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Ealing pupils celebrate Commonwealth Day

Published Thursday 15th of March 2012 12:46:38 PM

Eight pupils from St Benedict�s School, accompanied by English teacher Jayne Euvrard, attended a special service at Westminster Abbey on 12th March to celebrate Diamond Jubilee Commonwealth Observance Day. Hannah Cockshutt, Jack Davies and Matthew Barrett (Year 7), Olivia Smith, Theo Byrne and Matthew Gosztony (Year 8), and Francis Curran and Finn Hobson (Year 9) were selected because of the work they have done contributing items for the Digital Diamond Jubilee Time Capsule, a special gift for Her Majesty The Queen to mark sixty years of her reign. Olivia sent in memories of her first day in the Junior School in 2008, Finn a video from the School Molveno trip in 2010 as they travelled in the Dolomite mountains, while Matthew provided images of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 which his Grandmother escaped. Francis� memory was carrying the flag of St George at the St George�s Day parade in Ealing.

The St Benedict�s party were lucky to have the best seats in the house inside the grand and plush surroundings of the Abbey. Finn Hobson and Francis Curran acted as school reporters for the BBC and their report on the event appeared on the front page of the BBC School Report website. Outside the Abbey after the ceremony, the St Benedict�s pupils were interviewed by BBC London News and appeared on the TV that evening during the BBC London News programme. Here are some extracts from Finn�s and Francis� report:
We managed to get some seats on the front row of our block so we were only a few feet away from the procession as it passed by� Next, one of the moments we had been looking forward to the most, arrived. As we sang our patriotic National Anthem, Her Majesty the Queen processed up the isle in her bright pink coat and hat along with some other members of the Royal family� It was a magical moment to be just a few feet away from the Queen of our country. The atmosphere in the Abbey at that point was amazing�

Songwriter Rufus Wainwright started the celebrity performances by singing Leonard Cohen�s �Hallelujah�. This was a very moving performance�Overall, our favourite performance would have to be from a very famous South African musician called Hugh Masekela. Hugh used his voice, a cow bell and his trumpet to play a special song that enlightened the crowd and give us all the temptation to tap our feet in time with the cow bell. His performance was full of energy and movement.

After the observance, the crowds inside and out were buzzing with excitement. Matthew Gosztony said: �Seeing the Queen was an amazing experience that I will never forget�. This reflected the mood of not just our group but, every school child and teacher inside the Abbey on this special day. The overall experience was, colourful, creative and charismatic; no person came out of that Abbey without a smile on their face.
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