The tremendous charity work by pupils, staff and parents was a major theme in Monmouth School for Boys’ annual Speech Day and Prize-Giving on Saturday 6th July.
Headmaster, Dr Andrew Daniel, said the fund-raising initiatives over the past year had been some of his ‘proudest moments’ during his time in Monmouth.
Dr Daniel cited the work of Year 11 pupil, Joshua whose project yielded £1,800 for the Welsh Hearts charity.
He said the students in Hereford House, who have raised a total of £28,500 for charity over the last 15 years, had been very active once again.
And he highlighted the remarkable achievement in raising £100,000 for Cancer Research Wales in memory of 13-year-old pupil, Tom Walker, who died from acute myeloid leukaemia in June last year.
“It has been an absolute privilege to work with the Walker family and to witness this fund-raising which has totalled more than £100,000,” said Dr Daniel.
“This amount makes it possibly the biggest school charity project of any school in the country.
“Students, staff and parents across the family of Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools have supported this absolutely colossal charity project.”
Dr Daniel praised the success of the under-14 A football team in topping the national SchoolsSports.com Performance League for the first time.
And he said the school’s rowing club celebrated its 150th year in style, winning the Non-Championship VIIIs event at the National Schools’ Regatta in Windsor in the fastest time achieved by a crew from the school, and a maiden class win in the national Schools’ Head of the River on the Thames in London.
Special presentations were made to two long-serving members of staff, Mrs Diane Jakes, Admissions Registrar, and Mr Kingsley Jones, Head of Boarding, who are retiring are more than 50 years’ service combined.
The guest speaker was Lord Dr Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE, who helps to find solutions to global challenges such as poverty, environmental sustainability, education and equality.
Lord Hastings began his career as a teacher before moving into government service where he served in various roles for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), including head of public affairs and as the organisation’s first head of corporate social responsibility.
He said the important qualities of optimism, generosity, having a purpose, values, showing forgiveness and being truthful were all invisible.
Lord Hastings told the students: “As you step out into the world beyond, don’t get obsessed with the tangible, be possessed by the invisible,” he said.
“Think of these qualities which will mark you as somebody of enthusiasm, of tangibility and of significance.”
Lovely musical performances were given by violinist Gwyndaf Jones (Introduction and Polonaise by Bohm), bassoon player Sam Morland (Piece by Faure) and soloist Sam Britner (O sole mio by di Capua).
Head Boy, Charlie, said the strong sense of community in the family of Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools had been evident over the past year.
“It’s moments like this that make me truly proud to be a Monmothian.”
Prizes were handed out for a variety of outstanding achievements in academics, art, sport and music.
Speeches were also made by First Warden of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, Mrs Caroline Davis, and Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr Audley Twiston-Davies.