This year’s Commemoration of Benefactors, held on Saturday 25 May, saw over 1000 parents, pupils and friends arrive at Dean Close to celebrate the successes of the year. The day began when the entire School boarded buses headed for the majestic Tewkesbury Abbey to attend a beautiful Service led by The Rev’d Elisabeth Goddard.
As everyone returned to Cheltenham under blue skies, Houses held drinks receptions around the School grounds to welcome families to the event. This was followed by speeches in the marquee from the Head of School, Chair of Council, Headmaster and guest speaker, Priya Lakhani OBE. Katie Humphries started proceedings with a clever and amusing account of her time at Dean Close, using her L plates and lengthy driving lessons as a metaphor for her school days.
The Headmaster’s speech explored the School year, recognising some of the places where learning has taken place and celebrating many examples of success. Finally after handing out prizes with lots of congratulatory chat, Priya stood to give an account of her stunning life story, and her determination and ability to seize every opportunity to do good.
At lunchtime, picnickers set up across the school field with many gathered to watch the traditional cricket fixture of ODs v 1st XI. Alongside this, the Old Decanian Society held a ‘Class of ‘99’ reunion outside the pavilion with over 40 ODs and their families coming together for picnics and fun at their old School.
During the afternoon, visitors enjoyed walking around the highly impressive art exhibition in the BonBernard Gallery, tucking into homemade ice creams in the Cookery School and wandering around the charity fair. This year Mr Salisbury very admirably stepped up to the stocks and got more than a soaking before the day ended ready for half term.