|Tal Ħandaq Magazine 1974 Sports House Reports The King&I History Contributed by Martin Powell|
Tal Handaq School Magazine 1974 Malta GC
We hope you will enjoy this year's magazine. The object of the exercise was to give the whole of our school population the opportunity to express themselves. Our thanks go to all those who have contributed especially those whose work was not published. Following tradition we have a full account of Speech day and House Activities. This year we have published, as promised in the 1973 edition, a History of Tal Handaq prepared for us by Miss Yule. She has also contributed her usual news of past students.
This year's magazine marks a Change in the method of production. Smashing through the adamantine barrier of generation gap, the four sixth formers you see pictured around this editorial worked with Mr. Hancock to mould together some thing to be representative of the School. We have shared the pleasures and frustrations involved in such ventures as these.
Thank you Carol Wilkins for your typing.
Thank you advertisers for your supporting us. We hope our readers will support you.
A last word. 1975 is not ALL that far away. We would like to think that next year's edition of the magazine will be bigger and better than ever. When the time comes, help us with your contributions It's your Magazine.
THE STORY OF TAL-HANDAQ SCHOOL
I do not claim that this is an accurate history of Tal Handaq but as far as possible the facts are correct. It is, however, a sincere account of my memories and impressions of twenty-two years on the staff of what I joined as the Royal Naval Children's School, Malta and which in 1969 became the Service Children School, Tal Handaq.
Few, on arriving at the door leading to the Administration Block, notice on the opposite side of the driveway the date 1950 engraved above the door of the Assembly Hall. It is a landmark :n the history of the school as it sets the seal on the achievement of the first post-war Headmaster, Instructor Lieutenant Commander (later to become Instructor Captain) A H Miles, who in 1946 had been appointed to re-open 'HM Dockyard Children's School'. Lieutenant Commander Miles was the right man for this job as he had been on the staff from 1934 to 1940. It is perhaps worth quoting from his foreword to the first postwar school magazine, dated July 1847:
'This magazine marks the beginning of a new era in the life of the Dockyard School. The 'Old School' began life in what was then known as the Dining Hall in Sheer Bastion during the year 1903. There it remained for seven years until, in 1910, a large house (later to become the Dockyard Subordinate Officers' Club and subsequently destroyed by bombing) near Isola Gate in Senglea, was taken over for use as a school. In 1928 still larger quarters were required and the school was moved to Verdala where it continued until, with the entry of Italy into the war in 1940, it was hurriedly evacuated to St George's Barracks, to carry on, in spite of great difficulties and dangers, until September 1942.
Presumably in those days the school was of the standard 'Elementary School' pattern prevalent in England before the 1944 Education Act, taking pupils up to the then school leaving age of 14. Lieutenant Cdr Miles opened the 'New School' (still known as the Dockyard Children's School) in two semi-detached villas, 'Sunshine' and Seafoam', in Ta' Xbiex on 16 May 1946. It was an all-age school with 95 pupils and five staff, the other four being two Naval Instructor Lieutenants and their wives. Mrs Miles was the school secretary so it was a fairly close-knit organisation.
Numbers increased rapidly and in January 1947 they moved to a disused emergency Army Barracks at Tal Handaq, with 270 pupils and 11 staff. How many realise that the tombstone-like slab by the flag-staff is a memorial to the Royal Artillery battery which was stationed at Tal Handaq during the war years? On 15 July 1947 the school's name was changed to the "Naval Children's School'.
When I joined the staff in September 1949 the school was physically much as it is now from the top gate down as far as the Assembly Hall, which was then in process of building. Some of the blocks were still only one-storey buildings and the gym and all other buildings now beyond the hall did not exist.
It may interest readers to know that Tal Handaq had been built in the form of one-storey buildings in order to hoodwink the enemy into thinking it was an innocuous Maltese village instead of an anti-aircraft battery. Traces of the Army's occupation were to be seen in the many bars still at the windows and it was rumoured that the Women's Staff room had formerly been the Guard Room.
During the first years the school had been an all-age one but with the re-opening of Verdala School in 1949 the infants and juniors gradually began to be absorbed into what became Verdala Junior Naval School, although the Tal Handaq Headmaster remained in charge of both.
During the first few years the school grew apace. It was in June 1950 that the first UK based teachers were appointed. Previously that staff had consisted of the Headmaster with several Royal Naval Instructor Officers and locally entered women teachers, many of whom were the wives of Service personnel. This resulted in frequent changes of staff and so, in order to introduce greater stability and academic continuity, it was decided to appoint from England experienced teachers, originally on a three-year contract. The first to arrive were Heads of Departments and the school is especially grateful to Messrs Edgell and Ruoff (History and Geography respectively) who each remained for at least nine years.
Instructor Commander Miles (who was awarded the OBE for his work at the school was succeeded as Headmaster In January 1951 by Instructor Commander A J Bellamy (later to become Instructor Rear Admiral and Director of the Naval Education Service). Total numbers in the two schools had by this time risen to over 1000 and were still increasing. Commander Bellamy was succeeded by Commander Instructor Commander B J Morgan, who was promoted to Captain in the job and who (as Instructor Rear Admiral) is the present Director of the Naval Education Service.
During these years the building went on apace. Firstly, second floors were added to most of the single-storey buildings and then what had been part of the field blossomed with Romney huts (present blocks 13 to 16 and 21 to 28). The Music Room was the last to be completed, shortly after Captain Morgan had been relieved by Captain Mannering in 1959. It was also about this time that numbers reached an all-time high with 1050 in the Secondary School alone.
At first the school was Bi-Lateral and in 1949 there was one Grammar and one Modern class In each year. The Grammar candidates sat for the Oxford GCE and the Modern took the RSA examinations.
Tal Handaq already had a couple of tennis courts and cricket practice nets but it was in Captain Mannering's time that extra tennis courts were built. Before the 'Agreement' in 1972 the Services provided pitches for Rugby, Soccer and Hockey. Now some of these have been handed back to the Malta Government.
Until the closure of HMS Ricasoli the swimming sports were held at the Fleet Lido there, just inside the entrance to Grand Harbour and I think it was then, with Fort St. Angelo and Bighi in the foreground, that we most felt we were part of the Royal Navy.
Captain Mannering was succeeded by Captain Broad who had the sports field at the top of the lane resurfaced. Unfortunately this ground has been rarely used, chiefly on account of the fact that the sheds meant for storage of equipment were constantly broken into and valuable contents stolen. Also the distance curtailed the time spent on games (the field could not be approached by bus).
With Malta's approaching independence the numbers of pupils at last began to decline during the run-down of the early 1960s, and in 1964 it was possible to allocate two classrooms to form what is now the library. Later, when Captain Malkin was Headmaster, others were converted into the Cinema and Language Laboratory and the Science Laboratories were further improved and expanded. Since then there have been no new buildings but various improvements in the layout of specialist rooms have been effected and modern educational aids have been installed.
Academically the school has kept pace with her counterparts in Great Britain. With the introduction of the CSE it was decided to be affiliated to the Southern Region and the Tal Handaq representative has attended their meetings at Southampton. In 1962 the school became comprehensive: the first, second and third years were virtually streamed but the fourth and fifth years were setted and allowed to select their subjects from a list of options. The Sixth year was divided into those taking A Levels and those who wished to continue at school but had not the qualifications to embark on an A Level course. They were, however, able to continue at O Level and CSE and had opportunities to follow vocational courses.
At three-yearly intervals Her Majesty's Inspectors have visited the school while for the last ten years or so two Careers Officers from England have interviewed the senior boys and girls.
The School has always shown a very keen interest in Dramatics and for many years the end of the Christmas term was celebrated by either a straight play or a Gilbert & Sullivan production, all of which reached a high standard. These productions were an example of the excellent coordination of the various departments and much credit can be given to the Art, Woodwork, and Needlework departments who contributed so much to the visual effects.
As with all schools, Tal Handaq has had its ups and downs but few can boast of literally arising phoenix-like from the ashes. I had myself retired in July 1971 but I assisted in the "close down" in January 1972 for I helped in the business of packing up practically everything that could be packed. The school was virtually stripped of everything that could be squeezed into the packing cases. These were dispatched to Bicester and for the most part returned in July 1973 intact.
Commander Law, the present Headmaster, had the responsibility for this sad task and when I said goodbye to him I little thought that the school would re-open again. However in September it did.
The present Tal Handaq, though much depleted in numbers, nourishes and preserves the same spirit that has helped to make it a happy progressive school for both staff and pupils.
PHONE C. 24193
Pass your orders to:
51, ST. JOHN STREET, VALLETTA
This is the last time that I shall have the honour of writing some Headmaster's notes in the Tal Handaq Magazine. By the time that it is published my family and I will have left the island and Commander Stubbs will be firmly established in the Headmaster's chair. Let me begin, then, by offering him a very warm welcome to one of the best jobs he will ever have and by tell in him how fortunate he is to be taking over such a first class staff and such a fine bunch of pupils.
My notes on the year can, for once, be brief but as always they must begin with a note on school numbers. The facts that very few families have left the island, and that a large influx from the Primary Schools was not matched by the number who left at the top of the school, have meant an increase in numbers. From being just over 500 for most of last year they have jumped to just under 600 this year. The startling fact is, how ever, that of the 585 pupils in the school in the Spring Term 1974, fewer than 100 will remain by September 1975. How many pupils will arrive to replace them, and what their ages, abilities and subject requirements will be, are questions which will provide a few headaches for the new Headmaster and his Deputy in the months to come. The only help I can offer is to have the crystal ball polished before I leave!
I should also like to make brief mention of the Sixth Form, which this year has been much larger than last year. The key, I think to providing a course that the pupils themselves have found more satisfying has been its timetabling to fit in with the Fifth Form programme, so that those whom Heads of Departments recommended to retake 'O' level and CSE examinations could do so by omitting one or more complete sections of the basic Sixth Form General course, without interfering with the whole of it. What we are now working to improve is this basic General Course, so that in itself it is made both more useful and more attractive.
I conclude on a personal note. I have thoroughly enjoyed my eleven terms in Malta (even though the same cannot be said for the two terms spent in temporary exile in 1972) and it is with very real regret that I leave Tal Handaq. I very much doubt whether I shall ever again have a job which is so demanding and challenging and at the same time so rewarding and satisfying, or one in which I come into contact with so many people, and it is to all those people (pupils, teaching and office staff, and parents) that I now say a very big "Thank You' for all their response, support and encouragement which have helped to make the job so worthwhile. I am sure that all the staff would agree with me in saying that to work in a Service Children's School, with Service children and Service parents (and a welcome sprinkling of Non-Entitled ones too) is a privilege which we value highly and which we shall not easily forget.
It is also with considerable nostalgia that my wife and I bid farewell to Tal Handaq and to Malta, having first met each other in the school in 1958, at the beginning of a previous appointment here. We are both very fond of this island and I can only think that those who find it has insufficient to offer them cannot have explored its possibilities very far. We are already looking forward to coming back on holiday, when I hope we shall renew acquaintance with many old friends. In the meantime we say 'Au revoir and good luck'.
Commander Stubbs has been with us a term now. Many people have wished him well. We add our belated welcome and at the same time give you an insight of some biographical details about his personal life and his professional career.
A native of Crewe, he was educated at Crewe Grammar School, Glasgow University and Merton College, Oxford, where he gained a second class Honours English Language and Literature.
He was a seaman in the Royal Navy between 1945-48, and he rejoined the Service as an Instructor Lieutenant in 1962, and has served in a variety of sea and shore appointments, the most recent as Staff Education Officer to the Commander in Chief, Naval Home Command.
In 1967 he spent a year at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich on a Service course for Arts graduates. He denies that the nervous breakdowns among the College tutors at that time were attributable to him personally, although he is not sure whether an appointment a few years later to work alongside scientists at the Defence Operational Analysis Establishment was a reward or a punishment for his efforts as a mathematician.
A founder member of Yachtsman's Anonymous as a result of unhappy experiences under canvas, his sporting interests in the past have ben mainly in Soccer, Rugby, Squash and Tennis. More recently he has been walking on Dartmoor and in Hampshire, satisfying his requirements for exercise.
Cmdr. Stubbs maintains an interest in the Arts and has been known to take part in theatrical productions, not so much for his own, or for the audience's pleasure, but merely to avoid watching too many amateur performances.
