Talbot Heath celebrated 130 years in education on Friday 29th April which began with a special morning assembly led by Angharad Holloway. The traditional procession of the lighted TH birthday cake down the aisle was accompanied by an enthusiastic delivery of ‘Happy Birthday', and swiftly followed by a dramatic exit of two members of staff on bicycles.
To mark the significant landmark in the school’s history was the recently launched iPledge 130 (where members of the TH community come together to take part in a personal challenge) and cycling 130kms on the birthday itself were Mrs Chapleo and Mrs McDonald. They began their challenge by riding down the aisle of the main hall, and they successfully completed the cycle by the afternoon. They have been fundraising to support Dufatanye Nyanza, a farming cooperative in Rwanda which supports children and families affected by HIV Aids, by providing them with healthy food, housing and a means of supporting themselves through the sale of the cooperative’s produce at market. Talbot Heath’s involvement in this charity comes about through Godfrey Kalema, a teacher at TH’s partner school, College St Emmanuel.
In her address to the school Mrs Holloway spoke to pupils, governors, and former and current staff about how relevant the iPledge 130 was, by focusing on the school motto ‘Honour before Honours’. She said it was a ‘fitting tribute to the founder, Miss Mary Broad, who believed in the importance of a holistic education based on Christian principles.’ The school’s motto reflects the value she placed on integrity and thinking of others before oneself, adding ‘Miss Broad would have certainly approved of the iPledge 130 and the principles behind it.’
The Upper Sixth remained for the formal birthday lunch with staff, where retiring Head of the Junior school, Mrs Karen Leahy (having served at the school for 29 years) gave a reflective and thoughtful speech to the leavers. She observed that the strong moral values of Talbot Heath remained the same, despite the many obvious material changes to the school over the last three decades.
Thanks go to the catering team for the delicious birthday meal and best wishes go to all of the sixth form as they begin study leave in four weeks’ time. Thanks also go to those who have supported the 130 fundraising and for making it a truly worthwhile and memorable landmark for the school and for the lives of others.
The school is hoping to raise 2,000,000 Rwandan Francs (in the region of £2000) to buy equipment to support the co-operative, as the members need bicycles to transport their banana crop to market, as well as a grass cutting machine to produce fodder for their cattle (currently this is an extremely labour intensive task, done by hand with machetes.) So far the raffle alone has exceeded the £2000 mark, and with the collective sponsorship for the various iPledge 130 activities the school are optimistic of doubling their desired target.