Tuesday, 14 October 2014

School's speech day next week

I had received this invitation through the post yesterday, an invitation to attend the Founder's Day or Speech Day of my alma mater, the Penang Free School, on 21 October 2014. That's on Tuesday week.

It is not everyone that receives this annual invitation and so, I do feel rather chuffed that someone at the school still thinks enough of me not to erase my name from their invitation list. :-)

But I am still in two minds thinking of whether or not I should be attending this year. Maybe I should. 

The only problem is that I will have to wake up at a pretty unearthly hour -- four-thirty in the morning, in fact -- if I also want to go to the Protestant cemetery for the annual service to honour the school's founder, Revd Robert Sparke Hutchings. This solemn ceremony is actually a semi-private affair which is attended by the representatives from the Penang Free School and Hutchings School but there is no stopping anyone from joining them at the founder's graveside at six o'clock. For me, I just go there on my own accord, in my personal capacity.

It is a pity that apart from me, no other Old Free think this occasion is significant enough to warrant their presence at Hutchings' grave. However, with the school's bicentenary coming up in two years' time, perhaps more attention should be paid to the time-honoured school traditions like this one. After all, if not for Hutchings, there would be no Free School.

Last year's service at Hutchings' grave here.

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