He is delighted to be appointed Head of Tal Handaq, and is looking forward to a most interesting time in Malta.
PRIZE DAY 7th NOVEMBER 1973
THE ANNUAL PRIZEGIVING IN 1973 WAS, FOR THE SECOND TIME, HELD IN AUSTRALIA HALL, St ANDREWS BARRACKS, IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE CONSIDERABLY MORE PEOPLE THAN COULD BE SEATED N THE SCHOOL HALL. THE GUEST OF HONOUR WAS THE BRITISH HIGH COMMISSIONER, HIS EXCELLENCY MR JOHN MORETON CMG MC AND THE CHAIR WAS TAKEN BY THE COMMANDER BRITISH FORCES MALTA, REAR ADMIRAL DA LORAM MVO WHO, AS FLAG OFFICER MALTA, IS THE 'COMPETENT AUTHORITY' FOR THE SCHOOL.
The Admiral opened the proceedings by welcoming the guests, and particularly the Guest of Honour, and said that he wished to make only three points, one for the pupils and two for the parents. In these days when people generally were showing so much concern for their rights and their pay-packets he advised pupils to think less of themselves and to concentrate more on what they could give to life rather than what they could get out of it. To parents he stressed the importance of spending time with their children, talking to them and so trying to understand their points of view. He also reminded them of the need to set a good example in such matters as courtesy, good manners and morality. He then called on the Headmaster to present his Annual Report, which is here printed in full.
'May I begin by saying, Mr Chairman, how very pleased we are to see you here today in your capacity as our Competent Authority, and how delighted we were that you lost no time after taking up your appointment in visiting your schools. I am sure I speak for all in those schools when I say how very much we have appreciated and have been encouraged by this interest you have shown in what we are doing.
We are extremely grateful to you, your Excellency for accepting the invitation to present the prizes today and for taking such an interest in us that you too have been to visit us. We are also delighted that Mrs Moreton has been able to accompany you on both occasions.
I also warmly welcome the Air Commander and Mrs Mawer and the Officer in Charge Schools and Mrs Stanley, whose first Tal Handaq Prize Day this is, and all our other guests in whatever capacity they may have come. Many of them are representing the establishments to which our school parents are attached but those same establishments, besides providing pupils for us. also give us a tremendous amount of help, both officially and unofficially in ways which are far too numerous to mention and I would like to take this opportunity of saying thank you to you all for the friendly cooperation of your staffs.
A very good example of this cooperation is provided of our use of Australia Hall today, by kind permission of the SGC. We come here because our own hall is too small and the rather complicated arrangements are dependent on the SKC, 41 Cdo, 234 Signal Squadron, the Royal Naval Supply and Transport Service, the Admiralty Constabulary and the NAAFI, to all of whom we are most grateful.
Any review of the last academic year must begin in April 1972 when, at the London Headquarters of SCEA, the Service Children's Education Authority, I was asked when we could reopen the school. On examining our assets we found that we had 26 teachers, scattered all over the British Isles, 400 ominously rattling packing cases in a vast shed at Bicester, and a set of school buildings and furniture in Malta in somewhat dilapidated condition. We needed 18 new teachers (including 8 Heads of Departments), a complete outfit of new books, some pupils, and a timetable, most of these items being interdependent and thus difficult to plan for. I won't dwell on the difficulties but as a result of tremendous cooperation from SCEA in London, the PSA (DOE) (who achieved near miracles with the buildings) and all the Services in Malta, and superhuman efforts from the school staff (teaching, industrial and non-industrial), we did manage to open in September with 440 pupils including only 120 of our previous 700.
Numbers rose to 500 by Christmas but then changed little after that until this September, when the new Primary intake brought us up to 600. Because so many Service personnel began new tours in Summer 1972 the school is now experiencing a period of uncharacteristic stability with very few pupils joining and leaving, compared with our usual annual turnover of half the school.
What then is this reopened school like and what has it achieved in its first year? We must look briefly at the external examination results, traditionally the yardstick of success. GCE 'A' level is a two-year course so we did not expect to have any candidates this year, assuming that pupils would not transfer to Malta in mid course. Rather to our surprise we had 11 candidates who between them achieved 17 subjects passes in the 22 papers taken, a much higher pass rate (77%) than was achieved in any of the three preceding years (all less than 70%). To keep things in perspective, this was the first time that the school's annual total of W level passes had fallen below 90 for at least 10 years. When thinking of the standards and background of Tal Handaq School this is a record which should not easily be forgotten.
At 'O' level the story is the same: a much improved pass rate but a greatly reduced actual number of passes, because the numbers of pupils in the Fifth and One-Year Sixth were only half what they were in 1971.
If we are honest, the 'O' level pass rate depends largely on our entry filter and this year we were more realistic in our decisions as to whether pupils should take 'O' level or CSE. Even so it was a surprise to me to find that in spite of the reduced numbers of pupils the number of CSE: subject entries (245) was almost identical to the 1971 figure and the number of passes at Grade 4 and above (191) was even higher, in fact the highest since 1968. These passes included 23 at Grade 1, for all intents and purposes 'O' level passes. I remind both pupils and their parents that they need not be concerned if we insist that they take CSE rather than 'O' level: you can achieve the result you need on CSE and even if you don't get Grade 1, a Grade 2 or 3 is likely to be of much more use to you than an 'O' level failure, so the risk is such less and the exam probably better suited to you.
It should be remembered that candidates for all those examinations had, in effect, to do a two-year course in one year, the previous year having either been so disturbed as to be almost wasted, or else devoted in another school to a totally different examination and syllabus. I am sure the parents and guests will agree that the pupils deserve congratulation on the way they have got down to things, and I am sure you pupils would like me to express your thanks to the staff, whether they were leading you or driving you, for the efforts they have made to help you achieve these results.
External examinations are not, of course, the only ones and once or twice a year the whole school gets down to this unpopular task, the reason being simply that most of us find it easier to work if we have a goal to aim at and some means of measuring our progress. Today is the day when success in this field is rewarded and we have selected certain people to receive prizes. Let me say now that such selection is extremely difficult. We have given some prizes for achievement, for those who came top of their forms in the examinations, but we have in many cases also given prizes for efforts, for those who have tried really hard. I can only say that we have done our best in making these selections but there is no infallible way of doing it; and there may well be some who have not won prizes, who really deserve them as much as some who have. 'But that isn't fair' you may say, but if you leave here having learnt that life isn't fair I shall know that we have succeeded in teaching you at least one fundamental truth.
So much then for our academic achievements, but in what environment are these achievements made, and what else do we do?
We are, of course, a comprehensive school and it is not difficult to detect a note of concern about this amongst some newly arrived parents who occasionally ask me what I think of the comprehensive system, as if it was something that had been forced upon me. They perhaps forget that Tal Handaq has been comprehensive since 1962, and that since as far back as 1947, it has been comprehensive in its intake. We are not then struggling with a new idea but rather constantly seeking improvements to system which has always been adapted to our special needs and which has been working tolerably well for a long time. We have therefore made no structural changes in the school, still retaining our streaming in the first three years (in the belief that we can do more for pupils with disturbed background if they are grouped by ability) and providing opportunities for work at any level in almost any subject from the Fourth Year onwards. The Eleven Plus results determine no more than the First Year starting point, movement between streams being unrestricted.
We have overhauled he curriculum, to try to improve both the balance in Lower School and the arrangement of options in the Upper School, but no system will satisfy everyone.
We are still seeking improvements in the Sixth Form organisation to try to satisfy the needs of those who are not doing 'A' levels. Last year we achieved a much more closely knit Sixth Form (albeit a small one) than we have had before, and I am grateful to them for the splendid lead they gave to the school This year we have tried to improve their opportunities for doing what they want (usually repeating a few exams that they have failed) combined with what we think is good for them, in the way of a broadening of their education before they leave school
One structural change we have made has been in the house system. The number of houses has been reduced from four to three and their names have been changed from Drake, Hawkins, Nelson and St Vincent (which might just betray a tinge of dark blue bias) to Cunningham, Alanbrooke and Tedder, three names rather better suited to a tri-service school. I do sometimes wonder how much the number of those house have found out about the men after whom they are named.
A very important part of any school's work is its careers service. We have an annual visit from UK Careers Officers, who interview all pupils in the Fifth and Sixth Forms, and this year we were particularly grateful to note how many parents attended these interviews. But we now have a much improved and very well equipped careers room, with which the school careers staff can provide an all-year-round service, and I feel sure that it. could be even better used than it is. Parents are very welcome to visit it by appointment.
Other parental contacts are made through our parent/teacher evenings and we now have far more of them for fewer parents at a time. This means many more evenings given up by the staff and it says much for their devotion to the pupils' interests that they do this so uncomplainingly.
Other improved contacts are with the Primary Schools, with whom we are currently building up a much closer liaison to ensure that our work progresses naturally from theirs.
So far I have talked about things which perhaps only I can talk about, but you could well be excused, Sir, for thinking that if that is what school is all about it must be a very dull place,
But, as I think you know, Sir, School is not at all a dull place and I have so far described only a fraction of our activities.
It is, of course, quite impossible to condense a full report on the school year into 20 minutes, and indeed, why should I when a full and attractively presented version is available to you in the school magazine, and I take this opportunity of congratulating, on your behalf, those who produced it. You will find there an account of most of the activities which have taken place during the year. On the sporting side these were netball, hockey, soccer, basketball, cross country, orienteering, athletics, tennis, cricket, swimming, squash, badminton, sailing, judo, snorkelling, survival swimming, life saving, weight training, trampolining and gymnastics. In other fields there have been Folk Dancing, Recorder Groups, Guitar Club, Computer Study Group, Astronomical Study Group, Art Club, Photographic Club, Duke of Edinburgh Award (a much revived interest here, including canoe building), dance drama, and the Helix Club. The one thing I must do is to express my very sincere thanks, and yours too, to all the members of staff who have given up so much of their own time, both after school and on Saturday mornings, to running these activities. I just hope that most of you pupils remember to say your personal thank yous on these occasions. It really does make a difference if you do and the staff are much more likely to think their time has been well spent.
Turning to other things you will also find accounts in the magazine of the Soft-Toy Making Competition, the Fashion Show, the very successful school cruise in the SS UGANDA and, of course 'OLIVER!'. There was never any doubt about the success of 'OLIVER!' from the moment that all-too-natural collection of ragamuffins opened their mouths to sing 'Food Glorious Food'. It was certainly the school's biggest-ever box-office success and most who saw it said it was the -best entertainment, by any standards, that they had seen for a long time. The same team are now working on 'The King and I', to be presented before Christmas and we trust that that too will be a sell-out.
In closing, as this will be my last Tal Handaq Prize Day. I should like to express my personal thanks to my long suffering office staff (the Bursar, Secretaries, Assistant Librarian, Store-houseman) who fortunately seem to remain invariably cheerful in the face of all difficulties; to the Warden and his industrial staff for their loyal and cheerful service; and, of course, to the teaching staff, a staff, I think I may say Sir, of quite remarkable versatility and talent with just one thing in common, a dedication to the education, in the widest sense of that word, of Service children. If I may single out just two names, I would especially like to thank my Deputy, Lieutenant Commander Cottam (to whom I said a formal goodbye on this occasion two years ago but who now seems likely to see me out) and the Senior Mistress, Miss Smith (whom I welcomed to the school on the same occasion). I can assure you that it is they who have been mainly responsible for the successful reopening and continued functioning of this school, and I never cease to be thankful that they always seem to remain on speaking terms, even towards the end of term when hardly anyone else is.
Perhaps at this stage I might, rather divulge something which I would not normally disclose. It is quite common for newly arrived members of staff to comment on what nice children we have here. I do sometimes wonder where they have been teaching before, 'but seriously I must complete my list with thanks to the pupils for being what they are and helping to make the school what it is, and to the parents for providing the pupils and for being generally speaking so cooperative and understanding. Thank you all.'
After two songs by the Junior Choir, the Admiral called upon the High Commissioner to present prizes to 98 pupils, and to give his address.
Outlining the duties of a High Commissioner, His Excellency said that many of his responsibilities concerned the complicated Agreement under which 2600 British Servicemen were stationed in Malta and he was thus particularly glad of this opportunity for contact with a Service school and Service families.
