The View From My Study – 5th May
On 2 June 1953, Elizabeth was crowned Queen by the Archbishop of Canterbury whose name was Geoffrey Francis Fisher. Tim Fisher, the Archbishop’s son, became Headmaster of Bilton Grange in 1969, leading the School until 1992, thus creating a strong connection for BG to this unique tradition and historic occasion. Sadly, I have no such claim with my father unless you count the time he danced the Dashing White Sergeant with the then Princess Elizabeth!
King Charles’ father, Prince Philip, who died just over two years ago, often talked about how his prep school years provided the stability that his early childhood lacked. Moving on to Gordonstoun in Scotland, his attitudes, beliefs, fortitude and resilience were galvanised through the school’s emphasis on outdoor and practical education. In establishing the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Philip promoted the importance of securing values and attitudes in young people from an early age. His scheme aims to build self-belief, confidence and friendship, encourages initiative and ambition and, most importantly, fosters a sense of community and team-work. There are many stories which show the awards have ‘changed lives.’
King Charles has adopted many similar beliefs and his charity work has been equally important. He founded the Prince’s Trust in 1976 and this is now the UK’s leading charity for young people. He promotes the importance of service as much as his parents and in his first Christmas message he talked about the power of love, faith and service. He spoke about his own personal faith in God but also his respect for people of all faiths and cultural backgrounds.
I have no doubt that, tomorrow, Charles will make a pledge to serve his people through justice, mercy and respect and I, for one, am looking forward to the poignancy of the occasion for our community and society.
I wish you all a very good, extended weekend.
Gareth Jones, Headmaster