The weather was kind on Saturday 28th of May and helped set the scene for a memorable Speech Day.

The grounds, always magnificent at this time of year, looked particularly beautiful and Graham Kitley, Head Groundsman deserves particular praise. We were particularly pleased to introduce Dr Joy Odili as the guest speaker for the day. Joy, an Old Verlucian left the School in 1989 and is now a consultant plastic surgeon based at St Georges hospital in London.

The day began with a joyful commemoration service in the Minster Church, with the Vicar of St Denys, Jacques Desrosier's sermon celebrating the virtues of service. He concentrated on the theme of making oneself of use in a society which increasingly ignores the importance of giving something back. We were also treated to excellent performances by the choir led by Director of Music, Caroline Robinson.

The prize giving ceremony commenced with a short address by Sir David Latham, Chairman of Governors, who celebrated the wonderful impact that the documentary School Swap  has had on the School’s profile both locally and nationally. He rightly commended the Headmaster’s energetic and steadfast leadership which has led to the School moving forward in so many ways.

The Headmaster continued the theme of progress in his speech and talked of his pride in Warminster’s authenticity and warmth as a community.  He also paid tribute to Maggie Frost, who, after 36 years of distinguished service, retires to indulge her continued passion for cricket. Both the Headmaster and Chair of Governors highlighted the reconnection with the Old Verlucian community as a feature of the School’s growth and development this year.

We were then entertained with a simply inspirational address by Joy Odili,  whose composed yet warm delivery focused the School’s attention. Having been educated largely in the USA before the decision to send her to Warminster, Joy pointed out that a vital element of the selection of Warminster was that it was one of the few schools in the area that did not smell of manure!  She reminisced about the qualities imparted to her in her time here, the opportunities provided for personal development and reflected on the warmth of the community which she was delighted to see was still a feature of Warminster life. Joy is a marvellous example of a former pupil who although she has been very successful, has lost none of the affability and sense of loyalty that characterises many OVs.

After the distribution of prizes, Head Boy and Head Girl, Max Trusler and Esther Kirrage closed proceedings with articulate, confident and heartfelt tributes to Joy and the teachers who had taught them. It was quite simply a wonderful day.

Graeme McQueen, Head of Development

Minster Church Service

Headmaster's Address

Guest speaker – Joy Odili

Speech Day photographs