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01.10.2020

The High School Dublin Celebrates 150th Anniversary

The High School Dublin Celebrates 150th Anniversary
A screenshot of the service from St Patrick’s Cathedral.

The community of The High School, Dublin, is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its foundation today (October 1 2020). A range of events took place in the school earlier in the day and this evening a service of Choral Evensong was broadcast to the whole school community.

Recorded in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Archbishop Michael Jackson presided and preached in the presence of the Chapter of the cathedral. The music was directed by the Organist and Master of the Choristers, Stuart Nicholson and sung by the Lay Vicars Choral.

Viewers were welcomed by the Principal Andrew Forrest who was delighted to be able to welcome the whole school community to mark the milestone occasion in their shared history. He noted that it was exactly 150 years since The High School was officially established by the Governors of the Schools Founded by Erasmus Smith, Esquire on 1st October 1870. 

In his sermon the Archbishop said it was an honour to preach on such a historic day. The school motto ‘We are faithful to our trust …’ was an invitation to belong given to all who became members of The High School, he said. “It sets everyone, individually and together, irrespective of race or religion, creed or culture, in a tradition, a handing on, of everything that has happened in years past. It also commits everyone to a tradition, a handing on, of everything that will happen in the future. The point of connection is all the pupils and all the staff of today, the pivot on which our history swivels,” he added.

Drawing on the reading [1 Kings 3: 5–15] the Archbishop examined the Lord’s exploration of the value system of the young King Solomon – listening, justice and goodness – qualities that were needed to become a civic and military leader. He suggested that the story of King Solomon remained relevant today.

“First, I’d suggest he was in and around the age of many of today’s pupils of The High School. King Solomon ascended the throne aged fifteen. Think of that for a Transition Year project! Today, as we look out on the world, there is no escaping the reality that maturity is forced on the young at an earlier and earlier age. Secondly, the interaction of high ideals, instinctive justice and emotional intelligence is pivotal to education today as it was in the days of King Solomon. And thirdly, priorities of thinking of our neighbour before we grab again and again for ourselves are essential to making the world go round fairly and justly and to prevent it from staggering to an environmental halt,” he said.

The High School had endured strains and tensions, hardships and complexities but also successes and glories, achievements and breaking new ground, the Archbishop said. It’s pupils, present and past, were its lifeblood. “Solomon may not stalk the corridors in Harcourt Street or in Danum, but the wisdom of Solomon defined as listening and learning in order to equip him to lead and to serve justly is worth reflecting on as today we celebrate one hundred and fifty years of being faithful to our trust …,” he concluded.

You can read the full text of the Archbishop’s sermon here.

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