Remembering our founders

Pupils, staff and guests joined Rector Mr Colin Gambles at Glasgow Cathedral to celebrate the School's Founders' Day yesterday.

The annual remembrance service marked Mr Gambles’ first Founders’ Day and he was delighted to welcome former pupil Lady Ailsa Carmichael who gave a fascinating Commemoration Address.

The P7 pupils were the first to arrive for the ceremony and they sat quietly in awe of their surroundings as the waited for the service to start.

The Cathedral’s pews filled quickly with S4-6 pupils and staff, both past and present, before Reverend Whitely welcomed the guests and spoke of the special bond between the School and the Cathedral.

Mr Gambles 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.


He finished by saying ‘to honour the Founders, may we in our generation, have the grace and wisdom to use all that we receive at Hutchesons’ for the greater benefit of others in the city, in our country and in the wider world’.

Prayers of commemoration and thanksgiving followed before the impressive vocal talent of the Senior Choir filled the large Cathedral Hall as they performed 'There’s a wideness in God’s mercy’.

Lady Carmichael (C1987), who was appointed as a Senator of the College of Justice last year, spoke about the value of dissent and the importance of using language as she delivered the Commemoration Address.

She said: “As you go along in your lives, whatever you end up doing, you may find yourself asking why a particular rule or convention is the way that it is. You will ask yourself, “Is it right that it is the way that it is?”

“Maybe something has to change. Maybe you need to say or do something, whether in a small matter, or a very important one. Maybe that involves dissenting from the majority of other people. Nothing changes, least of all the law, if no-one ever recognises that it needs to, and does something about it.”

She highlighted the importance words play in the legal world and how her time at Hutchesons’ prepared her well for her chosen profession.


Lady Carmichael said: “In making the law the correct words must be chosen. In interpreting the law, the importance of precision in analysing those chosen words is inestimable. And in arguing for change, as well, the use of language is of the first importance.

“Hutchie taught me to articulate what I thought, and to present arguments on one side or another of a debate. I am not a natural public speaker, but I knew I wanted to be able to try to persuade people as to things I felt strongly about.Mrs Logan gave up her lunchtimes to help me and many others learn to debate – to try to make persuasive oral arguments.

“In learning other languages I think I gained some additional insight into the nuances, the shades of meaning, in my own. For me, at Hutchie, those languages were French, Latin and Greek.”

Lady Carmichael paid tribute to the School’s founders George and Thomas Hutcheson, both of whom were lawyers as well as successful businessmen. She said: “I am sure each of them appreciated the importance of precise language in his own work and I hope that they both might look approvingly on what I have said to you today.”

She finished her address by speaking directly to the pupils gathered in the Cathedral. She told them: “I hope you dissent whenever you conscientiously know you should, and that you do your utmost to persuade when you need to.”

Head Boy Callum Young and Head Girl Keziah Abbotts read confidently before Reverend Whitley brought the service to an end.

More photographs from Founders' Day can be found here.

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