School; Monovian Editorials

Editorials - 1931


No 16 Easter, 1931.

Editor: K. E. ROBINSON.

On Prize Day, Mr. Wickham Steed asked if we realised that, by attending a School founded in the sixteenth century, we were sharing in a life which had been going on for many hundreds of years. It was a similar idea which actuated the revival ofFounder's Day: the idea that in the School, a social institution of to-day, we have at once an epitome of the educational vicissitudes of the past four centuries, and an incarnation, however imperfect, of an ideal which time has not been able to destroy and which serves as a signpost for the future. Unfortunately, the decision to re-institute Founder's Day was only taken a little more than a fortnight before the day, and a concert, hurriedly prepared, was the only form of celebration possible. Next year, however, we may hope for a celebration more suitable in nature and representative of the School's past. The contemplation of past glories or future greatness, however, is fit only for "the idle dreamer of an empty day," unless it be used as a guide to the present, the world of to-day in which we live. And in that sphere we must not surrender to the prevailing mania for depreciation. Football results have shown a remarkable improvement in the latter half of the season, and the success of the Third Eleven augurs well for the future. Academically, the traditions mentioned by the Head on Prize Day have been worthily maintained by the open awards secured in December at Oxford and Cambridge. We can look forward to the maintenance of a reasonable standard in the Athletic Sports; and the Dramatic Society is to produce at the end of this month its third three-act play. The School is not backsliding; nor will it do so, if its younger members, inspired by its age-long tradition, are ready to give of their best to the common life, to assume responsibility fearlessly, not to give in easily to discouragement, hut, "Strong in will, To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield."


No. 17 Summer 1931


The following Editorial was written, the contents of the Magazine compiled, and we were on the point of going to press when the tragic news reached us that the Head had died. We do not think it necessary to alter anything in what follows. The references to the Head now acquire an added and poignant significance, but even so, they help to bring his figure once again vividly before our minds, and to strengthen our memories of him. He, it was, who inspired the resuscitation of the Monovian, when he was appointed to the School; and he continued to be enthusiastic about it all the time he was with us, urging that it should always aim at a dignified tone, befitting a School like ours. 'We are glad to place this on record. Nothing is, at the moment, further from my intention than to speak editorially, for there is little that I can say editorially that I have not already said somewhere in the following pages. I would ask all those inveterate critics to look through their copies of the last three issues of the Monovian, to count the number of unsigned articles in them, to add to this total all those signed with my illustrious cognomen, and finally to reflect that all that mass of verbiage has to be put together in the intervals of arduous toil in the S'Lit. Yet even the longest sentence to hard labour comes eventually to an end, and the imprisoned are released, if only to toil yet more unenviable. Reflections such as these are natural to the composition of a last Editorial, when glimmers of the dawn are seen in a kind of wistful reverie, and when that famous line of Keats, "there is a budding morrow in midnight," assumes a significance it never before possessed. But my period of editing the Monovian has been rendered less arduous by the many kindnesses I have received: from the Headmaster who has given me counsel and support; from Mr. Rothery who continues to shoulder that most laborious and thankless task of proof-reading; from Miss Bolton, who has invariably made a note of what one had intended to do and didn't; and from all those condemned by fortune to contribute notes, who in their forbearance did not despatch my unfortunate self to another world. To my successor, whom I congratulate on his arrival in this great office, whose reputation he will find so much tarnished by my own short stay, I offer only one thing-my sincerest sympathy, and may he never need it!



No. 18 November, 1931.

Editor: M. J. GURNEY.
Christmas, 1931.It is with pride that we often remark that the School was founded in 1527, but do we realise the real significance of that date? Do we realise that by then Tyndales's translation of the Bible had been in existence no more than a year, and that the Authorised Version did not come till 1611; that Bacon and Shakespeare were as yet unborn, undreamed of; that the defeat of the Turkish navy at Lepanto, and the crushing of the Spanish Armada were still many years away? How many Monovians saw a Shakespeare first night? And how many read a first edition of Milton? And yet may they not have done so? For were not Monovians at that time among the few of the cultured and the educated ? It was a great era of revival of culture and learning in the known world, and the School was a spark of the energy and genius of the age. Today we are entering upon a new era in education. The importance of the secondary school has probably never before been emphasised so much. And its importance is growing rapidly, for nowadays something more than an elementary education is demanded. And, not only are we at the beginning of a new era of education in general, but also of one in the history of our own School. A period of forty years in its story must shortly come to an end, for with the deepest regret we realise that Mr. Prowse is going to leave us. For forty years he has been a "tower of strength" in the School, and who, even in forty years, could have left a deeper and more lasting mark? But though one era must end, a new one must likewise begin. A new leader, Mr. P. D. Goodall, has come to us, and we extend to him a very cordial welcome. And let us show that welcome in a practical way. Let there be a renaissance of the Magazine. At one time the Editor could boast that the Monovian would be "an interesting record of the School's life and a means of expression for the literary instincts of its members." But where now are the articles of yesteryear? Why do the literary instincts hide themselves from the public gaze? Why has practical interest flagged? There is a danger that this flagging of interest may spread. In the beginning the School was a spark of a "marvellous burst of new life and energy." It is this that we must remember- and we must not only remember it, but live up to it. Team-spirit is essential; there must be none to hinder; all can, and must, play a part. "Monoux expects......"

Text size