Haileyburiana is a miscellany of things I got up to as President of the Haileybury Society in 2010 - 2011 and random musings on things to do with Haileybury. Whether you are an OH, a current pupil or parent, a teacher or other friend of the school I hope you will find something interesting here. The blog is no longer regularly updated, but there may still be occasional posts.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Last Post

The AGM is over and Chris Darnell (M 1965) has been duly elected as President and the medal handed over. He will be a great President for the school's 150th anniversary and we all wish him well. Meanwhile hearty congratulations are due also to Catherine MacLeod-Smith (Alb & L 1979), who has become the Chairman of the Trustees of the Society, the first woman to hold this office, as she was the first woman President. The President Elect for 2013 is Jane Everard (Alb & L 1976). Joe Davis, the Master, was elected an honorary member of the Society, as was Paul Wilkinson, the Bursar. Both have been great supporters.

This will be the last regular post on the blog now that the Presidency has been handed on. I hope you have enjoyed the miscellany of things. There are some posts which never quite made it, and I still have ideas, but 301 posts (including this one) in sixteen months has been quite busy. Of course the quality has been variable, and sometimes just a picture has had to do. The original idea was to post once a month or so, but I got enthusiastic and it has been much more than that. Sometimes I have had time to post daily, whereas over last summer the rate dropped down to less than once a week for a while.

Readers have come from all the continents except Antarctica, and at the time of writing there have been just under 25,000 page views. The busiest month was February 2011 with 1,645 page views from 1,020 unique visitors. People have stayed on the site too. At any one time according to the tracking software about 15% of my readers stay on the blog for more than 20 minutes, which is a long time for a website.

My family will be pleased that will not be forever taking pictures of Haileybury related things to put up on the blog. I have a set of pictures which did not get used for a series on 'nooks and crannies,' which was rather scorned by a friend who, seeing a photo of the urinal at the back of the pavilion on Lower Pavilion on my phone wondered whether people really want posts on 'places where I urinated when I was a teenager.'

Thank you all for reading. I shall leave the blog on the internet, and you can use the links on the right of the page to read the old posts. I am investigating how to make Haileyburiana available as a book using Print on Demand and will put up a notice if that can be done.

Finally, the Master said in his address to the AGM that in the 150th year he would ask the Director of Music to teach the school the Vivat, which has not, I think been sung at Haileybury for 20 years (the hymn Lift up Your Hearts, having largley taken its place). Here is an attempt at a Sesquicentennial verse:

Now we've been here thrice fifty years
Vivat Haileyburia!
Living out our hopes and fears
Vivat Haileyburia!
Girls have come to join the boys,
In other lands they share our joys,
And still this song our tongue employs
Vivat Haileyburia!

I fear it is not as good as AG Butler's original:

Then close your ranks and lift your song!
Vivat Haileyburia!
That life is short, but love is long;
Vivat Haileyburia!
And all through life, where'er we be
School of our hearts, we'll think of thee
And drink the toast with three times three
Vivat Haileyburia!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Handing Over

The AGM is later this morning and Chris Darnell (M 1965) will take over as President. For the last few years the AGM has included a ceremony, the handing on of the President's medal.

The medal was made by James Thompson (C 1953) when he was President in 2007, the Society's fiftieth year. The obverse of the medal shows the family tree of the alumni societies which came together to form the Haileybury Society.

I have worn the medal a lot as I seldom wear a tie. The Dean of S Paul's gave me permission to wear it during the liturgy for my installation as a Canon of the Cathedral last January.

It has been a huge honour to be the President of the Society and to wear the medal. I wish Chris great blessings in his year.

Friday, November 11, 2011


The ninety third Armistice Day. Last Sunday we went off to church in Frankfurt. The Alter S Nikolaus Kirche in the Lutheran town centre parish had a service at 1115 which seemed like a good time to those who were having a weekend off. We were in for a bit of a surprise as the service took the form of hymns and prayers surrounding a talk and a discussion. The parish calls this sort of service a Gesprachsgottesdienst - 'a conversation-liturgy' and was in many ways what we would think of as a Christian study group. It was a bit of a challenge for our German language skills!

Frankfurt Old Town before WW2

The talk was given by a visitor from a charity called Zeichen der Hoffnung which works in Germany to foster better relations and understanding between Poles and Germans, healing the wounds which remain after the Second World War. The work began in a practical way, sending money and help to survivors of outrages, but now it seeks to work to foster good relations and understanding.

The discussion in church was in many ways courageous, raising issues of reconciliation in the light of the siting of concentration camps in Poland and the other horrors of the war.

In the small group present the four of us from England were noticeable, and the Pastor was kind to translate for us some of what was going on. Frankfurt was the subject of a massive raid by the RAF on March 22nd 1944 which destroyed the medieval old town and in which over 1,000 people died.

Wartime destruction

Sitting in a church which had, along with many other medieval buildings been subsequently restored or rebuilt, one was acutely thankful for the work of reconciliation. We prayed together for that to continue also between our countries. Thanks to my teachers that I was able to respond to the Pastor's graciousness in praying in English with a word of prayer in German. 

How much those who gave their lives for freedom, and suffered so much in the European wars of the last century, would rejoice to think that Haileyburians, German and English, had met over the weekend and celebrated together their common roots in the school and the society, and that things are now so much changed. 

Haileyburians of today continue to play their part in the conflicts of the world. The tragic roll of those who have paid for their commitment with their lives has grown in our time.  Our prayer must be that the conflicts of today will similarly come in the end to the triumph of peace and reconciliation over the forces of hatred and violence.

The Cloister tablets have recently been cleaned and restored
partly with a grant from the Society 

In the first 100 years of Haileybury, ISC and USC, 9% of Old Boys
lost their lives on active service 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Alumni Treffen

The Frankfurt Dinner was a splendid way to spend the last weekend before handing on the baton. Thirty two gathered at the Hotel Intercontinental by the river Main just outside the old city center. It was a young gathering. Four OHs only left the school this August; the oldest German present left Haileybury in 1997.

My German has had thirty years of disuetude, but the company was delightfully generous in speaking in English, and conversations flowed between languages.

The pictures tell the story more than thousands of words.

The General Secretary first thing on Saturday with the OH umbrella which had been specially ordered and had to come in the 'bulky luggage'. He got it safely to the person who had ordered it!

Haileybury Reunion Alumni Treffen
How to say "Old Haileyburian Dinner" in German. The welcome board at the Hotel Intercontinental.

Dinner was a buffet - lots of different things to try and each one beautifully presented. Wine and conversation flowed.

The function room was high up on the top floor of the hotel and had a balcony from which were stunning views over the city. My camera was not up to a picture to do justice to what could be seen. Frankfurt is a delightful mixture of old and new, Medieval and Modern.

Homeward bound on Sunday. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interim Report

The last couple of days have been wall to wall and no time until now even for a brief post. Germany was wonderful and I shall report properly either late tonight or in the morning. Frankfurt was bathed in Autumn sunshine.

View of the Main from the hotel window

Friday, November 4, 2011

Travelling Tomorrow

I have not been to Frankfurt before, but tomorrow we are off to the OH German Dinner there, the last engagement before the AGM and the end of my year as President. It seems extraordinary that the time should have flown past already. We are due back late on Sunday and I may or may not manage to report on the events of the weekend before then.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Remember Remember the 12th of November

The notices for the AGM have been dispatched and members will have had their Haileybury Society News for a little while. It is beautifully produced, and thanks to those who do a lot of work to get to all together and sent off. I have just found my booking form under a pile of things on my desk. I expect they know I am coming, but don't forget to send yours.