The 2019 Ipswich School speech day took place on July 5th on the Henley Road School field. Speeches from Headmaster Nicholas Weaver, Chairman of the Governors and Old Ipswichian, Henry Staunton (1962-1967) and this years guest speaker, scientist, author, BBC Radio 4 presenter and Old Ipswichian Dr Adam Rutherford (1982-1993).
Recent political events both at home and abroad have seen manners and compassion be challenged by hostility and cruelty, so it seemed appropriate that all speeches talked to the importance of kindness as a positive trait to nurture.
Chairman of Governors, Henry Staunton opened proceedings reminding the audience of sacrifices made in the two World Wars and looked back to the Remembrance Doves art installation which had enthralled visitors in November 2018. He also retold the story of OI Philip Pells who fell in Caen, days after D-Day. He concluded his speech with the words of Audrey Hepburn: “People are blessed with two hands - one to help themselves and one to help others.”
Headmaster Nicholas Weaver spoke about the positive relationships which underpin life at Ipswich School. Using the words of Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp: “Each person here is responsible for the wonderful year we have had,'' Mr Weaver highlighted that these are the words that encapsulate Ipswich School and reminded attendees that they are responsible for successful relationships in every room they enter.
Guest speaker, OI Dr Adam Rutherford, entertained the audience of pupils, parents, staff and invited guests with confessions from his school career. Dr Rutherford shared nine points which he felt people should consider to make the most of the opportunities in their lives. The importance of making a difference, making the most of new technology and being aware of the privileged position of being an Ipswich School pupil were among them. He also advised students to: “Fail better. Get good at failing but learn from your mistakes. Don’t make the same ones over and over again.” Dr Rutherford concluded his speech simply with the words: “Just be kind”.
After Prize Giving, members of the Upper 6th attended their Leavers Chapel Service, arriving as Ipswichians, and leaving as OIs. Club Chairman, Sally Webber, presented each with their Club badge, and information of upcoming Club events. All then retired to the marquee on School field for a champagne reception, sponsored by the Club.