ROYAL GRAMMAR SCHOOL, HIGH WYCOMBE
SPEECH DAY PROGRAMME FOR 1965
(Various torn/scribbled-on pages have had to be digitally repaired)
ST. SWITHIN’S DAY [SPEECH DAY 1965]
Rain it did not on Speech Day this year. In an otherwise uninterruptedly wet month, July 15th was hot throughout, and the car-park and surrounding roads became gay with chrome.
At 3 p.m., Queen’s Hall waited for the business of speeches. Alderman Clarke as Chairman welcomed the guest of honour, recalled that this was the first Speech Day since Mr. Tucker’s death, and voiced the general feeling of affection and gratitude towards Mr. Morgan, who took on the interim mantle of Headmaster with great authority and personal success.
The Headmaster introduced Dr. Thomson, Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and went on to mention the school’s usual brilliant achievements, the score this time being 7 Open Awards and 9 other places at Oxford and Cambridge, 53 places at other universities, and at least 4 firsts in the current university Class lists.
A news item of great interest which must surely be unique was the marriage of Helena Ellis, the school’s only girl, and a scholar at St. Anne’s College, Oxford, to Jeremy Jones, himself a former pupil. They have now left for California to take up academic posts.
Dr. Thomson began to speak, and at once caught the attention of his audience. He spoke of change and silliness, of the challenge of change, and of the response of silliness. School-leavers face a world in which advances in all forms of science and its immediate facilities follow one another with increasing swiftness, and the pace of affairs gathers a corresponding momentum. Such sudden growth and change create a vista of opportunity for “intelligence, imagination, vision and skill”. But there is an element of complete silliness in ordinary life which is lent an unnatural prominence by its loudness and brightness, and which is unworthy.
After this direct and fluent speech, the centrepiece of the afternoon, Mr. MacBexon proposed an interesting vote of thanks, the fan-belt of prizewinners was set in motion, and people clapped and clapped.
After which, one and all began to move discreetly but deliberately towards their teas, and the various displays (notably swimming and C.C.F.) and exhibitions (notably those of the mathematical and stamp societies) were well attended.
The Commemoration Service was held in the Parish Church, when the Vicar of Hazlemere, Dr. S. Price, preached to an enormously full church.