He mentioned the increased freedom and lack of constraints for young people today, saying how impressed he had been by the happy and relaxed atmosphere he had observed at Tal Handaq. But there was a reverse side to this and the High Commissioner reminded his audience of the increased responsibilities that went with greater freedom. The world was changing, he said, and so was Britain's role in it, but we still had much to be proud of. He mentioned in particular the work done by British in opening up the world and developing the countries which now make up the voluntary membership of the Commonwealth. Mr Moreton could not forget the words of Nigeria's first Prime Minister on Independence Day: 'We have known the British a long time first as masters, then as teachers, finally as partners, but always as friends.' Mr Moreton also outlined other recent British achievements in the fields of education, trade, technology and culture.
In concluding, Mr Moreton said that although today's opportunities were different the qualities needed were the same as those possessed by our ancestors: a spirit of adventure, a sense of service, and a feeling of compassion for their fellow men.
After a vote of thanks proposed by the Head Boy, Roger Slim, and the presentation of a bouquet to Mrs Moreton by the Head Girl, Annette Lyons, the guests were entertained to tea by the staff and pupils.
David Ansell Shannon Branch Deborah Brankin Anthony Davidson John Duff Frances Franklin Karen Hepworth Richard Howorth
Sylvia Houghton Vivian Lowson Donna Wakefleld
V and VI Form Subject Prizes
THE PEOPLE OF TALHANDALOT
Adapted from Alfred Lord Tennyson's "The Lady of Shallot" PART 1
On either side the defeated lie, Long fields of death where people die, That litter the world and obscure the sky; And thro' the gates the road runs by
To many-tower'd Talhandalot. And up and down the schoolkids flip escaping the sting of a teachers whip some small, some tall, they be of many kinds, the people of Talhandalot.
People whiten, brave men quiver, people die 'and people shiver, Thro" the road that runs a hither comes a sound that moves the liver
it echoes from Talhandalot. Four grey pupils and four grey teachers face each other \with thunderous features and no one dares defy these creatures,
the people of Talhandalot.
By the bus park, the victims quailed, several -coffins were 'quickly nailed. Throughout the school the mourners watted and all around the bodies flailed,
the corpses of Talhandalot. Yet many have died in all the land To have their schoolbooks burned or banned and so we joined their merry band
the people of Talhandalot.
Only teachers starting early escaped their wrath and very nearly were executed for acting fairly as it was they payed so dearly,
the teachers of Talhandalot.
And ~by the moon the teachers weary piling bodies in uplands airy Listening, whisper "Tis the hairy people of Talhandalot".
There they stayed by night and day, A fate much worse than death I'd say. We have heard a teacher say, the curse could strike us any day
O! place of dread Talhandalot.
We know well what the curse might be, And so by day and night we flee yet no one paid the enrtance fee,
The people of Talhandalot.
And moving silently across the yard, we dragged our schoolbags burned and charred, we even clouted the old school guard, the bus we used was much too hard.
No one guards Talhandalot.
There the lessons never end, people crack and people bend, never to, your schoolkids, send the people of Talhandalot.
Sometimes when the lessons are bad, the teachers send the pupils mad, they return next day all armour clad to fight the good and help the bad we fight
to wreck Talhandalot.
We fought that day and twenty-turn were taken ill, (They'd caught the flu) whatever would the people do?
The people of Talhandalot.
But after school at half past ten, we met a Chinese lad again, he said his name was Sell-mee-then, we sold him for a thousand yen.
Ah so! too bad Talhandalot.
And when his ship was miles at sea, we wondered what his fate might be we spent the money, and merry were we
the people of Talhandalot.
A season came upon the morn' He made its pupils cut the lawn; he whipped us till our skin was torn but through his boat our saw had sown.
The sunken wrecks of Talhandalot.
The sailor upon us his anger rent, but into the ocean his whip we sent and chasing him into the sea we went,
the people of Talhandalot.
Steve Jones L6.
The Bovvered Cat
I had a little pussy-cat,His Christian name was Tim,
He used to roam the streets at night, And played the violin.
He joined the local skinhead gang, His fur was all a-cropped, He used to do the dog-gangs in And ran away from cops.
He wore a pair of army boots, His jeans held up with braces, His socks were always falling down So he tied them up with laces.
He went into a bar one night, And there he did get high,When a man came along with a big shot-gun
And shot him in the eye.
Anonymous. Fifth Year
ALANBROOKE BOYS HOUSE REPORT
So far this has not proved to be a very successful year for the Alanbrooke boys. The Alanbrooke soccer teams with the exception of the senior side, did not fare well.
The senior side won three of the four games it played to take the senior section, defeating Cunningham 3-1 and 6-2, while winning 3-1 and losing 2-3 to Tedder. Scorers for the seniors were: P. Darmody (8), M. Norman (2), S. Hopkins (1), G. Massam (2), A. Magill, B. Bartlett.
The Colts facing stiff opposition, were unable to obtain a point in their section, and thus finished bottom. The junior side also faced stiff opposition, managing only to gain one point in a 1-1 draw against Tedder. Both Colts and Juniors played hard although finishing last in each section. Gaining only seven points from all three sections, Alanbrooke finished holding the wooden spoon.
The Alanbrooke 1st year team, in the minor league, managed to win two out of five matches against Cunningham and Verdala, thus finishing in a respectable mid-table position.
The Basketball teams also proved to be very weak, due to the players' lack of height. The Seniors and Colts could not even gain a single point from the four matches played.
The inter-house Crosscountry was held on a cold and windy day, which did not help any of the 24 Alanbrooke runners. The Juniors finished their race with an overall result of second, Alanbrooke having two runners in the first six, P. Kitson (2) and K. Worsley Smith (6th).
The Colts failed miserably, and left Alanbrooke trailing far behind the other two houses, with almost no hope of catching them up. However, the Seniors as always, pulled Alanbrooke up to some sort of respectability, with their first six runners coming in one after another. M. Smith (3rd), N. Angel (4th), P. Hyland (5th), T. Calcott (6), B. Bartlett (7), M. Norman (8).
This pulled us up to within 7 points of Tedder.
In the forthcoming fixtures Alanbrooke boys hope to do much better.
On behalf of the Alanbrooke boys I would like to thank the members staff who have organised practices and turned up to watch matches.
1973/74 was a very successful year for Alanbrooke and once again the girls showed tremendous enthusiasm for the activities of the House-sporting and otherwise.
In the field of sport, Alanbrooke girls proved their superiority in winning the Inter-House Netball and Hockey competitions.
In the Netball the Seniors continued their record of never having lost a match. (Both matches were won easily by 19-8 and 19-1. The Intermediates were less successful and lost both matches 6-2. The Juniors brought the score up again by closely winning their matches 8-7 and 5-4. This gave us a total of 8 points which brought an overall first position.
Alanbrooke Juniors were very keen to play in the Junior Netball tournament against the Primary Schools. Three practices a week were not enough for them. Their enthusiasm paid off because in an exciting match against Tedder in the final Alanbrooke won the trophy by one goal well done, Juniors.
In Hockey, we improved on last year's success by winning the tournament. The Seniors won both their matches by 1-0 and 2-0. The Juniors beat Cunningham 1-0 but lost to Tedder. Our thanks to Miss Turner for her guidance and encouragement and a special mention of Frances Franklin for her skill and enthusiasm without which we would have been lost.
Rounders was played amongst the 1st to 4th years. Alanbrooke showed talent and keeness at this game and we managed a fine 8 points, coming second overall.
Alanbrooke came second in this year's orienteering competition. The younger pupils managed extremely well, showing initiative and great stamina. Their hard work however, was not helped by some of the older pupils who preferred to pick flowers along the way!
In the swimming gala held last July, Alanbrooke showed many talented Individual swimmers who did well for the house. The senior relays were really something! The girls beat other two houses easily by a full length and the boys beat the opposition by almost as much.
Interest in the boys' home we adopted continued, and were pleased to see the other houses follow our example and adopt homes of their own. The girls continued to make regular trips to the home, and over Christmas every boy in the home received two Christmas cards from us and a Christmas present. A Christmas Party was arranged for them, and on a later trip a superb Christmas cake in the shape of a book, cooked by I Hill, was taken for them. As Easter approaches, the girls collecting Easter eggs to be given to every boy.
This has been a full and satisfactory year for Alanbrooke and it is hoped that the house will continue to show the sa high standard and spirit in the future.
Phillipa Knight House Captain. Ann Partridge Games Captain.
CUNNINGHAM HOUSE REPORT
After a very poor first year in which the only major trophies won were the hockey and the swimming, Cunningham have done extremely well so far this year, and now stand a real chance of winning the overall House Championship.
The beginning of this revival was at the end of last year, when we walked (or should I say swam?) off with the Inter House Swimming Championship. This was a good example of team work, and the result indicated the true potential of the House, if an all round effort was made.
The Soccer competition proved to be most exciting, with the championship not decided until the very last game. After the first of the season Cunningham were second, just one point behind Tedder, the Colts having won both their matches and the Juniors collecting three out of a possible four points. The outstanding match of the round was the Colts excellent 3-2 win over Tedder. The Seniors played well, and nearly took a point from Tedder, but were defeated most painfully, 20 seconds from the end.
In the second half of the programme the Juniors established themselves as Cunningham's most successful team by winning both their matches although the Tedder game was not decided until a fine solo run by Victor Vickers, ended with him scoring with the last kick of the match. Billy Morris led his team most ably once more, and of the remainder of the team, all of whom played well, the outstanding performances were by Brian Cot-tarn and Stephen Taylor, who developed into the strongest defence seen in the Junior teams.
The Colts nearly repeated their first round success, but they were narrowly beaten 5-4 by Tedder, after being 5-0 down at half-time. Archie McCallum captained the colts, and Tony Cornforth, Stephen Lisicki, Jack Paterson and Dean Norman played particularly well in what was a very strong team.
The final match of the championship was against Tedder Seniors, and Cunningham had to win to clinch the Football Cup. Ban Smith, playing his first match since breaking his pushing arm sometime before, and Dave Phillips played with great determination, and their efforts were well rewarded when Smith scored twice and Phillips once to put Cunningham 3-0 up, against all odds.
However, Tedder fought back to 3-2 with ten minutes to go, but tremendous teamwork from Cunningham, left the score unchanged for Cunningham to win both the match and the House Trophy, "leaving no doubt as to whose side the Pixies were on". Dave Ansell and Michael Beaumont played particularly well. But the cup was not won by a few outstanding players in any team, it was won by everyone who turned up and supported the house so well throughout the season.
A word of thanks to Mr Jones, who was the Don Revie of the Colts, For a man whose nearest contact with football previously, had been the strange goings-on at Cardiff Arms Park, his team did extremely well. Perhaps on reflection, it was his little known talent at the art of karate, which served the side so well.
The 6-a-slde Soccer was again won by Cunningham House, a performance all the more creditable because the Senior side was unfortunately depleted due to unforseen circumstances. Not surprisingly the seniors, despite playing well, lost both their games, the Colts and Juniors rallied strongly and won all of their matches.
Competitive Rugby this year was confined to the first, second and third years, who played all their matches during their games lessons. The competition was exciting and keenly contested with Cunningham taking first place with 8 points, Tedder taking second place with 6 points and Alanbrooke coming third with four points.
The main contribution to Cunningham's overall success was the performance of their third year team, who won both their matches convincingly, beating Tedder and Alanbrooke by 24-0 and 38-0 respectively. To follow up the "Thirds" success, both flrst and second year teams got two points each to make the final total eight. Congratulations to all those who represented the house in this competition.
The Orienteering was held at Marfa Ridge this year and went without any hitches, apart from Cunningham coming third! Everyone tried their best especially Andrew McKay and Gordon Simister who completed almost the whole course with only a five points time penalty.
The Basketball had mixed results with Cunningham coming second, with four points. This game was new to many of the players so no spectacular results were expected, even though everyone was keen.
After some excellent running by the Juniors and good support from the Colts and Seniors, Cunningham took the Cross Country trophy from Tedder this year. In the Juniors Scott, McKay and Simister took 3rd, 4th and 5th places while Norman and Devlin came in 5th and 6th for the Colts. Keith Clayton came 2nd out of the Seniors, giving us a final lead of 14 points over Tedder who came second.
