Founders’ Commemoration Day: adapting a historic day

The Founders’ Commemoration Day for Redmaids’ High School looked slightly different this year but the message remained the same. It was a day to stop, to pause, and to be thankful.

Traditionally, every November, students at the oldest girls’ school in the country, stop the traffic as they march through the city centre to Bristol Cathedral. This year, the Year 13 students marched through the school grounds and lay a wreath to commemorate the founders John Whitson, and Reverends T G Rose and Urijah Thomas.

The school then celebrated the core themes of the day with a service streamed to staff, students, parents and alumna from the school site in Westbury-on-Trym. In keeping with previous years, the service paid tribute to the founders, and provided an opportunity for reflection on the school’s long and distinguished history.

In addition, students from both the Junior and Senior Schools were involved in a range of charitable activities, which included writing to people connected with the school, who may have felt isolated in recent months. The girls have also identified seven key charities which they intend to support this year: The Chicuchas Wasi School for Girls in Cusco, Peru, the World Wildlife Fund, the Avon Wildlife Trust, Family Action, the Tiwizi Community Association in Asni, Morocco, Young Minds, Caring in Bristol and Speaking of this important day, in his first year as Head, Mr Dwyer said, “We are naturally disappointed that Founders’ Commemoration Day will not be marked in the way we would hope.

“However, we are very aware of the global picture, and the many, much larger sacrifices being made by people throughout the country and beyond.

“We must count our blessings as a school that we continue to have caring relationships to draw strength from, a site that provides an oasis in the midst of troubled times, and a community that has been forged in history and bound by compassion.”