Founders' Day

Pupils, staff and guests joined Rector Dr Greig at Glasgow Cathedral to celebrate the School's Founders' Day last Wednesday - and this year's remembrance service was of special importance to Dr Greig as it was his final one as Rector of Hutchesons'.

The Cathedral pews filled quickly and the P7 pupils, many of whom were visiting the Cathedral for the first time, sat quietly in awe of their surroundings as they waited for the service to start.

Reverend Whitely welcomed the guests and spoke of the 'special bond between the School and the Cathedral' which he said was 'precious to us at the Cathedral'.

Dr Greig then spoke about the school's founders George and Thomas Hutcheson, describing them as 'prominent men in legal, financial and civic life in Glasgow in the 17th Century' before delivering some key historical facts about the creation of the School.

Prayers of commemoration and thanksgiving followed before the impressive vocal talent of the Senior Choir filled the large Cathedral Hall as they performed 'This is the day'.

This year's commemoration address was given by Professor Robert Crawford, MA DPhil FRSE FBA, C1977 who gave a passionate speech, injected with humour, about his time at Hutchesons'. Referring to himself as 'some old duffer in a suit' he very quickly grabbed the pupils' attention with a story about making a flock of near life-sized cardboard sheep which mysteriously appeared on the rugby pitch.

Continuing with a humorous theme, the Professor of Modern Scottish Literature and Bishop Wardlaw went on to describe the English teacher he revered the most as a stern man who 'looked a bit like a small upright walrus, if you can imagine a walrus who wore a black academic gown'.

He added that he suspected that because his favourite English teacher's taste was for Burns and Wordsworth, he avoided the former and gravitated towards T.S. Eliot. Indeed, he has now published the first volume of his two-volume biography of T. S. Eliot.

It was clear from Prof Crawford's talk that Glasgow Cathedral was of personal importance to him as he revealed he came to the Cathedral in his early 20s following an argument with his parents.

He said: "I looked round, as you've probably been doing while I've been droning on, and I saw among other things stained glass windows commemorating tradespeople - weavers, maltmen, and lots of others -- of this city, among whose merchants were George and Thomas Hutcheson. What I saw round about me is what you see now: something very old, very eloquent in stone, a story that has lasted."

Head Boy Jack Leslie and Head Girl Jenny Anderson read confidently before Revd Whitley brought the service to an end.

Overall, it was an enlightening, engaging and often humorous service - a perfect farewell Founders' Day for the Rector.

More pictures can be seen at Hutchesons' Flickr


Share this story