Badminton was introduced into the House Championship this year and the result of this competition was a tie for first place between Tedder and Cunningham, both of whom beat
Allanbrooke and drew with each other. Dave Philips and Chris Dillon are both in the school team and are partners, Helen Male and Debbie Brankin added to the excitement of the game their enthusiastic playing.
So far then this has been a most successful year for boys of Cunningham house, having won no less than five up to the Easter break. Furthermore in three of those events we have move up from third place to take the championship This has not been achieved by an influx of new pupils throughout the school; it has been achieved by what is basically same pupils, who have played their sports with a new-found spirit and enthusiasm, which, if maintained, should ensure greater success in the future.
I would like to thank all those boys who turned up to matches and Dave Phillips our games captain, who manages to find a football team from thin air.
Finally I extend my thanks to the masters especially Mr Bonner, our House Master, who has given us his undaunted support throughout the year. Incidentally my sympathies go to Mr. Ricketts who tried to introduce streaking as an after school activity! His only comments are "Wait until sports day".I
Roger L Slim House Captain. Dave A Phillips Games Captain.
The term opened with many new laces and of course a new House Mistress Miss Lattimer. From the sporting point of view, our results were as follows: The Netball competition being the first activity, we were sorry to lose this competition even though the girls played with enthusiasm. Again we were placed third in the Hockey competition which was a shame as we played really well and deserved a better position. The brighter side however was when the juniors playing rounders during their games period came first in the competition.
During this time we had made acquaintance with a local home the Fra Diegu Home in Hamrun. Our first visit was at the begining of December and we were shown around the home and met some of the children. Our second was just one week before Christmas and we took old toys gaily wrapped which the girls had brought in for the children. Before leaving, the Mother Superior treated us to "seasonal refreshments" which were enjoyed by one and all. Recently we held a Square making competition the object being a knit or crochet as many squares as possible, which could be later joined up to make a blanket for the home. This was won by Elizabeth Corbett Well done Elizabeth!
At the beginning of last term, the school introduced a "House Points System" whereby credits or debits could be given for example for good or bad work. We were pleased to learn in the first terms' overall results, Cunningham were first. Well done all those who received credits Keep it up!
Ending this term we were pleased to draw first with Tedder in an Inter House Badminton Competition.
This next term's events will consist of the athletics and the swimming gala. We all hope to do well this time in the athletics and it would be nice to win the swimming gala again.
Lastly on behalf of the house we would like to thank Miss Lattimer for all her help especially for giving up her spare time for coaching purposes, it is greatly appreciated.
Carol Wilkins House Captain. Janet Hintte Games Captain.
TEDDER HOUSE REPORT
For Tedder House the Autumn and Spring Terms were quite successful. On the games side we took part in the Orienteering which we won. We also fielded strong teams for the Hockey and Netball competitions, but only managed to finish second in each event. However everyone enjoyed playing and team spirit was good.
An interesting venture we started this term was helping the old people and physically handicapped children at St. Vincent de Paule Hospital. Most house members rallied around to provide food and entertainment for a Christmas party it was difficult to tell who enjoyed it most, the children or us!
We also organised an Easter Cake competition which was won by Shannon Branch in the Senior Section, Sara Wills in the middle school and Deirdre O'Connor in the Junior Section. We hope the people at the hospital enjoyed our efforts.
I hope that all members of the house will maintain their efforts during the Summer Term.
I'd like to thank all girls of Tedder for the support which they've given me and to thank Mrs. Manley-Harris for all the time and efforts she has spent helping our games teams and the hospital 'visitors'.
Lorraine Woodfin House Captain.
"I should like to take this opportunity to say how much I have enjoyed my two years as House Mistress of Tedder, and to say how sorry il will toe to leave.
I cannot go without saying a special thank you to Lorraine Woodfln who has achieved wonders despite me! To Gillian Harris and Jackie Morris for coaching the games team, to the other House teachers especially Mrs Cole for all their support and last but not least to all the girls of Tedder House who have worked so well this year."
It has been another good year for Tedder with successes in Orienteering and Basketball. We had to be content with second place in Soccer and Crass-country which we won last year.
Inter-House Soccer proved to be exciting with the overall result in doubt until the final whistle of the last game, in which Cunningham beat Tedder 3-3 to gain the Soccer trophy. Our pre-Christmas success was not maintained in the second round of matches and, as a result, Cunningham crept in to win the title by a single point, .16-14. For the Seniors, Hopkins, Brankin, Latham and Stapley did well. 'Cornforth, for the Colts, and Lowe, for the Juniors, also deserve a mention.
The Orienteering Competition brought Tedder its first success or the year. The contest was held on Marfa Ridge in glorious weather. This year too there was an individual as well as a team race. Excellent navigation and running put us ahead in the team race. S. Hopkins and P. Brankin won the individual title with D. Cornforth and D. Cornner coming third. Our thanks must go to all who helped to run the competition, particularly Mr. Ditcham who organised it.
The six a side Soccer saw us once again lose to Cunning this time on goal average. We had some consolation in the of the Juniors win in the Minor League Championship. Ww won this by four clear points with an 18-1 goal tally. Andrew Dearlove was one of the oustanding players on view. Thanks must Mr. Ditcham for coaching this side.
For the second sucessive year the organisers manged pick an overcast and wet day for the Inter House Cross-country Championships. Tedder did well in both the Junior and sections, A. Dearlove and D. Cornforth winning their respective races easily. P. Brankin also won the(Senior race with a good run, but a poor team effort here meant that we were beaten into second place overall.
In Basketball we won all our four matches. In fact, we never threatened with defeat in any game. Jacques Callens J Stapley and Peter Brankin played well for the Seniors and Ruskin, Alex Smith and Dave Cornforth did well for the Colts.
We have done quite well in the House Competitions s this year. We hope to do even better in the Athletic! Swimming Gala in the summer.
INTER HOUSE SPORTSINTER-HOUSE SWIMMING COMPETITION
This was held at the end of the summer term, July 1974 at Robb Lido by kind co-operation of 41 Commando.
There were five separate "age-groups"
RESULTS WERE AS FOLLOWS:
This was played in March on Saturday mornings at Corrradino. The competition was run in two age groups
Juniors (1st, 2nd, 3rd years), Seniors
(4th, 5th and 6th years).
In the second half of the Autumn Term we
played off the Inter-House Netball Competition. This was played on
This year we ran the inter-house rounders competition during the first part of the Autumn Term. The matches were played during games lessons, at Corridino on somewhat improvised pitches. Only the first four year in the school were included and each year group had a separate competition. The results were as follows:
BOYS INTER-HOUSE GAMES
The overall league positions were
Tedder won the Service Schools Minor League with five straight wins and an 18-1 goal average.
1974 saw the rebirth of the School Rugby Team. Our difficulties with this game exist partly from a lack of large numbers of senior boys and partly due to problems in finding suitable opposition. We drew our one and only game against 234 Signals Squadron 4-4 at the Marsa on the 10th of March. House Matches were played up to the third year. As in the Soccer each House won a section, Tedder and First Year, Alanbrooke the Second and Cunningham the Third. Cunningham were overall champions. Positions were
Tedder were unbeaten in the Basketball taking both the Colts and Senior titles.
The overall position was -
There was some excellent sport in these championships run off on February 8th. Conditions were cool with occasional showers to refresh tired bodies. Andrew Dearlove, the tireless whippet of 1B1 and Tedder House was Junior champion, beating his second year opposition convincingly. Cunningham were Junior team winners.
Dave Cornforth led a 1, 2, 3 Tedder win in the Colts race, while Peter Brankin made it an individual winner treble for Tedder by coming home first in the Senior race. The overall positions were - 1st Cunningham 173 points 2nd Tedder 187 points 3rd Alanbrooke 194 points.
This year we have had a much better chance of improving our skills, as we have been fortunate enough to have a match almost every week. We have played teams from Luqa, St. Angelo, Kirkee, Mtarfa and S.C.E.A.
The results were as follows: Played 10, Won 5, Lost 5, Drew 1.
These results were encouraging when we consider that most of the teams play in various League matches in (Malta.
Basically the team comprised Pearl Donvin, Ann Partridge, Annette Lyons, Gina Gall, Trudi Donvin, Carolyn Smith and Vivien Lowson.
Gill Walls, Lyn Barman, Su Harvey, Karen Booth and Philippa Knight also played on many occasions.
Our thanks go to Mrs. Whittle for supervising us and arranging our fixtures.
Ann Partridge U6.
SOCCER REPORT 1ST XI
After gaining valuable experience from last season, the games played so far indicate we have improved both tactically and physically. From the results this season in the league we have only managed to obtain two wins and a draw from the twelve games played.
P W D L P A
12 2 1 9 47 43
Both wins came at the expense of MTARFA, whom we beat 6-1 and 24-0. The drawn result was achieved against Eng. Wing, (2-2). Although losing nine matches the school gave a good account of themselves against the adult opposition. Probably with a bit more experience we would have been able to beat one or two more sides.
Although goals were not regular they more than doubled last season's figures, and this again indicates the team's improvement. P. Brankin has amassed 20 goals so far this season and his contribution, along with the aid of his supporting forwards, S. Hopkins and E. Smith, has shown the team's mettle. The midfield achievements have come as a result of the persistance of T. Latham, P. Darmody and M. Norman. The back line generally consisting of M. Smith, D. Ansell, !D. Phillips and S. Barman has found its footing and has proved more capable to cope as the gals against us would suggest compare with last season's. In goal K. Yull has proved to be a reliable custodian. Among others who have played a number of games and come on as reserves are C. Stapley, P. Hyland, M. Beaumont and Cornforth.
The school has also played a number of friendly matches, and has managed to obtain a number of positive results versus HMS SEALION (3-2), ZURRIEQ SCOUTS (4-2), HMS. ACHILLES (7-S) and drawn against HMS TIGER (1-1). Finally, on behalf of the team, I would like to thank Mr Newton, Mr Ricketts and Mr Taylor for giving up their spare time and organising the matches. Paul Darmody, Capt
SCHOOL HOCKEY REPORT
This year the two Tal Handaq Hockey Teams have done quite well over the duration of the fixtures. We have had a lot of matches and these were usually played on Saturday mornings, against outside opponents and on Wednesday evenings, after School if the teams were playing each other or the School-Staff Team. All the matches took place at Corradino.
Unfortunately the majority of our opponents are older than as but this does not necessarily mean they are better players. Our opponents consisted of the Wrens, nurses and a few others. Both of our School Hockey Teams have entered the Winter 1973-l974 hockey league along with the other ladies' teams. Each team plays each other twice and our School Teams, so far, have got, Tal Handaq 1 (mainly Seniors) 28 points and Tal Handaq 2 (mainly juniors) 18 points, the points were awarded as follows: Win = 5 points Draw = 3 points Loss = 0 points
The results of fixtures for Tal Handaq School Teams are
: TAL HANDAQ 1st Team
MARCH vs Staff 0-7 Loss
APRIL vs M. Nurses Win
vs L. O'Seas
vs T H 1
All members of both teams worked hard and their spirit was good, despite of a couple of let downs. On behalf of everyone I wish to thank Mrs. for all her hard work in organising our fixtures.
Frances Franklin 5K
Readers of this School Magazine might be Interested to know
that there is a flourishing Fifth and Sixth Form Badminton Club in
existence in the school.
TAL HANDAQ SCHOOL ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIP
WEDNESDAY 15th MAY 1974 -- POSITIONS
FINAL PLACINGS 1st TEDDER 582 pts 2nd CUNNINGHAM 47:3 pts 3rd ALANBROOKE 407 pts
A stranger to Tal
Handaq might well have described 'The King and I' as an astonishing
success but to those who saw 'OLIVER!' there was nothing astonishing
about it, although the fact that it played to packed houses an five
nights was a clear indication of its undoubted success. Comparisons
between the two productions were inevitable and these seems no point
in trying to avoid them.
THE FASHION SHOW
The Spring Fashion Show was held on the 0th of March and was an opportunity for the Home Economics Department to show the rest of the school and the general public a little of what goes on in the two Needlework rooms perched high at the top of the steep stairs of 12 Block. The show was held in the School Hall which was superbly decorated with skilfully produced appliques and collages.
