Fifty Years On

by K. H. Ruffel

December the 8th had been a day of such downpour of rain, sleet and snow that the nation’s transport ground to a halt. But Dover streets were washed clean for the Duke and on the morning that mattered a helicopter of the Queen’s Flight dropped out of a cold, blue sky on to the top field with royal precision at 11. 15 a.m.

All was ready at St. Mary’s Church. The choir arrived early for final rehearsal, the bigger boys came at 10 a.m., the younger ones at 10.30. All behaved admirably as they watched the arrival of Old Boys and their ladies, county and local dignitaries, clergy and laity.

The Duke was received at the West Door by the Vicar and the Bishop of Dover, and a procession moved through the congregation as the choir sang as an Introit Parry’s I was glad when they said.

The Headmaster spoke a welcome to the Duke and set out the purpose of the service. Prayers were spoken by the Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Church in Dover and by the Senior Priest of the Roman Catholic Church. Lessons were read by the Rev. William Kemp, who could be said to represent 1931, and by William Marshall, Head Prefect in 1981.

The choir sang Psalm 121, I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, for in Dover are we not encompassed about by hills? The choir also sang a Te Deum by Stanford and an anthem, Like as the hart desireth the water brooks, by Howells. In all their contributions to the service the choir brought distinction to themselves, to Adrian Boynton and to the school.

The Bishop took as his text, “I am the Light of the World”.

Beneath him was the Pharosian badge, Fiat Lux, made in flowers by the ladies of Dover’s Floral Guild. In like manner as the ancient Pharos guided Roman galleys across the sea to a safe haven, so a school leads boys through life’s hazards to a full and interesting career. The Pharos light has been replaced by a modern coastguard station that scans the world’s busiest ocean passage. Today’s technological age increases the need for a clear, guiding light through life’s complexities. Jesus said, “I am the Light of the World.”

The congregation sang the hymn Christ is our corner-stone and, after a blessing, the school hymn, Let there be light. As everyone poured out of church, the police were ready to guide cars through the town to the school on the hill, where the Duke inspected a guard of honour mounted by the cadets. In the Head’s study the Duke saw pictures of his father’s visit exactly half a century earlier and he spoke in a friendly and relaxed manner with everyone he met.

Lunch was beautifully prepared and served by the catering department of the Technical College at Folkestone under the direction of “Chef” Finn. The loyal toast was proposed by the Head Prefect; and Headmaster then took the Duke on a tour of the school with special attention to the music department, science laboratories and the workshops. Back in the great hall the Old Pharosians and their ladies enjoyed themselves in after-lunch conversation before going out to see the Duke plant a tree. The boys were massed tier upon tier on the various levels of the school building. They cheered their farewells and the Duke waved back as he took his leave. He said he had enjoyed a relaxed day, as nice a compliment as one could desire.

The evening Dinner and Ball in Dover’s Maison Dieu Hall were originally the inspiration of, and mainly arranged by, Mrs. June Golding of the school staff with excellent support from Mrs. J. Reidy and others of the Parents’ Association. About three hundred people shook hands with Mr. and Mrs.Colman before going in to dinner. The mood was one of easy relaxation but dignity was added, at lunch and dinner, by Mr. Reg Leppard as toast master. The good health of the school was proposed in a historical survey by Councillor W. H. Robertson, Chairman of Dover District Council. The Head replied with his unfailing after-dinner eloquence: and the company adjourned for dancing and conviviality in the Connaught Hall.

St. Matthew said “Ye are the light of the world: a city that is set on a hill can not be hid.” On this day a school that is set on a hill had shed its light on successive generations of those who wish to be numbered in the continuing family life of that school.

List of those who attended some part of the celebrations on 9th December, 1981.

Old Pharosians

G. S. Allen, G. C. Austin, C. C. Bailey, Dr. G. L. J. Bailey, E. H. Baker, T. Beer, L. R. Bish, A. W. Blackman, Mrs. J. C. Booth, P. Brothwell, K. Burton, P. E. Buss, Monsignor J. Callanan, L. Castle, G. E. Cheeseman, W. Collard, M. J. Cooke, A. E. Coulson, D. F. Crouch, Dr. Dewar, A. Ellender, M. W. Fenn, N. Fright, D. Gibb, R. Gladish, G. V. Graeme, R. Graeme, G. F. Grey, R. Gretton, A. H. Gunn, D. M. Gunn, E. W. Hampshire, P. Harding, R. S. Harman, B. Harrison, A. J. Hayden, C. J. Henry, L. C. Hogben, R. J. B. Hood, H. Hopkins, B. A. Howard, Sir Clifford Jarrett, D. L. Jones, Rev. W. F. Kemp, F. L. Kendall, W. G. King, E. C. Large, J. Le Prevost, A. W. Lyons, A. May, E. J. Maynard, D. J. McNeil, P. T. Mee, Sir James Menter, E. T. Mummery, Bishop K. A. Newing, H. C. Newman, W. D. Newman, W. V. Newman, D. R. Ovenden, R. H. Payne, T. W. Pearce, Rev. J. Philpott, F. J. Rhodes, K. H. Ruffell, G. E. Saddleton, Lt.-Col. A. W. Salmon, D. G. A. Sanders, Mrs. R. Sandiford, M. G. Sayers, M. J. Sharp, J. M. Simmonds, R. G. Standen, A. G. Stone, T. A. Sutton, J. E. Tansley, F. J. Tapley, A. J. Thomas, A. A. C. Tolputt, K. Tolputt, Mrs. L. V. Turnpenny, R. J. Unstead, T. S. Walker, H. R. W. Watkins, G. L. Watt, D. Weaver, S. J. Wenborn, F. G. West-Oram, Brigadier W. M. E. White, R. W. Winter.

The Earl and Countess of Guilford. Councillor Edward Moore, Chairman of Kent County Council, and Mrs. Moore.

Councillor Mrs. Patricia Nesham, Vice-chairman of Kent Education Committee.

Brian Oatley, Deputy Chief Education Officer.

The Deputy Chief Constable of Kent and Mrs Jordan.

The Dover District Chairman and the Town Mayors of Dover and Deal. School Governors. Officers and members of the Parents’ Association. Representatives of local education, the police and the clergy. The Headmaster, present staff and boys of the school.

Many ladies helped to prepare for the celebrations and were present at the service, the lunch, tree planting and evening dinner and dance.

Apologies are expressed to any who were present and whose names have been by chance omitted from the above list.