Thursday, 31 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 32

Even the School Principal (Stuart Dorrian) was impressed...

... though as a Scotsman, he was checking that there was a suitably Scottish feel to the Garden Design!

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 31

I soon regained my composure, and although I didn't make a speech...

... I was proudly showing off the plan to everyone present.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 30

For once in my life I was lost for words...

.. indeed, I had a bit of a cry!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 29

This was the moment of shock...

... the assembled brethren had raised £1,000 as a retirement gift, and had arranged to have my new garden in Culloden laid out by Highland Landscape Design of Forres, Morayshire. What was on the blue board was the suggested garden design.

All of this 'scheming' had gone on behind my back - indeed the questions to me and my answers had been so vague, that the plan turned out to be for the wrong plot! Fortunately, I have been in touch with Highland Landscape Design - and ensured that my new neighbours do not receive a surprise garden!

I was quite overcome by the generosity.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 28

I was able to put on a brave face during the speeches...

...but these five boys clearly needed to off each other moral support. Some of the jokes were truly pathetic!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 27

I was not surprised that there were a couple of speeches at the barbecue.

Here we see Helen Cheese-Probert and Malcolm Smith taking centre-stage. Their speeches were very good!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 26

The food was truly delicious!

I had just enjoyed a chicken kebab (though note - I had left the mushroom - I hate them!) and was about to partake of a wonderful fresh salmon burger.

Happy Feast!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 25

The food had to be good - we had Marcia (the lady in front) present!

Marcia won 1st Prize in the 2005 Competition for the Best School Chef in the UK - organised by Waitrose and The Daily Telegraph. I was thrilled at her victory - because it is I who nominated her! The food at Latymer is truly superb - I shall really miss it.

Behind Marcia in the photo is Theresa - the lady in charge of the Staff Coffee Lounge, and at the back we have Samsha - who is the Common Room Secretary. You see, I certainly had the most important members of staff present at the barbecue.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 24

What a feast! Barbecued lamb fillet and chicken kebabs! There was other barbecue food for the younger children (burgers!) and for those who are vegetarian.

Much of the food came from Donald Russell - the supplier of meat to HM Queen Elizabeth II. The lamb was absolutely superb!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 23

As the sky shows - we did have a downpour during the barbecue - but it was brief, and the sun soon came out once more!

Our thoughts are very much on gardens today, as we celebrate the Feast of St Mary Magdalene.

Walking in a garden at the break of day,
Mary asked the gardener where the body lay;
But he turned towards her, smiled at her and said:
'Mary, spring is here to stay, only death is dead'.

I'm sure it didn't rain on that first Easter Sunday. There is no record of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus running for shelter - as we all did at the barbecue.

Happy Feast!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 22

A glass of Pimms or a glass of chilled white wine always go down well on a summer afternoon.

I'm sure I was holding a drink in my left hand!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 21

It is good seeing the person in charge of the feast looking relaxed!

Helen was helped by many of the other Mothers - a great deal of hard work had gone on behind the scenes. I am so pleased that the barbecue was such a success.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 20

Following the service in Chapel, a superb barbecue supper was served in the Prep School garden.

This was expertly organised by Helen Cheese-Probert, who is photographed here on the left.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 19

Having just posted a photo of the three boys enrolled into the Guild of St Stephen on 3 July, I thought I had better include a photo of the four boys enrolled on 3 March. As the rose vestments indicate, we are celebrating Laetare Monday!

In addition to the MC (who was enrolled into the Guild several years ago) the serving team included a thurifer, two acolytes, and a boat boy. Altar serving can prove to be a marvellous seed bed for vocations. One of our former pupils from Latymer (Edward Henley) is about to start his third year of formation for the priesthood. He has so far spent two years at Allen Hall in Chelsea, and is due to move to the English College in Rome this September. Do please remember him in your prayers. His younger brother (Alex) was one of our altar servers in the Chapel of the Resurrection - in fact he was the first person I enrolled into the Guild.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 18

Here is a photo of the three boys I Enrolled into the Archconfraternity (Guild) of St Stephen for Altar Servers.

They seemed well pleased with their Bronze Medals! They are pictured below with His Eminence.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 17

We had some serious hymn singing in some quarters! Our singing is accompanied by the Digital Hymnal - which is nicknamed 'The Beast'! If you visit the link, be sure to click on the 'pop up player' - you will be in for hours of fun!

I am actually quite musical - being a member of The Jubilate Group and The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland. I cannot commend the Digital Hymnal too highly - I award it a mark of 100%. I note that St Andrew's Metropolitan Cathedral, Glasgow have just purchased one, so that there can be more singing in the liturgy of weekdays (they will be using their normal organ on Sundays). It has transformed our worship in the Chapel of the Resurrection by helping us achieve a decent musical standard - more worthy of the worship of Almighty God.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 16

This photo was taken during the singing of the final hymn, 'All creatures of our God and King.' I love hymns with lots of alleluias!