The garments, numbering over a hundred, were made and modelled by the girls themselves from the first to the sixth form. Each of the articles displayed a good deal of flair and originality on the part of the makers. They ranged from the most casual outfits to elegant evening dresses.
Despite the fraying nerves of the participants beforehand, the show was very professionally performed to an appreciative audience of over 300. The earlier apprehensions of the girls could still be seen on the faces of our first two models, Sharon Wareing and Vicky Wilkins, the two youngest participants who were six years old. But they won the audience over with their charm and set the show off on a good footing. The show was ended on the same lines at 'last year, with a former pupil modelling her wedding dress -- with bridesmaids in attendance.
The show was compered by Christine Johnston and Jill Pelan. Obviously it could not have been such a success without the hard work of Miss Turner and Mrs Cole who organised and supervised the making and modelling of the dresses. We also want to thank Miss Hill and Miss Wilson who provided, with their willing helpers, some welcome refreshments.
Credit and thanks must be extended to staff, pupils and audience whose support helped to make this such a successful affair.
Smoking is the loot cause of many premature deaths and disabling illnesses lung cancer, bronchial and coronary diseases to name but a few, yet still people continue to smoke and others to take up this lethal habit. The definition of smoking itself, when looked at closely should, one would have thought, discourage even the least "intelligent", smoking being defined as the practice of drawing into the lungs the fumes of a burning vegetable substance. Ironically enough, smoking is thought to have had a ritual origin connected with funeral rites.
What can we do about it? The obvious answer is not to take up smoking in the first instance. However, a couple of years ago the Royal College of Physicians drew up a report in which several recommendations were made. These recommendations have as their goal the preservation of the lives and health of thousands of smokers who would otherwise continue year after year to become ill and die before their time.
Doctors, teachers and parents should set an example by refraining from smoking. The government must look beyond an easy source of revenue to the reality of the injurious effects of cigarettes on the health of the country. More restrictions on smoking in public transport and places of entertainment. The committee also made some recommendations which have already been implemented warning notices on cigarette packets, and the tar and nicotine content of all marketed brands of cigarettes have been published.
Finally, to the man who finds after all this that he simply cannot do without his daily dosage of 'burning vegetable fumes, the committee recommends that, "smokers smoke fewer cigarettes, take fewer puffs, inhale less, smoke less of each cigarette, take the cigarette out of the mouth between puffs and to moke brands with low nicotine and tar content." Wouldn't it be easier and much more sensible just to give up smoking?
Julie Davies L6.
Tobacco, I love you!
You bring me -peace, tranquillity and joy.
I love to wallow in smoke-filled halls, breathing deep.
Oh, Virginia Filter! I adore you in your Silk Cut garments of Red, gold and blue.
As I caress your smooth sheath, rolling you between hot,
Eager fingers, I dream dreams
I see Three Nuns come sailing by
On a reeking ship of the desert,
By darkest night, past Three Castles high
Perched upon purple clouds,
Stern grave guards of metallic tint surround these Embassies grim.
In the shimmering haze I see a cool mountain stream meandering
Lazily down to the mirrored surface of
A man comes riding on a Camel, through the Gold-Leaved Stub trees,
His name? Peter Stuyvesant, Ambassador from the king-size realm of Albany.
Dismounting swiftly from his faithful steed, he prances gaily Into the B. and H. store; his armour rattling,
He dishes out 10,000 coupons for a Years supply of Gold Spot,
Remounts his sturdy beast and gallops off into the wide blue yonder,
Closely followed by Players No 1, 6 and 10 of the Old Hotburn village croquet team.
Then I awake from my reverie, my body
wracked with coughs and
The seventh Autumn meeting of the Malta Racing Club lived up to its expectations with some fine racing. After a warm night and drying winds the going was good to soft but this did not seem to effect the horses too much. The first race, a "Go as you please" was rather farcical in that it had to be re-run because of a false start. The red and white sashed Martello driven by his owner J. Galea took the first prize of six pounds by half a length from Lucky, with Wakwakina a further length in arrears. Seeing that Wakwakina was running from the plus thirty yards pen he did well to take third place in this five fur-long race.
This is a typical race on the one and three-quarter mile Malta race track at Marsa something like this can be expected to happen every Sunday (weather permitting) from October until June. But unusual things can and do occur. Only today the shafts of sulky snapped like matchwood while the horse was trotting at full speed. Luckily the jockey was not hurt but the horse (much to the delight of the crowd and disgust of the people chasing him in an ambulance) did a whole circuit of the track before making a dash for home along a busy road. At other times the sulky has slipped clear out of the harness or some seemingly gentle bucks have deposited the fat middle-aged rider in the dust while the horse played havoc in the crowd. Such are the horses who dislike racing but others cannot wait to get going. No two are the same, like the races that they run in and the people who watch them race.
The Maltese are keen on betting on horses but the races are more of an opportunity for the home-loving community of Malta to meet and watch their favourites in action. I'm not saying they don't bet hut they use this as an opportunity to get together. You find all types there. From the stewards' wives dressed for Royal Ascot to the humblest of settlers, all there to make money and enjoy themselves. The old men make up a big part of the spectators flat-capped, cigar puffing, soberly dressed old men. Sometimes limping from their wounds, sometimes angry when they lose money but all happy to be alive.
The horse plays a large part in the so called rural life of Malta. From the roving young sportsman behind his racer to the humblest of grocers on his own cart, they all help to make Malta a horse lovers' paradise. And who knows, with the present fuel shortage we might see more of the horse In Britain now half a mile to the carrot.
The formation of Ghar Dalam all started when Malta was joined to Europe. All it was at first was a surface with a tunnel under it. Water was going over the surface and through little faults in the rocks. When the water was dripping through the rocks it found its way into the tunnel.
The river was running on the surface and was cutting downwards towards the tunnel. The water dissolved the rock and it made a tunnel.
The roof collapsed and bones were sucked and washed Into the cave. They were pushed into the clay and had a, hard substance made round them.
The river continued to make the valley deeper until it reached the tunnel. When that happened different layers built up in the cave. Then the water level began to go to below the cave mouth.
Then the water flow ceased. Early man used the cave thousands and thousands of years after.
Later on after thousands of years had passed a Professor Issel discovered the cave, and excavated it.
Judy Flegg 1B1.
On such a night as this it seemed impossible that the sea's wrath could be stopped. The waters roared in and the wind grew stronger and stronger until it looked as if even the houses themselves would not be able to withstand the immense strength of the elements.
But now all is still. The storm has passed and the sea and wind have calmed. The after effects can still be seen but it is the gulf of silence that offends the ear, more so than the deafening roar of the sea.
Chris Harrison XJ6.
MAGISTRI (for the Old Ones)
For what are they,
These mentors of information,
That they should tell me what to do;
Why must I bow and scrape before them,
And listen to their boring orations
That send me to escape them in
The blissful sleep of ignorance?
They are archaic, yet not of many years,
Is it age or us that rusts them up,
Makes their minds and lessons slow
Let me die young.
They treat me as a child, a fool
Who is 'mindless, without will;
Someone who must be told what to do,
And when to do it.
I cannot even answer them back as
I would like to,
It is uncivil, rude and
insubordinate I must hear and obey, Like some, flesh-covered Mindless computer with human faults.
They must have been young once. Was it five years ago
Or three thousand, That they should forget the angry Passionate flood of youth and rebellion
That bears us along in its sweeping tide, Before it is calmed by the creeping Passages of time?
O, Abba Father, do not let me Become like them: Dried-up remnants Of a once young generation,
Let me sip the wine of Eternal youthfulness.
GUESS THE TEACHER
FRONT ROW : David Taylor, Mavis Turner, Stephen Singleton,, Lt. Cdr. J. Cottam, Cdr. M.F. Law, Pamela Smith, Lt. Cdr. C. McCafferty, Brian Leonard, Trevor Ricketts.
SECOND ROW : Moira Clarke, Imelda Dickinson, Carmel Walsh, Maureen Whittle, Joyce Walden, Hilary Hill, Michael Caseley, Judith Stansfield, Sylvia Beckett, James' Hobson, Charles Aquilina, John Treeby.
THIRD ROW : Laurence Bezzina, John Naylor, Hugh Ritchie, Norah Ash, Margaret MacKay, Kenneth Winn, Merilyn Man-ley-Harris, Rosemary Leighton, James Glover, Elizabeth Cole, Carl Hancock.
FOURTH ROW : Jeffrey Bonner, John Clemens, Alan Latham, June Lattimer, Lewis Finnis, David Ditcham, Barrie Menhams, Robert Woolams, Ronald Ransom, Michael Newton.
BACK ROW : Frank Kitson, Robert Ward, Barrie Jones, Philip Allen, David Walker, Peter Wright.
ABSENT : Miss Mary Spray, Miss Helen Wilson, Miss Sandra Camilleri.
SCHOOL IN THE DISTANT FUTURE
School today is not too bad, but it will be very different in the distant future. Instead of catching a bus or having to walk to school, the children will have their own jets which will be strapped to their backs.
The appearance of the school will be much different. Each building will be like a giant bubble and you will be able to see everything that is inside it. The teachers will not be humans but they will be robots. Everything that they have to teach will be computerised into them. The school will start at 9 am and finish at 3 pm. There will still be assembly but instead of singing a hymn, they will sing a pop song.
After assembly the pupils will fly to their classrooms and wait for their robot teachers. The robots will be very efficient and very strict. Nobody in the class is allowed to talk. If they do, the robots quickly hand out punishment exercises. When it is done, it is put into the robots back and quickly corrected. Each child has its own computer and adding machine. They will not have pens or pencils.
In these bubble rooms, there will be neither desks nor chairs. All around the wall will be buttons. When they are pressed, stools will come out of the wall.
The pupils will not learn Geography or History as it will not be needed. The computers and the adding machines will be used in Maths so that it will much easier. The girls will not do such things as needlework or cookery. This is because there will be vitamin pills and their clothes will be made of plastic. There will not be any Science subjects either, as they will be too far advanced for it. There will still be Religious Education because they still believe in God. When they do art, it will be very different. The paint brushes will be on remote control and every drawing will be perfect.
This is how I think schools in the distant future will be.
Anne Burton 3D.
MY DREAM HOUSE
My dream house would be two unused lighthouses (built into each other) placed in the middle of a ten acre section in the outskirts of a quiet town. In the ten acre section I would have a two hundred yard swimming pool shaped in a modern design. As well on that section I would have tennis courts, badminton courts, squash courts and I would have a rugby pitch and a basketball court. For the other five acres I would have subtropical jungle with animals roaming freely in it.
Inside the house I would have eight bedrooms each equipped with a radio telephone and a colour television. In my living room I would have eight automatically operated seats which can move round the room towards the television room or towards the dining room.
The television room would have eight sets of television for different channels round the world. The bedrooms would all be different colours with G-Plan furniture. These rooms would take up the first four floors. On the next three would be games rooms indoor rugby, football, tennis and general games. Then on the remaining six floors there would be two party rooms with two spare bedrooms. Then there would be the next two floors taken up with kitchens, on the top floor there would be a dining room with a superb view in every direction. All the rooms would have an intercom automatically operated.
Everything in the house would be automatic, lift, telephone, can-opener, bed-maker, bottle-opener, drink cabinet, potato-peeler, music, television on and off and an automatic parking meter for my guests.
Ian McKenzie 3D.
Boring lessons, teachers, rules, Homework, detentions, tests,
Ruler, pencil, rubber, stools, Bag, home, rest.
Revise, learn, swot, worry, Nervous, tension, strain,
Separate, quiet, silence, feury, Hurry, write, brain.
Sallie Home 3D.
Ticket queue starve wait tasteless horrible old chips sausage beans plate greasy hard cold.
Old wreck shaky bumpy wheels exhaust smoke seats hard cold lumpy pollution smell choke.
Craig Venables 3D.
This year the club started off with a large number of members including two girls, but now the number has dwindled to three, K. Maidment, P. McGregor and Hedgehog. These three disciples of the computer have now learnt the basic stages of programming a computer and also have a vague idea of how It works. There is only one thing lacking in our computer studies course and that is a computer. We have made up lots of programmes for one and have an ample supply of punched cards. Mr Woolams has even designed one and drawn a picture of it for us to look longingly at. If you want to become involved in computers here is the sort of person that you really need to be; you need a logical mind, you need to be able to think things out and to be able to work in a set way. You also need to be fairly good at maths, but you don't need to be an expert or a genius. We would like to thank Mr Woolams who gave up a lot of his spare time teaching us and making up programmes, also the people who arranged films for us.
