On January 18, 2012, Warwick Academy commemorated the start of its 350th Anniversary year with an Opening Ceremony in morning assembly and the planting of a Bermuda cedar tree on the school grounds.
The celebrations continued in the evening with a reception in the Old Quadrangle for alumni, parents and invited guests.
The theme of Warwick Academy’s anniversary year is ‘Generations of Excellence’, and this was touched upon in the Anniversary Address given by principal Maggie McCorkell, Dr Jack Patton, former chairman of the Board of Governors, and Angela Berry, current chair.
Here are some of the highlights of the speeches of that day.
Maggie McCorkell, Principal
“Honoured guests, Warwick alumni, ladies and gentlemen, it is my very great pleasure to welcome you to this momentous celebration in the life of our historic school.
“Today we officially launch a year of activities and festivities and look forward to many more years of success and happiness for all members of our Warwick Academy family.”
Mrs McCorkell said: “Our theme for this, our birthday year, is ‘Generations of Excellence’, and I am delighted to see that we have more than adequate examples of this right here in this hall this evening.
“You will be interested to hear that our oldest alumni, that we know of, is Mr Rusty Hutchings. He was born in 1917 and came to Warwick when he was seven, in 1924.”
She said: “This evening we are also honoured to recognize by name, all our alumni present this evening who are 80 years old this year and older.”
Those present were Jack Osborne, Sydney Corbett, John Faries, Allan Kuhn, Ronald Lightbourn, Sarah Pitman, Colin Plant, Charles Rosa, William Thomson, Carolyn Boatman, Leo and Katherine Custodio, Kames Kempe, Walter Sharpe.
Also present at the assembly was the school’s youngest student Luke Foster, five-year-old son of artist Graham Foster.
After the assembly Luke and Jack Osborne, 91, planted a Bermuda cedar tree in the school grounds.
They also helped Mrs McCorkell and Angela Berry, chair of the Board of Governors, to cut the first slice of the birthday cake.
Later this year there are also plans to bury a time capsule on the school grounds.
“You will also be interested to hear that the Warwick Academy Alumni Association has decided as part of their 350th year project to redo the front of the school,” Mrs McCorkell told those present at the Opening Ceremony.
“To assist with this they will be selling commemorative bricks, which can be engraved in memory or in honour with any name you wish.”
350th Anniversary memorabilia will also be on sale throughout the year.
Dr Jack Patton, former chairman of Board of Governors
“Today we sit in a place of learning where over 350 years some remarkable people, whose collective character, foresight and energy, have made Warwick Academy a grand old school of good repute.
“I am grateful for the privilege of being asked to address some aspect of the theme, ‘Generations of Excellence’.
“I have chosen to say something about a selected few of those Men of Excellence who have guided this school until the early part of the last century.
“These are men whose names are remembered over the generations and whose deeds live on.”
Dr Patton told the stories of the five men: Robert Rich, the 2nd Earl of Warwick (1587-1658); Dr Robert Hunter; Hugh Houston; R.C. Robertson; and James Morgan.
“So here we have five Men of Excellence. Two great benefactors: Robert Rich and James Morgan; and three outstanding headmasters: Hunter, Houston and Robertson.
“Their contributions to Warwick Academy, though scattered over many generations, are noble and enduring. We salute in absentia these splendid men. Were it not for their actions, we might not be here.
“Auditor si monumentum requiris circumspice. Audience, if you require a monument, look around you. This school is their monument.”
Angela Berry, chair of Board of Governors
“As one of the oldest schools in the western hemisphere, Warwick Academy’s heritage is almost conterminous (within the same scope) with that of Bermuda itself.
“The school has, for 350 years, provided generations of students with a quality educational experience.”
She said: “The Warwick Academy family has been blessed to have had, and continues to have, outstanding leadership in our teachers, management teams, heads of school and our Boards of Governors...
“We would not be here celebrating today were it not for efforts of our devoted faculty, exceptional management team, generous donors and committed alumni, parents, family and friends.
“We are all a part of the fabric of Warwick Academy’s history, and have the phenomenal opportunity to continue to build upon and pass on its great legacy.”