With a fanfare of trumpets, and other appropriate instruments, we are at last proud to be able to announce the arrival of the "New Look" in the school, as exemplified by the laboratories which are rising from what at the time of our last issue, was a somewhat tatty, end-of-season, rugger-field. We cannot, of course, judge what the total effect will be until the last of the stages of our development plan is at any rate under way, but the impression produced by the labs. is of a sternly functional building in a style known today as "secondary comprehensive". How well time will blend the new building into the existing framework remains to be seen.
In other fields the school has this year scored some notable successes. The sportsmen of the school assure us that this has been the best year ever; only the athletes seem to demur; we will not ask them why. The C.C.F., while not pretending to the splendours of last year's Centenary Inspection, has continued to add in no mean fashion to the life of the school. A dozen of their number have been to Germany with the Royal Air Force, while some have felt the call ot the Services whether as officers or as enlisted men.
The efforts of the Choral and Dramatic Societies have done a great deal to enhance the school's reputation in the area. The production of "Richard II" which Mr. Bax presented in the Easter Term has set the Dramatic Society a very considerable standard beside which future productions will be judged, while the Choral Society, although limited by the choice of a work which did not approach that of their previous efforts, produced some admirable singing in a Concert in St. Peter's. In truth the main work of the evening , "The St. Luke Passion", though pleasant and not entirely without merit, cannot be regarded as in any way comparable to the real Bach which the society gave us two years ago, despite the more experienced singing of which the choir gave it the benefit. The highlight of the evening in fact was a magnificent Hadyn Motet. "Insanae et Vanae Curae", which the choir found much more testing and infinitely more rewarding.
Although not unnaturally it is the senior Societies that take up most of our space, we welcome also the new and venturesome Classical Society, who have organised a trip to Rome in their first year, and all the other official and peripheral societies whose existence helps to make the school what it is. The Chess Club, wandering out into the dark reaches of unexplored Dorset and Somerset, armed with knights and blessed by bishops, the Gramophone Society, the Photographic Society and others, all of them are a healthy augury for the future esprit de corps of the School.
Academically we have had a successful year. One State and over 20 University Places, each with a County Major, have come our way and the 'O' and 'A' level results speak for themselves. We wish all our number now in their first term of University life every success.
To conclude, the School has had a year of reasonable success of which it can be justly proud. It must not, however, let delusions of grandeur creep in, for success is not an inborn natural right, but comes only from hard work. The school would indeed do well to remember the saying attributed to Confucius: "He who rests on his laurels is wearing them in the wrong place."
Old Boys' Day was this year marked by an event of great purport and consequence in the school's history. It was on this day that the foundation stone of the new laboratories was laid with full civic and traditional ceremony. Built at a cost of £40,000, the laboratories mark a notable step forward in the four hundred years' life of the school. Although the structure to be seen was that of a new science block only it was the primary manifestation of an extensive building scheme planned by the governors.
The stone was dedicated by the Revd. L. J. Medway, Rector of Stinsford—himself a governor and Old Boy.
Sir Thomas Salt, chairman of the governors, before presenting General Wood, commented briefly on the new project.
Referring to the many changes and vicissitudes which the school had undergone in the past, Sir Thomas stressed the importance of this latest development and indicated how the occasion marked a new phase in the growth of the school. He told the assembled crowd of some 1,000 old boys, pupils, parents, and friends of the school, that he had no doubt that when all had been accomplished the school would be the pride both of Dorchester and indeed of the whole county. Sir Thomas expressed sympathy with those who had had to tolerate the increasing difficulties of inadequate accommodation.
Having thanked all who were taking part in the 'combined effort' which was bringing the scheme to fruition, he then introduced Maj.-Gen. G. N. Wood, Colonel of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, who had been invited to lay the stone.
Gen. Wood, who had previously inspected a guard of honour representative of the school's C.C.F., said that during his fifty years' association with Dorchester he had watched the school grow in esteem and prestige. He added that it was a vital necessity that the school should continue to be an "enormous asset" to the country and nation. The General ended by enunciating three qualities which Field-Marshal Montgomery had stated were necessary if a young man was to be of use to himself or to anybody else. These were: "be truthful, be enthusiastic, be courageous."
The laying of the foundation stone was hailed with a fanfare by the Alamein Band of the 11th Hussars.
Finally, Mr. Rex Fare, President of the Old Hardyeans, remarked on the great interest the General had shown in the school and added, in similar vein to the previous speech that the ceremony would be a renewal of the school in its present status and called on Old Hardyeans to make their mark in the life of the community and nation as they had done in the past. On behalf of all those present, he wished General Wood, who is due to retire after ten years in his present post, a healthful and happy retirement.
Entertainment was provided during the day by a cricket match in which the school beat the Old Hardyeans by 63 runs with one ball in hand and by a shooting match in which the school beat the parents, closely followed by the Old Hardyeans.