K. Maidment 6G.
THE RECORDER CLUB
In the Spring term, every Tuesday evening after school, the headmaster held the recorder club in the Music room. It was for people who could read music and play the recorder reasonably well. There were about sixteen members from the first, second and third years. We play lots of music from recorder books one and two. The headmaster made us work very hkrd at every piece of music he chose for us to play. He is a very good recorder player himself. Some of the noises we made trying to get the high sounds were not very beautiful, but at least we tried. Sometimes we were made to play a piece of music in parts, solo or in groups. We played a lot of different kinds of music. It was a good recorder club because we all enjoyed playing the recorder and were willing to learn any new notes. We could not have been formed without the headmaster's help or arrived at such a successful club.
C. Birchenough 3F.
THE PHYSICS CLUB
The Physics club got off to a good start this year with the members pursuing a wide range of activities, all associated with the subject of physics. Some members built demonstration apparatus, for example Neil Maidment built a ripple tank with the help of some of '73's 3F, and on his own he built a ring vibrator. Other members of the club made such things as shock coils and cartesian divers. "Hedgehog" went mad this year and started to produce things like an "expanded polystyrene cutter" and other mysterious devices. Two people in the club used this time as a chance to learn of "The Wonders of Electrickery". and so followed a course on basic electronics. These two pioneers of the scientific world were K. Maidment and D. Stapleford. K. Maidment went on to build a simple radio which worked after being taken completely to bits and put back together again. We would like to thank Mr Winn who gave up a lot of his spare time to supervise us. The Physics Club is open to all members of the school and t the time of writing it is held on Thursday evenings. New members are always welcome (this is the chance to build that new computer that you have been planning). If anyone is interested in joining please contact Mr WftUk
K. Maidment 6G.
We were to have had a report from the
Chemistry Club here
There have been Helix dances nearly every fortnight over the last year, lasting until 11 p.m., and the response has been mixed. 'Alco' disco have provided the sounds for most of the dances, and they have helped to make the evenings a success.
As always during the holiday, the attendance is much higher than normal due to the large influx of overseas students. However, during the term, the numbers have steadily dropped until it has reached a stage where, if attendances do not pick up again soon, the committee will have no alternative but to close the club down, as at present we are running at a loss. The committee hopes the members realise there is a need for the Helix, and that they will ensure that the club's rules are not abused, as we will lose the premises otherwise.
Among others, our sincere thanks must go to 'Alco' disco, those members of staff, particularly Mr Ritchie, Mr Glover, Miss Lattimer and Miss Stansfield, whose supervision has been tactful yet authorative, and Mr Grixti, our Naafl Manager.
Philately is the world's most popular hobby. Therefore an dea long cherished by many has now crystallized into reality, he school now has a budding young stamp club. The original Idea for the club came from that shining temple of talent, the sixth form. Miss Leighton, herself a keen philatelist, was kind enough to offer to run the club in her room and, besides the .sixth formers present, provides an invaluable source of information for the mores inexperienced collectors.
The club's twenty or so members now meet on Mondays,
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, to swap and buy stamps, discuss
i>ocial interests and issues. We also study the history of various
postal systems (e.g. the pony express), and arrange auctions and
competitions of various kinds.
This is a thriving, healthy and interesting hobby, and new members are always welcome to come along to any of our meetings in Miss Leighton's art room.
G. Simister, P. Branbin.
THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S AWARD SCHEME
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme offers young people a challenge. Those involved are encouraged to develop existing interests or undertake something new. Thousands of young people flnd not only fresh ideas, but also wider opportunities for enjoyment, excitement and satisfaction in their leisure time.
The Duke of (Edinburgh group at Tal Handaq, inspired by Miss Lattimer and Mr. Ditcham, planned an expedition project in September lOTB. Three girls and thirteen boys accompanied by supervisors set off, fully laden, for the campsite at Ta' Biegi, Gozo. After the rigours of our Easter camp we were under the impression that this trip would not be too strenuous, and looked forward to a lot of canoeing and rock-climbing.
The impression faded on the first morning when Mr. Ditcham handed out the maps and route cards. In fact, things were not so black, as after the day's march we had our first taste of canoeing and rock-climbing. We canoed on the inland sea and, in spite of a few capsizes and very little sense of direction, it was a very enjoyable activity. Our rock-climbing instructor, Mr. Joerning, took over and introduced us to the techniques of this exhilarating sport. After a lot of 'knee-trembling' and 'panic stations', we realised that it can be a very safe and exciting exercise if all the rules and safety principles are observed.
The days were fully occupied walking, canoeing, the rock-climbing, and continual practice gave us confidence. On the final morning we crawled out of our sleeping bags at 4 a.m. to climb to the highest point in Gozo to see the sun rise. This was not a very popular pastime. Nevertheless we learned a great deal during the expedition, and all agreed that it was a very enjoyable five days.
D. Brankin 5th year
The four walls and a peeling ceiling, Press down womb-like, On the skull-faced man, Slunk in an armchair by the empty grate.
A cigarette hangs like an ember, Of life between, Slack, cold lips.
The ashtray is empty, The floor is piled with crushed stubs of dead cigarettes. The man is dead too.
The room is his coffin, The ceiling, six feet over.
Across the street the blare of Raucous life and drunkeness Swells the neighbourhood,
And a bray of laughter bays The moon a wolf's wake night After.
A life-time, lonely-time away From the cat-man in the Sunken armchair.
The traveller stands (rigid)
This is the crust which has lain unchanged, since the
Dawn of time.
Those are the mountains which have remained monolithic
From the beginning.The terrain is alien;
i urn stone, rock and peak bares fangs of hostility.
He moves forward.
Unsure, unwilling; he knows not what to expect
As he scans the horizon.
Moving slowly, he makes his mark on this new world.
Rays of blue light play across his helmet as he -
These metallic circles do not belong;
They cling coldly to his hand.
He cannot release them.
Increasing, sudden pain induces paralysis.
He feels the organs of his body being shut down
Like a machine.
There is no sound now.
There is no volume control he can push to
Break the silence He is alone.
His eyes are closing clinking shut.
The gears inside him grind to a halt. He visualises his heart (a corroded battery) His mechanised heart stops. Oblivion.
Steve Jones 6GMC.
A GOOD PIECE OF ADVICE
Four more soldiers were shot today, High velocity bullets very large calibre. Smuggled from 'States the people say. Are the soldier's families happier?
Happiness is a state of mind,
But when your son, father, brother, uncle, nephew, husband, lover
Has just been kitted,
Where will you find
Have you ever seen blood on a pavement?
Wet, sticky a lazy fly
Pale faces gasp in amazement 'Shot in the guts by some wise guy.'
An Indian's hatchet, red mist like dew.
Brain exposed to the midday sun.
Don't kid yourself that violence is something new.
It's been around since the world's begun.
That's the big threat.
But it starts close to home.
Weak man and strong man, by moonlight ill-met.
Ransom! Anonymous over the phone.
And it starts in your own world.
Bullying petty grievences
Venom. Tongue curled,
Like a snake.
And now I tell yal
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
One fine night the moon may search the earth for us,
And find nought but ashes.
P. G. MacGregor TJ6.
When I went to America this time, I arrived there by plane. I went straight to my Godparents house in Silt, Colorado. It is a mall town of about five hundred inhabitants. I arrived In the i1':ill when the leaves on the trees were turning colour to red, to Gold and to orange.
There wasn't any snow on the ground and the weather was too cold for that time of year, except for the morning frosts. Later on in December and January there were two to three feet it snow on the ground.
The little town of Silt is peaceful and quiet. It has a main street with a grocery store, drug store, bar, three gas stations .nd a lot of houses.
I lived in a little country house about two miles from town across the river. In the front yard we had two old wagons that we hitched mules up to. The house had a large fence around it To the right and left of the house were two pastures for the horses. Further back, about fifty yards from the house, were our chicken-coops, with about a hundred chickens, while across the path from it was the grain shed, where we stored our grain and mule team gear.
At the back of the chicken-coop were our corrals, there was a corral for weening young colts, a breaking corral where we broke our broncs, then a branding corral where we branded yearling calves (stinky work because of the smell of burning hair) and the feeding trough for the mules and horses.
In our spare time we rode horses and motorcycles. But the thing I most liked to do was to hunt. We have a hunting season for big game, from October 31st to November 20th. The big game we hunt are Deer, Elk, Bear, Rabbit (small game), Antelope, Moose and Caribou. All have separate seasons for hunting.
The way people dressed in my home town is different to the way people dress here. We wear cowboy clothes, though some other boys wore bell-bottom pants and had long hair.
The sports we played were American football, basketball, baseball, Rodeo, wrestling, hiking, skiing. All of those sports were done at school.
The hippies are still going strong, but at the same time they are going out of style. The hippies are dirty, rude people. The long-hairs are young people that have long hair but are always clean and have good manners.
In school the students do not have to wear a school-uniform. They can wear anything they want to.
The winter sports that we like to do are skiing, snowmobiling and ice-skating and just plain sliding on the snow. Snowmobiling is fun. It is a machine that has two skis, a track and a four stroke engine that can reach a speed of about 100 m.p.h.
In the summer we have a lot to do. We ride motorcycles and go swimming and camping.
It is fun living in the United States.
Paul Bussell 4th year.
SPRING HAS SPRUNG
"Spring has sprung!" said the Robin to the Mouse,
"Now's the time to clean your house,
Now's the time to hear birds sinff,
Now's the time to hear babies make a din."
To watch the lambs out in the fields
With their large wolly mothers as their shields,
To see the grass spring up so soon,
And see young flowers in full bloom.
"Winters gone!" said the scarecrow to the dog. No more rain, sleet, hail and fog, Gone the ringing bells and the kings of old. Gone the harsh wind that was so cold.
Gone are the holly and the twigs of mistletoe, Gone are the snowball fights and the statues made of snow, Gone is the carol singer with lamps and (carol sheets, Gone is the weather 'cold and comes warm heat.
"Summers soon!" said the barnowl to the bat Soon comes the time as on the beam he sat, Soon comes the time when sun beats down so low, Soon comes the time when the farmer starts to sow.
Coming is the time when flowers are in full bloom Coming is the time when Autumn will be soon, But then comes round Winter <and the wind is at fun blast, And Spring has sprung at last! at last!
Alison White 2A1.
In the morning when the sky is bright And the sun takes over from cool ^moonlight. And as the day life flag unfurls, The clouds float in gathered curls.
Then the sky -grows dark, And the wind turns cold, And the sky is split, with threads of gold.
And when it stops the sky grows, still And nothing more is seen, until, The -sunset glows with golden light, To usher in again, the night.
Susan Culverhouse-Steadman 2A2.
Because I'm a mouse that eats and plays all day
I'm a mouse and I live in a house,
A small house with bars allround.
I can not get out for I'm a mouse.
I eat and play all day,
I sleep all night until light comes.
Then the time has come for me to play day.
For I'm a mouse in a house.
Andrew Staplefowl 1C2.
I met a man from Mars.
Who has his feet in 'Jars.
He is dressed in Red.
He stays in bed.
And he spends his time eating Ma-rs Ba-rs.
Tom Witherow 1C2.
The cat is walking He's silently stalking His coat is ruffled His footsteps muffled His whiskers twitching His stomach is itching A meal is waiting Oh now he is hating.
Christine Elms 3D.
Sid's snake coils round and round Without making a tiny little sound. It coils round trees and bits of wood It would coil round people if it could. It tried to coil round Sid's legs once But he hit him smartly on the bonce.
Yvonne Wilson 1B1.
I saw a man go hop, hop, hop,
Up to the top of a hill top, top,
I saw a man go jump, lump, jump,
On to a camels hump, hump, hump,
I saw man go skip, skip, skip,
Into a pool for a dip, dip, dip,
I saw a man go for a walk, walk, walk,
Who always stopped for a talk, talk, talk.
I saw a man on a run, run, run,
Going to a van for a hot cross bun.
Debbie Humphreys 1B1.
The world is full of thieves, that is my belief, not villanous thieves nor even human thieves.
