day’s coverage and was therefore seen by a global TV audience that experts were predicting could reach 1.9bn.

The pre-recorded film of George reading the 154-word poem at St George’s Chapel, Windsor – the wedding venue – was intercut with scenes of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. His contribution was reported by journalists worldwide – the Toronto Sun’s Jane Stevenson said it immediately drew her in to the coverage, for example – while also being hailed by many on social media.

George (OE 2002–2009) is linked with Prince Harry through his role as an ambassador for Sentebale, one of the prince’s charitable foundations, which supports the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana. Having seen at close-hand the prince’s warmth and compassion in meeting the children helped by Sentebale, when the royal engagement was announced last year, George was one of the commentators interviewed by the BBC for an insider’s perspective.

George’s growing national profile as a poet rests in large part on his work commenting on major issues of the day. In 2017, he released a video showing himself reading a poem on hate crime. The video was produced in collaboration with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to coincide with the anniversary of the murder of MP Jo Cox. He also performed in front of the Queen and Prime Minister Theresa May at the Service of Celebration for Commonwealth Day in Westminster Abbey.

After leaving QE in 2009, George read Politics, Psychology and Sociology, at King’s College, Cambridge. He maintains close links with the School: last year, he was a well-received guest speaker at QE’s formal luncheon for Year 12 pupils and also led a poetry workshop for the whole of Year 9.

The poem is set out below: a video of George performing it may be viewed on the BBC twitter feed.

The Beauty of Union

There’s an indescribable beauty in union
In two beings forming one new being
Entering each other’s world
Surrendering each other’s selves
Accepting the invitation to be everything to someone else
There’s an unparallelled bravery in union
In telling the one you love:
“The only way that we can truly win
Is if I think of you in everything I do
And honour every decision you faithfully include me in.”
Love gives union true meaning
It illuminates the path
It wants us to compromise, communicate and laugh
It wants us to elevate, appreciate without pride
Love is oblivious to the outside
Even with an audience of millions
Even when that love bears immortal significance
All of this is met with cordial indifference
By the two people at the heart of it
Two individuals when they started it
Becoming two halves of one partnership
Such is the beauty of union
Such is the beauty of union