It is hard to know where to start describing the St Mary’s Hall Parents’ Weekend – but the fact that it runs from Thursday afternoon to Sunday evening should tell part of the story.
Perhaps the highlight is the Sunday Mass where we not only offer up the talents and achievements of the year but we also celebrate with our First Holy Communicants and their families. Needless to say they enjoyed a slap up dinner to follow and it was a moving and memorable occasion for all.
This year our sports events were affected but we were still able to have the parents vs pupils golf match – which the pupils won! – and the field events. The track events, alas were lost to the rain.
We had two productions this year. We Will Rock You was a triumph – the cast displayed great ability in singing and dancing their way to unravel the myth of the buried music. This really was a stunning performance. Less polished but by no means less enthusiastic, was Treasure Island a production by the younger pupils prepared in their own time. It was not always easy to understand just what was going on but it was certainly enjoyed by the audience.
We have three sessions of awards. Hodder Harmonies is combined event of musical and recitative performances interspersed with a celebration of every pupil’s Record of Achievement. Each one is presented to the Headmaster. This is followed by a Celebrating Our Talent assembly for the 7-11 year olds. Every pupil is acknowledged for something. Finally we have our Presentation of Prizes. After an address by Mr Crouch, the prizes were presented by Mr Johnson.
All this effort requires food! The SMH caterers are second to none and throughout the weekend there were teas and refreshments. On Saturday night we had a barbecue for hundreds of people – only a little dampened by the rain. There was dancing deep into the night and all over the grounds there were children playing, enjoying the midsummer long evening.
And whilst we enjoyed and celebrated we remembered, as we always do, others for whom that is more difficult. On Sunday afternoon we held the traditional Ruds Fair for Children for Children and especially our companionship school, St Paul’s, Musami. There was champagne for the adults, sweets for the youngsters and an extraordinary array of stalls offering goods, games to play, tombolas and raffles. We are confident that this will have raised thousands of pounds.
By Monday morning everything was cleared up and we were back to a normal school again (well almost). It had been a fitting way to celebrate our year.
Mr L Crouch
(Last 5 photos of We Will Rock You: davidmannphotography. All others by Mr Garlington)