The daffodil steals the sunlight all golden yellow and bright, the meadow steals the dew drops to feed the springtime new crops, yes, the world is full of thieves.
The cuckoo steels other birdsnests but does he really care? the bees, they steal the honey but with grace beyond compare, yes, the world is full of thieves.
As one bird takes small sticks
another from loose soil pickstwigs and worms
all sorts of forms,
yes, the world is full of thieves.
Susan Burton 231.
Silent soft snow, snowflakes silky flow, sending sprinkles blow, spraying down below.
Silvery shining, like gold, Slushing slippery, looks old, shing snowballs, cold to hold, sulky snowmen, strong and bold.
Kathrin Howorth 4L.
HOW I DISCOVERED FIRE
My name is Elfon, I am a member of the Remaney Tribe. The whole of the tribe live in a series of caves in the side of a hill.
The leader of our tribe, Rolfion, had just died. We put him in "The Cave of the Next World", with the bodies of the other dead leaders. We had put him in the cave with his furs and weapons, so that he would have all he needed for his life in the Next World.
To find out who would be the next leader, we had a contest. The person who found the thing which will be most useful to the tribe would win the contest and be the next leader.
I went into the forest, to hunt some deer, but whilst I was looking, it started raining. I ran towards the nearest cave and went in it. I was watching from the cave, when I saw a thunder bolt strike a tree. The tree which was struck, suddenly started glowing a peculiar yellow-red colour. The yellow-red colour seemed to be eating the wood of the tree. I thought it was alive and did not want it to kill me, so I went up to it with a piece of wood, and offered the wood to it. The wood started to glow as well, so (I took it into (the cave to keep it warm and dry. When it was in the cave I put it on the floor, and put my hand towards it, and my hand got hot, then I put my hand in it and my hand got so hot that it hurt. I quickly drew my hand away from it. By this time it had stopped raining, so I went back to the tribe with the glowing piece of wood and went to show it to my wife. I went into the cave and called her name. She called back to me saying that she was at the back of the cave. I went to the 'back of the cave and was surprised to see that the glow from the wood lit up the walls of the cave. My wife was amazed to see what I had found, but suddenly the wood stopped glowing, and I was left with a piece of blackened wood. I tried to make the glow come back, but I could not.
The next day I was shaping a piece of flint with a stone when a spark came out of the stone and landed in some dry grass and made it glow. I took a piece of wood and put it into the glow, then the wood started glowing. I showed the piece of wood to the Elders who were judging the contest. I told them it could be used for making heat, giving light and the blackened wood which was left could be used for drawing. The Elders said this was one of the most useful things ever discovered, they also said I had won the contest and I was the new leader of the tribe. I named the glow 'IFire". Later on someone discovered that "Fire" could be used for cooking.
Sean O'Brien 1A1.
Four o'clock the school is out, Here the children run and shout. Across the road and on the way, Home again and out to play.
The next morning at half--past-eight, The children trundle through the gate. Wondering just what's in store, English, Maths or maybe more.
The dinner bell has rung at last. All the children run so far, To the dinner-hall they all go, Egg and tomato-No\ Nol No\
The dinner bell has gone once "more, All the children lined at the door. Here's the teacher with some books, Oh, more homework or so it looks.
Four o'clock the school is out. Here the children run and shout. Across the road and on their way, Home again and out to play
Alan Hill 2B2.
THE DARK SIDE
He sobbed of a bloody coup
In that fixed transparent window
Through his corporeal self;
Had compelled a loving child
To grow and seek alone,
And then, afraid Of hurt,
Anaesthetized, too violent by far,
Then laughing, laughing at his folly
Cried, and wept,
And made small noises,
'Till foetus-like, He was rapt, and wrapped himself about one knee. Linda Ross U6.
Netball is essentially a non-contact game ...
In which sign Language can be used ...
Though it is rarely understood ...
Players sometimes hide the ball ...
But generally co-operate ...
You can win by planning ...
.. or praying ...
Or fouling ....
But throwing the ball
to spectators is
The public are protected
behind wire mesh from
vicious people (who are always muzzled)
Victory is celebrated in the traditional way
I've been to many places With my service family, To Singapore and Hong Kong And once to Germany.
We've packed so many boxes We're always on the move I know that people envy us When they're stuck in a groove.
But, sometimes how I envy them, I'd love to settle down And never have to change my school My friends, my house, my town.
I liked the Hong Kong bustle And the shops were grand to see, But I must confess that M and S Is the only shop for me.
We swam a lot in Singapore In a sea so blue and gay But as for me I like the sea In Cornwall and Torbay.
I like the Maltese pasta
Their cakes I do adore
But when fish and chips pass through my lips
I could not ask for more.
And when we've finished travelling My life will be complete But now and then I wonder when I'll get itchy feet.
Gary Booth 3E.
I built myself a go-kart On a bright and sunny day. I took it to the top of a hill Which led down to a bay.
As I started down the hill The wheels began to shake, rt was only then I realised I hadn't got a brake.
As the kart went faster
And charged towards the sea,
I knew that someone
Was going to get into trouble
And I know that that someone
Timothy London 2B2.
Next to the window I sit on my chair. What the teacher is saying I really don't care.
I just sit there gazing Out at the sky, Watching and dreaming, As the clouds go by.
Sarah Wollaston 1A1.
Ice is such a slippery thing It slithers from your hands It flies as if it were on wings Through cold antartic lands.
K. Willnott 1B2.
Hissing, howling through the night, Growling, winding winning its fiffht, Bustling, hustling innocent leaves, Buzzing constantly like a swarm of bees. Knocking pots in gardens green, Trying to push through the woodland screen Damaging badly the village church, While the village men begin their search, For the little children lost on the moor, Lost in the wind and the perishable thaw.
Diana Lunn 2A1.
I saw the sea
Whistling wind blowing against the rocks
Eating hungrily at the cliffs
Sea gulls screaming at the sea
But the sea presses on defiantly
Stopping for nothing in it's path.
Cheetah, cheetah running hard Every inch and every yard, An Antelope that runs away Seems to toe the cheetah's prey.
Through the trees and through the jungle, Trying to catch this long-legged bundle, Now he's on the Antelop's skin, What a sight! He's going to win.
Now he rips his prey apart Reaching for its tender heart. What a lovely dinner he ate, He takes the rest back to his mate.
Steven Burton 1A2.
At last I found an empty seat in a compartment, in one of the last carriages. After settling down with my luggage on the rack above my head, I had time to take note of my fellow-passengers.
There were six seats in the compartment, four of which were now taken. Those which were empty, were opposite me and next to the door. I was sitting next to the door, and had an excellent view of the other passengers in the compartment.
On the far right and next to the window, was a scrufflly dressed youth of about seventeen. He was reading a rather crumpled 'Musical Express'. He wore a dirty old pair of Levi jeans, which were faded at the knees and in between the legs. They were covered with an assortment of badges, and at the bottom were three whitish lines, from creases showing they had been let down several times. On his feet, which were only just visible, because his frayed jeans covered a good part of them, he wore what were once a pair of white plimsolls.
He wore a camel coloured, canvas jacket over I made out to be a yellowish t-shirt with a transfer of Joe Cocker on it. His jacket was covered in (badges and studs like his trousers. His hair was black, unruly, coarse and hung straggled to his shoulders. It was parted down the middle, and so much flopped over his face, that I wasn't able to see much of his complexion or features.
Across from this youth sat a very executive type of gentleman. He wore horn-rimmed spectacles, pin-stip suit, bowler hat, bow-tie. A black umbrella and a matching black and silver briefcase completing the tackle. He proceeded to read a pink paper called the 'Financial Times'. He looked as though he would be going to Mayf air or Knightsbridge.
Between him and myself sat a rather frail old gentleman, who caught my attention when I heard him cackle. When I looked towards him, his eyes looked as though they were on fire and about to pop out of his head! He was reading what I noticed to be a 'Men Only' magazine, and was gazing in a somewhat intriguing manner at the nude in the middle pages.
This man must of been about sixty-nine years old. He was totally bald, except for a few sparsely scattered grey hairs. He
had a sympathetic face, rosy red cheeks, sparkling blue eyes, and a clear complexion. He wore a pair of grey-flannel trousers, with turn-ups. He wore a big thick duffle coat, over a big polo-necked jumper. He must of been absent minded, because he still had his red carpet slippers on his feet.
After noting my fellow passengers, I began to read the 'Daily Express'. Seconds before the train pulled out on a journey of fifty miles to London, a rather thin woman and a small girt rushed into the compartment.
The woman looked about fifty years old, though I do not suppose she was more than thirty-five. Her appearance was that of someone who had just been shopping at a jumble sale. She was tattily dressed. She wore a very dowdy brown dress, on top of which she wore an off-white cardigan. She wore no tights and her legs were white and the skin flaky. Her shoes were out of the 'fifties' -- stiletto heeled and pointed toes, being navy 'blue in colour. Her hair, a darkish brown was tied in a bun at the nape of her neck. It was under-groomed, and was scraped back carelessly. She had a few spots, and the only makeup she wore was a bright red tarty lipstick.
The young girl, who I would say was about two and a half years old, seemed to be her daughter, though she did not look like the woman. She was a very pretty little girl. She had blonde curly hair and deep brown eyes, and a clear, pale complexion. She too, was scrufflly dressed. She wore a matted blue cardigan over a navy-blue dress. Both the dress and the cardigan were stained. Her socks reached her ankles and her shoes were scuffed and dirty.
The little girl was a great nuisance throughout the journey She persisted in running up and down the compartment, in defiance of her mother's intentions. They must of been returning from holiday, because the woman had a very recognisable cockney accent.
The executive gentleman, sitting along from me, was so disgusted with the behaviour of the little girl, that he left the compartment. I was thankful that my stop was not so far away, and I left the train relieved that I did not have to put up with those two any more, but at the same time, I felt sorry for those left in the compartment with them!
Deborah Johnston 3D.
The sun beat down fiercely from a smouldering azure-blue sky. The slightest movement caused the winding track to 'become a dust-filled haze. The silence rose, oppressive like a cloud covering far and near. To the right a tiny moving figure, magnified, was a peasant. With bare feet and bronzed and wrinkled face he led his mule to the water trough. He sat down in the shadow of a tall palm tree and soon, mouth open, was snoring loudly.
All around the world slept as lie came panting over the crest of a small hill. His face was lined and haggard and dripping with sweat. 'His lungs wheezed and he stumbled, hardly able to move another step. But a quick hurried glance behind him hastened him on and, contorted with pain he came down to the sea.
The beach was a crescent moon of white sand out of which the cliffs rose steeply. The sand was fringed with palm trees and the blue sea lapped gently against it. The sea, a multitude of colours, palely transparent green, blue, and darkening in shade until deep water was reached. It looked cooly inviting and he ran, neither looking left nor right into the blue full depths until he disappeared completely from sight.
Philippa Knight U6.
The city lay shimmeringly beautiful under the clear blue sky High above, the sleek torpedo-shaped airbuses swam silently through the air, sunlight glinting on their clean metallic sides. The wide, tree-lined avenues were a-bustle as servoships and Androids in air jeeps going about their pre-programmed businesses. It was beautiful and as he watched from a street corner, Gerec Pentaden felt a lump come to his throat and tears roll down his cheeks. What, what was the use of it all? The most beautiful city in the universe, useless.
A voice made him turn on his heel. "Is something wrong Master?" 7 feet of glittering blue-eyed Android perfection tower-Ing above him. Another monument to human skill. "No" he answered sharply. "No nothing is wrong."
"I understand master." Yes dammit it understood; in its emotional logic banks. Suddenly he wanted to beat his head iigalnst a wall and scream in frustration. In Its cold machine mind the thing, it understood the feelings of the last of the Imman race.
Geoffrey Simister L6.
OUT OF THE SEA AT DAWN
It was early dawn when H was looking our of my bedroom
window. I saw the sea, it was very quiet and not a sound was
heard. There were rocks on the sea. All was still, except for
of the rocks, it was moving very slowly. I thought it might
be waves of the sea making it move, so I drew the curtains,
crawled into my bed and went to sleep. When I woke up next morning, I got out of bed and looked to see if the rock was still moving. Yes it was but it no longer looked like a rock, it looked like a huge iron sea serpent with a narrow tube coming out of its neck. It had a piece of round
glass on the end of the tube. It came
closer and closer to the sea side. I shivered and told everyone what
I saw. Then the serpent stopped and people came out of it, they
from the serpent's side and they were dressed in very peculiar
As morning came, the first thing I did was look out of my window to see the gigantic snake, but the strangest thing was, that the serpent was gone far into the sea again.
