Founder’s Day 2017: tradition, fun and plenty of sun

Founder’s Day 2017: tradition, fun and plenty of sun

The 2017 Founder’s Day Fete brought 444 years of QE’s history to a successful, if sweltering, conclusion – and raised nearly £20,000 for the School.

The traditional climax of the QE year, Founder’s Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the School’s anniversary, with the fun of the fete in the afternoon complementing the formality of the morning’s Thanksgiving Service in Chipping Barnet Parish Church and of the Roll Call and the Reading of the School Chronicle.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “It was a most enjoyable day and I must convey my congratulations and thanks to the tireless Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s, whose hard work made it all possible. As ever, hundreds of our parents and supporters visited the fete, and this year I was also pleased to welcome a good number of our alumni there, especially from the younger generations.”

In his address at the service, guest speaker Ashley-James Turner (OE 2001–2008) highlighted the roles played by parents, teachers and boys in the School’s success. He told boys in the congregation: “On your shoulders rest the legacy and heritage of all those boys who sat where you are today and of all those boys who are destined to attend. Your dedication, hard work and inevitable success carries the reputation of this School onwards one year after another – so no pressure!” Ashley, who went up to Oxford to read Geography after his A-levels, is today Director of Business Development at CoreAzure, a leading Microsoft UK Partner specialising in Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

The service featured anthems from composers including Vaughan Williams, Tavener and Rutter performed by School musicians and the School and Chamber choirs. Bible readings were given by current School Captain Oliver Robinson, and h is predecessor, Varun Vassanth, while the Headmaster led the prayer of remembrance for old boys who had died recently.

The boys and staff then processed to Stapylton Field, where the Headmaster made the Roll Call in front of the Main Building. Next followed the reading of the School Chronicle, a regularly updated account of QE’s history. Its reading is a tradition inaugurated by Headmaster Ernest H Jenkins in 1930.

The afternoon fete represented the culmination of many months of planning by the dedicated FQE fete sub-committee. Stapylton Field was transformed into a vibrant and colourful scene of festivities, with parents helping to run many of the stalls. The fete was enlivened by performances from School musicians and many other attractions.

The afternoon also brings the annual Stanley Busby Memorial Cricket Match between the present First XI School cricket team and an XI of past pupils, which takes place on the Third Field at the rear of the School.  This year, the Old Elizabethan team carried the day, with a century by Kushal Patel (OE 2009–2016) contributing significantly to the victory.