As you can see, the two acolytes either side of me are now wearing their Bronze Medals as members of the Guild of St Stephen for Altar Servers. I enrolled three boys into the Guild during the service.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 15

I note that one or two of the younger members of the congregation were not paying full attention during the singing of 'All things bright and beautiful.'

Well, to be fair, it had been a rather long homily!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 14

Here we see part of the congregation during the singing of 'All things bright and beautiful' - one of my favourite hymns!

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we may tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 13

Here we have the Gospel procession during the singing of the alleluias - it seems odd for me as a deacon not to be reading the Gospel myself, but in fact I have only read the Gospel in the Chapel when Mass has been celebrated.

In this photo Malcolm Smith is carrying the Gospel Book to the ambo. Malcolm will be taking over as Chapel Warden from September - I wish him well. He has been a great support to me in the Chapel over the past 8 years. He is Church Warden of St Nicholas Church, Chiswick.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 12

No prizes for guessing which version of the Gloria we sang!

I am a great fan of the Anderson Gloria - though it has been banned at St Thomas Aquinas, Ham and I have never heard it sung in Westminster Cathedral. The young people who worship in the Chapel of the Resurrection love it!

It is No 225 in the BBC Songs of Praise Hymn Book - and it does not go down well when we omit singing it during Advent and Lent!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 11

I led my final service in the Chapel of the Resurrection last week, when we celebrated the 13th Week in Ordinary Time.

I am pictured here with two of the altar servers who were about to be Enrolled into the Guild of St Stephen.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 10

Last week all the members of the Economics Department went out for a meal at the Black Bull pub on the River Thames. The Head of Department insisted that all the wine glasses were removed from the table before the photo was taken - he didn't want our students to be led astray. He must think they are a bit naive!

Pictured opposite me is Mrs Heather Hanbury , who is about to take up the post of Headmistress of Wimbledon High School. Heather taught Business Studies in our Department.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 9

Everyone seemed most impressed by the superb cooking. Perhaps BBC Television will ask me to do a series of programmes for them!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 8

For what we are about to receive,
May the Lord make us truly thankful. Amen.

The pupils lined up very well for their food. They knew they would be sent to the back of the queue if they didn't! It was good to hear so many pupils saying 'please' and 'thank you'.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 7

Here we have a fine photo of the Head Chef (myself!) at the barbecue following Linda Martin's leaving presentation. This is the nearest I intend to get to wearing a biretta!

We are having a barbecue today at St Thomas Aquinas, Ham - following the 11.30 am Mass. I shall just be one of the paying guests.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 6

I'm not the only member of staff leaving Latymer this summer - but I am the only one retiring. In total, 12 teachers left at the end of this term - including our Deputy Head who is taking up a new post as a Headmistress in September, and one of our Assistant Heads who is moving on to a Deputy Headship.

Here we see Linda Martin - the Director of Music in the Prep School, who is leaving to take up a similar position in a school in Oxfordshire.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 5

Here we have another view of the Indian Bean Tree and the central courtyard of Latymer Upper School.

This central courtyard is called the piazza by some - Red Square by others. In the background you can see the East face of the Main School Building dating back to 1895. Tomorrow I shall be showing photos of some of my retirement celebrations.

Like me, the Indian Bean Tree is on its last legs. I suspect it will be missed more than I will!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 4

Here is a view of part of the Lower School building at Latymer.

In the foreground you can see the lovely Indian Bean Tree which comes into blossom at about this time of the year. In the background you can see the spire of Rivercourt Methodist Church. The single storey building will shortly be demolished to make room for a new build - a £13m science and library complex due for completion in 2010. This will largely obscure the view of the church spire.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 3

Here is a photo of the new building at Latymer Upper School - opened in May this year.

I think it looks much nicer at night!

This building house the Economics Department - and so I have been teaching in it for the past two months. My final lesson will be on Friday morning - though I don't think we'll be doing much work. It's amazing what you can get away with when you are about to retire!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Farewell to Latymer - 2

Here is a photo of the main building of Latymer Upper School - which was first opened to pupils in 1895. The clock was added in 1995 to mark the centenary.

I was appointed Head of Economics at Latymer in 1990 - and held this position until 1999, when I was appointed School Chaplain - following my ordination in 1997. For the first 10 years I just taught Sixth Formers (aged 16-18), but in 2000 I also started to teach the younger pupils in the Prep School. I have never taught pupils aged between 13 and 16 at any stage of my 33 year teaching career.