ROYAL GRAMMAR SCHOOL, HIGH WYCOMBE
SPEECH DAY PROGRAMME FOR 1959
(Various torn/scribbled-on pages have had to be digitally repaired)
SPEECH DAY 1959
Speech Day tends to follow a traditional pattern and Friday, July 17th, proved to be no exception. After the Rt. Hon. Viscount Curzon, J.P., had inspected the C.C.F. Guard of Honour and the Band, which were as efficient and smart as usual, speakers and parents assembled in the Hall for the main function of the afternoon.
The proceedings were opened by Alderman R. P. Clarke, the Chairman of the Governors, who commented on the near completion of the new buildings, and mentioned that six of the younger members of the staff were leaving at the end of the term.
The Headmaster began his Annual Report by welcoming Viscount and Lady Curzon to the largest school in his “Diocese”. In welcoming the Mayor and Mayoress, the Headmaster recalled that it was the first time in his memory that an ex-Head Boy had returned to the School as Mayor. He paid tribute to the present Chairman, Alderman R. P. Clarke, and his predecessor, Mr. P. C. Raffety, on being given the Freedom of the Borough. It was a matter of very great pride to the School that they should have been honoured in this way.
While referring to the new Laboratory Block, and the new Hall and Teaching Block to be built in 1960/61, Mr. Tucker said he was anxious to see the present Chemistry Laboratory converted into a Chapel for the Boarders. Of outstanding importance was the very big change in the Staff at the beginning of next term, when six masters were leaving to take up positions as Departmental Heads in important schools. These young, vigorous and entertaining young men will be greatly missed. He also expressed the School’s sympathy with Mr. C. Sladden’s present ill-health. Reviewing the outstanding events of the last year, special mention was made of the Scholarship Level Chemistry candidates who attended lessons at Eton College. The academic successes of the past year were outlined, and the fact that four of the seven State Scholarships were for Classics showed that the Classical tradition was not on the decline, as many people feared. He said that even in one of the School’s less good years, it was important that the line of Open Awards at Jesus College, Cambridge was still kept intact.
The Air Section of the C.C.F. had a very successful year with four Flying Scholarships, and one member of the Naval Section had gained one of the coveted Naval Scholarships to Dartmouth. The Headmaster congratulated the Boarders’ Scout Troop on winning three medals or shields in the last term. The First Cricket XI were going on a foreign tour for the first time in their history, when they left for Holland at the end of term. The Old Boys continued to do good work at Universities, and especial mention was made of G. D. B. Jones on being awarded the Rome Scholarship by the British School of Archaeology. The Headmaster paid tribute to the invaluable support of Mr. Morgan and the Staff. He ended by reporting the sorrow which the School felt when the news of Alan King’s death by drowning in the Baltic Sea reached England. He said that he would never let a boy leave the School without having learnt to swim, and plans for a swimming bath in keeping with the size and numbers of the School had been included in the final batch of new buildings for 1960/61.
After having distributed the prizes, Viscount Curzon rose to make his speech. He spoke first on the obvious need for new buildings, especially a larger Hall, and expressed the need for the careful siting of the new buildings in order to preserve the School’s imposing appearance. The aim of the Bucks Education Committee was to further university education in the county, but this was difficult because of the increasing number of children He paid tribute to the efforts of the Headmaster and the Chairman of the Governors in the county’s education. The rest of the speech was devoted to the importance of education in social affairs, and the contributions of young men to the country’s prestige in the world. A vote of thanks was proposed by P. C. Raffety, Esq., J.P., and seconded by Alderman C. W. Lance, J.P.
After tea in the School, many guests visited the numerous exhibitions, including Science and Biology, Art, Model Railway, Model Aircraft and Photographs, all of which attracted a great deal of attention from parents and boys alike. Later, the Commemoration Service was held in the Parish Church. The service was conducted by the Vicar, the Reverend A. L. Evan Hopkins, and the sermon was preached by the Reverend J. C. Vaughan Wilkes, M.A., Vicar of Marlow and late Headmaster of Radley College. The School Choir sang the chorus “The Heavens are telling,” from Haydn’s “The Creation.”