Despite this year’s unique circumstances, Founder’s Day 2020 goes ahead this weekend – as an innovative virtual event combining tradition with fun.
Organisers from the School and The Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s (FQE) were determined that, the Covid-19 crisis notwithstanding, Founder’s Day 2020 should still be a day to remember.
Together they have laid on a rich digital programme that showcases creativity with entertainment: attractions include high-quality musical performances from some of the School’s leading musicians, an exclusive live video curry Cook-Along from a professional chef and a special message from Old Elizabethan Robert Rinder (TV’s Judge Rinder, OE 1989–1994).
Headmaster Neil Enright said: “Founder’s Day is always a highlight of the Queen Elizabeth’s School calendar – a unique opportunity to bring together the whole Elizabethan community, including boys and their families, as well as alumni, governors, staff, friends and neighbours. On Saturday 20th June 2020, we are doing that again, except that this year, it all takes place online.
“I warmly invite all our families, friends and supporters to join us at noon on Saturday for our virtual programme, which includes much to entertain and inform and will also feature some treasured Founder’s Day traditions, albeit adapted for an online audience. Do log on and join us for this enjoyable day!”
Founder’s Day is FQE’s single biggest annual fundraiser for the School. Mr Enright appealed for people to give especially generously this year, since the School is facing a coronavirus-related drop in income due to the reductions in external lettings. FQE have made it quick and easy to give by setting up a dedicated Virtual Founder’s Day 2020 JustGiving page.
“I am immensely grateful to all our families and alumni for their unceasing support for the School and for the financial generosity of so many,” added Mr Enright.
Even before the day, money has been flooding in, with more than 130 individual donations already bringing in around a third of the £20,000 target. These have been accompanied by comments such as:
- “Kudos to the FQE team for not letting COVID-19 hamper the annual celebration of the Founder’s Day event. Thank you.” – Pratyush Dutta Gupta, of Year 9
- “Well done to everyone at QEB – students and staff! The great work has touched, and continues to touch, many lives. Thank you.” – Joan Okhiria
- “I feel lucky to be part of this wonderful School. A huge thank you for all of your support – especially to those teachers who came in and looked after the keyworker children during this difficult time.” – Rhian Kotwinski
The main Founder’s Day presentation – launched as a YouTube Premiere – runs from noon until 12.30pm on Saturday 20th June.
That is followed after a short gap at 12.45pm by the Cook-Along, when chef Nik Gulhane will teach viewers how to cook a special Founder’s Day lunch in an exclusive-to-QE YouTube Premiere broadcast.
Anyone can take part, although Nik, Founder of North London’s Spice Monkey school of Indian cooking, is especially encouraging QE pupils to try their hand at cooking – and urging them to get sponsorship to raise funds for the School for doing so.
“I understand that sharp knives, cooking oil, boiling water and hot ovens may all be involved, so some pupils may need a little helping hand from adults to make sure it all happens safely,” said the Headmaster.
Ahead of Saturday, a special edition of The Queen’s Library’s Roundness podcast has been published. For current QE families, this will be available from the dedicated Roundness page on the eQE digital platform, but it will also be available from all normal podcast services, including Spotify and Apple.
The three stories in this podcast are based on the research of Dr John Marincowitz (Headmaster 1999-2011), who is writing a history of the School and its relation to English education more widely. Exploring the lives of three governors from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the episode sheds light on an under-explored area of the School’s history.
Creator, Surya Bowyer said: “The often dangerous escapades of these three men are stranger than fiction, and must be heard to be believed.”
- Donations may be made through the FQE Virtual Founder’s Day 2020 JustGiving page.