This volume of the 'The Durnovarian' has been a long time coming, and we regret the tardiness of the contributors, the inertia of secretaries, and the changes of mind that have caused its frequent postponement. In future the magazine will be published at the end of the Lent Term, with or without contributions, to use an Irishism. Let club secretaries and those who preside over 'activities' take notice; it will be vain to bewail the absence of notes on the Sewing Circle or the Lacrosse Ciub. Not indeed that, if we are to speak the truth, the journal seems to have been very much missed. Angry throngs have not importuned members of the Editorial Committee, saying, "We want our Durnovarian!" No urgent or anxious enquirers have sought reasons for our long silence. On the contrary, there are times when we feel that most people would attach the Magazine to the Mikado's long list of "things that never would be missed".
But then again, such are the paradoxes of human nature, when this Magazine actually does appear, many will scan it eagerly to see how often their names are mentioned. Gentle reader, do not criticize the Editorial Committee too harshly if your name does not appear often enough, or even if it is omitted—'horresco referens'—altogether. Rather, judge the Editorial Committee kindly, and consider that you have here as complete a review of the School's activities over the past academic year as it is possible to provide. Achievements academic, artistic, dramatic, musical, intellectual, athletic and military are here chronicled. Arrivals and departures are saluted. The Old Boys have joined in.
One of the most important activities of the year has been the launching of the Quater-centenary Appeal Fund. This is making good progress and £25,000 has already been raised or guaranteed of the Governors' first objective of £27,000. The general plans have been approved, and the detailed plans of the first phase of the rebuilding are awaiting inclusion in the Department of Education and Science's Building Plan.
Much of the money mentioned above has been contributed by Parents, and we have much reason to thank them for another kind of financial aid, that provided by Parents' Association. The generosity of this excellent body has contributed greatly to the success of many of our activities and in the past year alone we have been given £200, which has been spent on the Sailing Club, instruments for the C.C.F. Band, a 'Go-Kart' for Wollaston, an all-weather practice wicket for Wollaston, and a sight screen for the cricket field.
The sight screen is a particularly welcome piece of equipment and adds a touch of grace and appropriateness to the School Field. This, under the untiring care of Mr. Wilson, has looked exceedingly well during the past two years. All games players have cause to be grateful to him for the quality of the work that he has put in since coming here five years ago. We are glad that he now has an assistant, Mr. Johnson, whom we welcome and whose stay will, we hope, be long and happy.
The Commemoration Service was conducted in a crowded St. George's Church by the Vicar, Canon E. B. Brooks.
The address was given by the Archdeacon of Dorset, the Ven. E.L. Seager.
In the afternoon the whole school, as well as many parents, packed into the Plaza Cinema for the first-ever combined speech day.
The Headmaster's Report was largely comprised of an outspoken and stirring appeal for the retention of the grammar school. He stated that in the election year education had become a major political issue. There had been considerable speculation about the future of grammar schools, and much talk of reorganisation upon more up-to-date lines. But, because most teachers were too busy either to read or answer the astonishing volume of contradictory opinion that appeared in the Press, there was a grave danger of the case for the established order going by default; that being so, he hoped that he would be forgiven for giving "an occasional toot on our antiquated and outmoded trumpet".
The Headmaster claimed that "the proof of the academic pudding was in the eating". He brought forward ample proof of this "academic pudding" provided by the grammar school in the fact that five former pupils had gained 1st Class Honours degrees at universities in that year. This was something "of which we can be justifiably proud". In addition, twenty-four boys had won places at colleges and universities, and eight had gained entry into the Service Colleges.
"I think it is reasonable to suggest that this particular year we had a fair share of the pudding, and that it was at least cooked with a certain amount of care," he added.
He was encouraged to see that many senior boys volunteered to give practical help in Social Service with the aged and infirm. This showed that the rising generation had its idealism and sense of chivalry.
"The school offers a wide range of activity, and it is reasonabie to claim that despite our imperfections and shortcomings, there is life in the old dog yet, and it is not infrequently to be seen wagging its tail," he said.
He concluded with tributes to the staff, referring especially to the retirement of Mr. S.A. Fox after thirty-five years as senior mathematics master, and the tragic death of Mr. Eric Morris, whom he described as "one of the most dynamic and exciting personalities that any school can have been privileged to experience".
Sir David Willliams, Chairman of the Governors, joined with the Headmaster in wishing Mr. Fox health and happiness in his retirement.
Capt. M. E. R. Lumby, Captain Superintendent of the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment, Portland, presented the prizes.
"Nowadays," he said. "it is considered very old-fashioned to be proud of anything. But this is just rubbish, and if you think that, the sooner you forget it, the better. You should be proud of your school after you have left." He concluded by telling the boys that, in his opinion, the groundwork for any success they might have in the future was laid there, as well as in the home.
The head boy. S.A. Merlin, proposed a vote of thanks.
Summer Camp, 1964: A very enjoyable camp was held at Stalbridge last summer by Mr. Sochon and Mr. David Hares, who kindly acted as Quartermaster. Canoeing and a rope-crossing added to the general enjoyment of the boys, who were very fortunate in having good weather until the last day.
Spring Cruise, 1965: A party of nine boys accompanied by Mr. Lee, flew from Gatwick to Venice, where they joined M.S. Dunera. Their first port of call was Itea, for a visit to Delphi. From there they went to Naples and visited the famous ruins of Pompeii. On to Cagliari in Sardinia, Gibraltar, and Vigo in northern Spain. Apart from a Force 10 gale in the Bay of Biscay, the weather was warm and sunny, in contrast to the icy blasts that the British Isles were experiencing at the time.