Dorms: Henri Delivers Knockout Formal Speech


Boys’ boarding house Dorms recently held their House Formal Dinner, at which Head of House Henri Raev delivered a knockout speech!

Aside from the speeches, the evening saw the boys come together in a twilight Evensong in the School Chapel before enjoying a three-course formal dinner in the Recital Room.

After dinner, speeches were given by Housemaster Mr Juniper and Henri before a game of Dorms staple ‘Heads of Tails’ which, as always, went down a treat.


Mr Juniper said of the evening, “Dorms is a brilliant community – a family that brings together young men from all over the world and helps them achieve the very best in their time at School.

"I speak for all of the Dorms House tutors when I say we are extremely proud of the boys and wish them the very best in all their endeavors.”


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The Keynote Speech from Head of House Henri Raev


Tonight is a particular honor, because - let’s face it - my presence is here pretty unlikely.

My father was born and raised in a small town in Bulgaria. He grew up herding goats and cows, he went to school and dreamed of becoming a football player. His mother – my grandmother – was a tailor, a simple tailor who had big dreams for her son, and even bigger dreams for her grandson.

Even in her craziest dreams, my mum couldn’t have imagined me standing here, talking to you guys.

Dorms House contains people from every corner of this Earth; China, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Bermuda - you name it. We need to open our eyes and realise how lucky we are to stand here together.  

Tonight, we gather to affirm the unity of our House - not because of its size, or its new fancy furniture, or its big shiny common room. No, our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up by this very evening, and every day, hour or minute that passes in Dorms.


I want you to take a good look of the person sitting next to you. Some of you are smiling. Well as you can see we are all different, except the twins, but alongside being separate individuals, there is another ingredient in the Dorms saga, a belief that we are all connected as one people.

If there is a Lower Fifth student amongst us who is suffering some personal trauma, that matters to me and I know it matters to you.

If there is a little First Year being having a hard time, I know that matters to me and you.

It is that fundamental belief, that I am my brother’s keeper, which makes this House such a special place.

No matter how badly we might do in a House Sports competition or House Music one year, we are still better all the other boarding houses put together.

This fundamental value of ours allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one Dorms family.

E pluribus Unum: "Out of many, one."

What I have noticed for my 3 years here is that there is no Asian Dorms clique, or a Russian Dorms clique, or a Bulgarian Dorms clique; there is a united Dorms, and I believe that is beautiful enough on its own.


I’ve seen best friends leave and new ones arrive, I’ve seen people break down and fall and I have done so myself, but there is always someone to pick you back up, someone to put their hand around you and say ‘You have got this!.’

Hope. Comfort. Brotherhood. Brotherhood in the face of difficulty, brotherhood in the face of uncertainty. This is what Dorms means to me.

I stand here today grateful for the diversity and unity of our House, and I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger story.

My final message to you is, start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Do what you can to make this House a better place.

Why? Because in doing so you are aiding not only yourself but generations to come.

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.  

Thank you very much everybody.


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