Oswestry School celebrated its 601st Founder’s Day on Saturday with a service in St Oswald’s Parish Church. The Rt Revd John Davies, former Bishop of Shrewsbury, officiated. Speaking to the congregation of parents, governors and past and present students, he took the theme of reconciliation. Bishop Davies, who served for 14 years in South Africa during the days of Apartheid, encouraged people not to accept boundaries which may have been imposed artificially. “Oswestry is a border place and a border can be a place of meeting,” he said. “I encourage you to become more and more ‘border people’, who learn the skills of recognising and respecting each other.”
The day’s celebrations involved two special events to commemorate former teachers at Oswestry School: A Cedar of Lebanon tree was planted in memory of Mr and Mrs Ralph Williamson; Mr Williamson, who died in 1964, was the school’s longest serving headmaster. The cedar tree was planted by his daughter, Ann. Mr and Mrs Williamson’s son, Ralph, was also present for the ceremony.
The second special event was the formal opening of the Tilley Building, Oswestry School’s new teaching block, named in honour of Mr John Tilley, an old Oswestrian who taught at the school for over 40 years and maintained very close links with the school after his retirement in 1987. The opening ceremony was conducted by Father John Edge, a former vicar of Holy Trinity Church and a close friend of John Tilley.
In the afternoon, parents and friends of the school were able to voice their support as Old Oswestrians took on current students in netball, shooting, football and hockey (results to follow).
Many past pupils of the school returned to Oswestry for the celebrations and took part in the Old Oswestrians’ AGM before attending the Society’s dinner at the Wynnstay Hotel; guest speaker was Mr Pat Murphy, the BBC radio sports commentator.