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UT SINT UNUM - THAT WE MAY BE ONE

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A few memories from my middle school which I attended in the late seventies ahead of the closure of the school site in a few weeks 

It’s not just bricks and mortar Nor a distant memory But the ground roots of our livelihood And our future destiny. As this place prepares to close When the final bell will sound To mark the end of education On these few acres of ground So as the winds of change Whistle down St Andrews Street Time to take a look behind Before it beats the last retreat.... To days when health and safety Had not bound us up in rules When “clackers”, “chinas”, “conkers” Were all the rage in schools. Chocolate crunch with strawberry custard Was “ haute cuisine” at dinners And monitors patrolled the room Catching non-veg eating sinners ! Then there were school productions That often caused a rumpus I was told I didn’t look fierce enough As a pirate in Columbus It’s where I learnt the facts of life Red faced at every showing We gathered in the dining hall To watch “living and growing”. Girls in groups around the field Playing games with white elastic Or spinning tubes around their heads Making noises quite fantastic And on those heady summer days In the shade of orchard trees, I’d have my packed lunch and my drink Smelling hops upon the breeze. Groups of boys in mass migration, Was quite a common sight , Swarming like bees round honey To the battle cry of “fight!” “Top cat” was on the telly And so was “ Hong Kong Fooey” We all brought board games into school On the feast day of St Louis Queuing up in tennis courts Then marching to assembly, I doubt they had such crowd control For the FA cup at Wembley. The changing rooms down by the pool Were not far from the gym, Where ropes and box and benches Were designed to do you in. Bassets sherbet from the tuck shop A treat beyond belief Matched only by the popping Of “space rocks” on your teeth So when the corridors are empty And the babbling voices still, Theses echoes and these memories Shall future musings fill ..... For it’s not just bricks and mortar Not just a place to swat and cram It’s where the building blocks of selfhood Turn the boy into a man.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2019




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