Stonyhurst Great Academies 2018

What a fantastic showcase Stonyhurst's students and staff put together for Great Academies this year! The day of celebration took place on 26th May and it was an event full packed of wonderful moments.

As always, the Mass was poignant and emotional, particularly for the Rhetoricians and their families. The Rhetoric boys raised the roof at the end of Mass with a sterling singing performance, which was praised by Fr Provincial Damian Howard SJ.

This year the musical concert took place in St Peter’s, with the grand surroundings befitting of the very high standard of musical talent displayed by all who performed. A combination of orchestral performances, the choir, smaller ensembles and solo performances delivered a spectacular concert to a packed out church.

The Stonyhurst Union (the Rhetoric debating club) has been particularly active this year, and as well as traditional debates they have worked hard at the art of the Moot. A moot is a mock criminal trial. In a closely fought moot during Great Academies, Ed Harris was found not guilty of possession of an illegal drug with intent to supply, and was acquitted and released by Judge Nico Mariscal at the end of the trial. It was nearly a hung jury, but the vote was ultimately in favour of the defendant, much to his relief.

The moot was followed by a debate on the motion: “This House Believes that Stonyhurst should Move to the South.” With current Stonyhurst developments in Penang already keeping him busy, the headmaster will no doubt have been delighted that this motion was defeated by a significant majority.

The Combined Cadet Force demonstrations were impressive to watch, and parents were given the opportunity to find out more about the CCF throughout the day.

The performing arts students delivered a great and entertaining programme, including stunning dance performances and a dramatic production of The Tempest.

As always, the Prize Giving was very moving as students were rewarded for their efforts throughout the year. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Heads of Line Nico Mariscal and Millie Laking delivered heartfelt and emotive speeches, with a little humour thrown in for good measure!

This year saw a special award presented to John Cowdall by Fr Provincial – the St Edmond Campion Medal is awarded to individuals whose life and activities have outstandingly exemplified the service of faith and promotion of justice – ideals championed by St Edmond Campion and embedded into the Jesuit philosophy of education.

Congratulations to John Cowdall, and what an honour for Stonyhurst to have been such a significant part of his journey as he steps down from the role of Chairman of Governors, which he has held for the past ten years.

This article was first published on Stonyhurst's website.

Read more about the Campion Medal.