From the Principal - August

In the book ‘To End All Wars’, World War 2 POW Ernest Gordon writes beautifully about the power of the Arts to lift people’s spirits, even in the midst of a Concentration Camp.

Set against the most abhorrent conditions, as the inmates struggled on the infamous Railway of Death project, Gordon describes an evening concert where hope is raised and spirits soar.

“As the curtain went up, there was nothing to be seen but the lotus flower itself on the bare stage. To look at it one would never have dreamed that it was made from discarded rice-sacks and stretched on a bamboo frame skilfully painted with homemade vegetable dyes. The orchestra went into its overture. Slowly the lotus flower opened its petals. A lissom figure dressed from head to toe in black soared out and began to dance. The shadow swept around the stage in a succession of graceful arabesques. My comrades were following with rapt attention, interpreting every movement, each in his own way. By their sheer beauty, the symbolic movements and gestures reached into our minds and hearts to call forth memories and aspirations we had all but forgotten. Delicately, the dancer painted for us a picture of hope. ‘Yes, life is good,’ he seemed to be saying with his body. ‘Look at the beauty all around us. See it in the flower of which I am a part, in the sunlight which opens the petals and the breeze which moves me. I dance because I am a part of that beauty and because I am thankful for the mystery that is life.’ He floated back into the flower, and the petals closed about him. The orchestra faded gently out.”

As we have begun to move into the Centre for Innovation and Creativity this week, join with me in praying that our students’ lives will be permeated with hope and that their spirits, passions and talents will find a new home in which to flourish.