Dicker: House Formal Dinner Celebrates Unsung Heroes
It was recently the turn of the boys and tutors of Dicker House - along with several special guests - to assemble for the annual Evensong and Formal Dinner.
This year's theme was 'Unsung Heroes', as we were asked to reflect on those whose contributions to our well-being are so significant yet go largely unheralded.
As they are every week in chapel, the boys were immaculate in both presentation and behaviour as they listened to Reverend Buckler and a number of their peers, including Tom McGovern and Max Campbell, give assured and thought-provoking readings.
The musical performances were also of a wonderfully high standard: we have grown accustomed to Archie Taylor's exceptional playing and it is hardly a shock that a Liebenberg (Jacob this time) knows his way round a piano either, but it was such a treat to hear Ashley Meffen's violin and Alex Broadley's maturing tenor voice.
The meal itself lived up to the occasion. Admittedly chicken wings and assorted Chinese nibbles are never going to be unpopular with teenage boys, but all were impressed with their mains - especially the sticky toffee pudding that rounded things off.
After the food it was all about the speeches: firstly Mr Hibbert held the room superbly as he discussed his time in charge of the UK team at the 2013 University Games in Kazan, Russia, and the way he dealt with the lows of medical emergencies and terrorism threats along with the highs of medals and personal bests. It was fascinating stuff and the school is clearly fortunate to have someone of his experience and expertise as Director of Sport.
Head of House and Bede's Student Hero Ed Cudlipp closed the evening magnificently. Speaking, it seemed, with very few notes he addressed us from the heart as he paid tribute to a number of unsung heroes of the House.
It was refreshing to hear someone whose own academic standards and ambitions are so high acknowledge that exam results tell only a small part of an individual's story.
The likes of Ed King, for his ambition to join the Marines, and Jake Simmons, who helps care for his siblings, were rightly recognised.
Ed perfectly captured the mood of pride and unity in the House and his speech was warmly appreciated.
Huge thanks must go to Mrs Vincent for helping with the superb room design, to the catering staff, the waitresses of Crossways House, and of course to Mr Mpandawana and Mr Mills for the work they do for Dicker House, not just on occasions like these but throughout the year.