Official opening of the Shearly Hall: a ‘wonderful addition’ to QE’s facilities
December 17, 2009
December 17, 2009
Queen Elizabeth’s School’s new Eric Shearly Memorial Hall has been formally opened by Diane Mason, Secretary of the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s.
Mrs Mason, an FQE stalwart and steadfast supporter of the School over many years, unveiled a commemorative plaque at an official opening ceremony preceding QE’s annual Christmas Concert.
The hall is named after Eric Shearly (1920-2005), a former pupil and master who dedicated 76 years to QE and in doing so became a great figure in the life of the School.
Its completion marks a significant milestone in the development of Queen Elizabeth’s School: a majority of the pupils – some 850 boys – can now be assembled; the hall has allowed the introduction of table tennis and badminton to the curriculum; it houses the School Shop and 250 boys can take examinations there. Importantly, with good acoustics integral to the design, the hall is an impressive venue for concerts and recording sessions, further strengthening QE’s reputation as a specialist Music College.
However, it is significant for another reason too: the tremendous generosity that made it a reality. The £6.5m total cost of building the Shearly Hall and the Martin Swimming Pool was met entirely through the fund-raising of the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s (FQE), the donations of Old Elizabethans and, most of all, the regular giving of parents through the Covenant Scheme, overseen by the FQE Trustees.
In his welcome, the Headmaster, John Marincowitz, compared this achievement with President Kennedy’s announcement in 1961 that the United States were going to put a man the on moon, “not because it was an easy thing to do but because it was a hard thing to do, and doing hard things makes you better”.
“Fittingly this Hall is dedicated to the memory of Eric Shearly and of the many other Old Elizabethans who have given selflessly to their country and to this school. This splendid facility will have a truly beneficial impact on the education of our boys,” said Dr Marincowitz.
In addition to Dr Marincowitz and Mrs Mason, the audience were addressed by Ken Cooper, Chairman of the Old Elizabethans, who attended the School from 1942-50, and the Deputy Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Hugh Raynor.
The Chairman of Governors Barrie Martin added: “Our new multi-purpose hall is a wonderful addition to the facilities that have been made possible over the past few years by the covenants and fundraising activities of our parents to the Friends. It is a joy to show it to visitors.”
Guests at the ceremony included Jodi Sweeney from Boston, Massachusetts, who is Vice President for Market Solutions of Avid, the company whose sponsorship gave the School Music Technology equipment worth more than £10,000. QE is Avid’s Beacon School for Europe, it has been announced.
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