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On a perfect Midsummer’s Day, parents, pupils and staff at Stonar, near Atworth celebrated the academic year and bade farewell to pupils moving on to the next stage in their careers.
Special guest was Bath-based singer-songwriter Midge Ure OBE, frontman of 1980s group Ultravox and co-organiser of the Band Aid and Live Aid super-charity projects.
Midge presented prizes and then related his journey from early school days to success as a pop star and the life-changing phone call in 1984 from fellow musician Bob Geldof, who had just watched Michael Burke’s news piece on the Ethiopian famine. Geldof and Ure created the Christmas hit ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ which went on to become the biggest selling UK single in history.
The day began with a fete with an array of colourful stalls, including the Challenge Romania team who were raising funds for their October trip by selling books, cakes and raffle tickets. Parents mingled in the sunshine, enjoying a Pimm’s bar and displays from the pupils including ballet and the traditional musical ride, this year themed as a ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
After a fulsome buffet lunch, the formal part of the day was introduced by Head, Toby Nutt. This was followed by the presentation of prizes, celebrating Year 6, 11 and 13 pupils’ achievements. As ever, this was a wonderful acknowledgement of the sheer diversity of endeavours at Stonar.
Midge then delivered a highly entertaining keynote speech in which he highlighted the power of any individual to change something and pushed home the importance of the young generation getting involved with challenging issues.