Anna-Maria Gelsphorpe 2A2.
LONDON '0' LEVEL G.C.E. PASSES 1973
Biology J. O'Regan, P. Reiss, J. Thompson, M. Dennis, E. Smith.
British Constitution D. Stapley.
Chemistry P. Reiss, S. Hazel, D Sweet.
Commerce G. Harris, J. Ross, C. Beer, P. Darmody, M. Dennis, G. Simister.
English Language P. Donvin A. Edgell, J. Marshall, J, O'Regan, J. Pelan, J. Piper, P. (Reiss, J. Ross, J. Thompson, C Wilkins, P. Brooker, P. Darmody, M. Dennis, C. Dillon, R. Hazel S. Hazel, J. Jackson-Sytner, S. Jones, T. Latham, D. McVeigh, K. Maidment, J. Shepherd, G. Simister, E. Smith, D. Sweet, N. Thorp, P. Whiting, K. Yull.
English Literature J. O'Regan, J. Pelan, P. Reiss, J. Ross, J Thompson.
Food And Nutrition K. Beer, C. Burton, A. .Edgell, G. Edgell, S. Harour, J. Pelan, D. Ryan, C. Smith, L. Woodfln.
French C.Easton, C. Johnston, J. Marshall, A. Packshaw, J Pelan, P. Reiss, S. Hazel, E, Smith, D. Sweet, P. Whiting.
Geography J. O'Regan, P. Reiss, M. Dennis, E. Smith, D, Sweet, P. Whiting.
History J. Ross, S. Jones, L. Moscrop, D. Stapley.
History (British Economic) J. Pelan.
Human Biology S. Harbour, G. Harris, J. Ross, S. Hazel.
Mathematics (C) - - J. O'Regan, A. Partridge, J. Jackson-Sytner, J. Shepherd, E. Smith, D. Sweet.
Mathematics (D) O. Easton, P. Brooker, M. Dennis, C. Dillon, T. Latham.
Mathematics Advanced S. Hazel.
Needlecraft K. Beer, P. Donvin, A. Edgell, G. Edgell, J Marshall, J. Piper, G. Walls.
Physics P. Reiss, L. Bridwell, P. Brooker, S. Hazel, K, Maidment, E. Smith, D. Sweet.
Technical Drawing P. Brooker, P. Darmody, S. Dunn, 3. Hazel, A. Magill, C. Stapley, D. Sweet.
OXFORD '0' LEVEL PASSES 1973
History J. Thompson.
Metalwork P. Brooker, S. Dunn, M. Norman.
Art A. Edgell, J. Pelan, J. Piper, J. Veitch, L. Bridwell R, Hazel, S. Jones, A. Magill, G. Simister, A. Smith, C. Staple D. Sweet, M. Norman, G. Martin.
Pottery C. Easton, J. Pelan, J. Ross, C. Beer, P. Brooker C. Church, S. Dunn, S. Jones, M. Norman, N. Thorp.
LONDON .'A' LEVEL PASSES 1973
Biology M. Lees, R. Lovell.
Chemistry T. Agius-Ferrante, M. Lees, R. Lovell.
Economics P. Sibbald, D. Stapley.
English L. Stapley.
French D. Hillyard.
History P. Sibbald.
Latin D. Hillyard.
Maths Pure M. Lees, P. Sibbald.
Physics R. Lovell.
OXFORD 'A' LEVEL PASSES 1973
English D. Stapley.
Art J. Jackson-Sytner, A. Packshaw.
Shorthand March 1973 S. McCallum.
Boofc Keeping (Intermediate) June 1973 S. McCallum, A. Packshaw, A. Ryan (First class pass). June 1973
Typewriting (elementary) K. Beer, J. Boomer, P. Donvin, G. Edgell, S. Griffiths, M. O'Brien, A. Packshaw, C. Wilkins, L. Woodfln.
Typewriting (advanced) S. McCallum, A. Sellers, A. Rya" (First class pass).
Typewriting (Pitmans script) - - G. Edgell, P. Donvin, C. Smith, G. Walls.
C.S.E. EXAMINATION PASSES 1973
English C. Burton, G. Edgell, G. Gall, D. Ryan, O. Smith, M. Smith, J. Veitch, G. Walls, L. Woodfln, M. Beaumont, C. Church M. Ncrman, C. Owens, I. Pond, P. Smith, C. Stapley.
Mathematics J. Boomer, P. Donvin, A. Edgell, G. Edgell, G. Gal!, S. Griffiths, S. Harbour, J. Marshal!, M. O'Brien, J. O'Reg-an, A. Partridge, J. Pelan, J. Piper, P. Reiss, D. Ryan, C Smith, J. Thompson, G. Walls, C. Wilkins, M. Beaumont, C. Beer, J. Callens, C. Church, 6. Jones.. A. Magill, D. McVeigh, L. Mos-crop, M. Norman, C. Owens, I. Pond, J. Shepherd, G. Simister E. Smith, P. Smith, C. Stapley, D. Sweety, N. Thorp, P. Whiting.
History (X. Beer, G. Gall, S. Harbour, J. Ross, M. Smith, L. Woodfln, C. Church, S. John, L. Moscrop, C. Owens.
Geography -- C. Burton, A. 3dgell, G. Gall, G. Harris, J. Marshall, D. Ryan, M. Smith, P. Brooker, J. Callens, C. Church, M. Dennis, S. Dunn, S. Jones, K. Maidment, D. McVeigh, L. Mcssrop, M. Norman, G. Simister, P. Smith, C. Stapley, D. Sweet, N. Thorp, K. Yull.
French J. Piper, J. Ross, D. Ryan, M. Smith, J. Thompson C. Church, M. Dennis, C. Dillon, S. Jones, D. McVeigh.
German J. Thompson, K. Yull.
Physics C. Beer, L. Bridwell, P. Darmody, C. Dillion, S Dunn, R. Hazel, T. Latham, M. Norman, G. iSimister, P. Smith C. Stapley, P. Whiting, K. Yull.
Chemistry -- M. Smith, C. Church, S. Jones, G. Simister, E. Smith, P. Smith, N. Thorp. P. Whiting.
Biology C. Burton, D. Ryan, C. Beer, C. Church, N. Thorp
Human Biology K. Beer, G. Harris, C. Smith, M. Beaumont T. Latham, C. Owens.
'Commerce S. Griffiths, s. Harbour, G. Harris, J. Piper, J Ross, D. Ryan, O. Beer, P. Darmody, M. Dennis, S. Jones, K Maidment, G. Simister, P. Whiting.
Civics C. Burton, G. Gall, C. Beer, P. Brcoker. S. Dunn, T. Latham, L. Moscrop, M. Norman, I. Pond, P. Smith, N. Thorp
Technical Drawing M. Beaumont, P. Brooker, S. Dunn, S Hazel, T. Latham, K. Maidment, L. Moscrop, c. Stapley, D. Sweet
Metalwork M. Beaumont, P. Brooker, S. Dunn, K. Maidment, P. Nicholson, M. Norman, C. Owens, A. Smith, E. Smith C. Stapley, K. Yull.
Needlework (Dress) K. Beer, P. Donvin, A. Edgell, G. Edgell C. Magill, J. O'Regan, J. Piper, P. Smith, J. Veitch, G. Walls, J Walls, L. Woodfln.
Home Economics P. Donvin, S. Griffiths, J. Marshall. 84.
Old Pupils' News
This year we have received visits and news of many old pupils who have left Tal Handaq in the course of the last two decades. This suggests that, in spite of their short stay here, the school still exerts a great influence on its students.
Rosemary Andrews (1963,) has had a variety of jobs including Banking and the Civil Service. For the last three years she has been working abroad in Hotel Management. When last she wrote she was in Grindelwald in Switzerland. Her home is in Plymouth.
The Armstrong triplets (1971). Sean and Mark are now in Bristol and Ken Universities reading Economics and Languages respectively. Patrick is doing a year's horticultural course at l.eatherhead - - their local address is Lithys Hill, Hambledon, Hants.
Alison Bridger (1964) After doing a secretarial course has had posts in a variety of places and is now employed at The British Embassy, Kuwait.
Alex Brown (1962) After taking a degree course in Music in Manchester, he has become a professional singer and has performed with the Scottish Opera Company and Sadlers Wells. Hilary Burrell (1969) She spent some time at ,a college of Education but felt she was not cut out for formal teaching and after a spell as a nursing auxiliary and a House mother in a home for mentally handicapped children she now hopes to start a course of occupational therapy.
Rayner Brammel (1964) is a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy mil has recently served in HMS Russell. He now has an appointment. as schools' liaison officer. His brother Clayton, who was atVerdala is now at St John's College Oxford.
William Duncan (1964) has for the past few years been music masterat the Saltus Grammar School Plymouth, Bermuda where the Music Department is very active. He hopes to produce Oliver this year. His sister Jacqueline is working as a bookkeeper in a business in Winchester.
Lynn Eder (1971) Spent her two A level years at Carmel College, Wallingford. She is now doing a concentrated secretarial course and hopes to work in London.
Caroline Pox (1971) spent some time doing social work near London but has now changed to secretarial work. Her parents live in Malta so she is able to keep in touch.
Pamela Gard (1983) is now married. She had formerly taught in a Midlands primary school. She now has a small daughter but manages to teach dressmaking two days a week at a girls' remand home. Her mother was school secretary for a couple of years.
Frances Hamblin (1971) Took her A levels for a second time at St John's School Episkopi. She is now at Queen's University Belfast reading English Philosophy and Psychology.
Gloria Jackson (119166) She is now Mrs Harrison and trained as a S.E.N. at Freedom Fields Hospital Plymouth.
Christopher McReady and Felicity Burge (1967) are now married and live at 78 Weymede, Byfleet, Surrey. He works in the personnel department of a large retail house.
Norman and Evelyn Morgan (1965-8) Norman is doing post graduate research in Chemistry at Liverpool University. Evelyn if teaching Domestic Science at Swanage County School. She gained the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award in 1972.
Tony Overton (1953) He called at the school in February. After taking a degree at Cambridge he now works for Procter and Oamble.
Christopher Parry (1969) Took his A levels at Portsmouth Grammar School. He is now at Jesus College Cambridge reading History. He has a Naval Scholarship and ranks as a Midshipman
Martin Powell (1968) He is in his last year of a business course at Leeds University.
Graham Roberts (1964) Has an M.A. from Manchester University and is now a Lecturer in English at Wentworth College cf Education Yorkshire. His brother Jeffrey has been accepted for training as a pilot by British Airways while their sister Janet is a bilingual secretary in London.
Paul Radcliffe (1970) is at St Andrews University.
Richard Sanders (1961) is a Flying Officer in the RAF. He is married to Melanie Lusty who was here from 1951-3.
Deborah Hillyard is reading English at Bedford College^ University of London.
Timothy Agius-Ferrante is learning business management with a firm in Malta.
Linda Stapley is at the C.F. Mott College of Education.
Michael Lees is studying Law at Liverpool Polytechnic.
Phillip Sibbald is reading Economics at Liverpool University.
Richard Lovell is reading Bio-chemistry at Essex University.
Carol Easton is at Anstey Physical Education College of Education.
David Stapley is on a management training course with Barclay's Bank at Cheltenham.
Karen Beers is taking a course in Home Economics at Devon Technical College while her brother Christopher is working for a Diploma in Business Studies at Exeter.
David Freeborn is working on a farm and hoping to go to an Agricultural College.
Brian McVeigh is in the RAF and stationed at Brize Norton.
Amanda Packshaw is at a finishing school.
Stephen and Christopher Bond are at a Grammar School in Wittering.
Bill Mail is an Officer Cadet with the P & O line.
Ann Ryan and Jacqueline Walls are both married to RAF Servicemen.
We wish them all well.
Five new members of staff joined the school in September 1973. Miss Marion Spray came to us from White Acre School (Whalley, Blackburn) in Lancashire and teaches French and English and Games, Miss Helen Wilson joined us from the Grammar School for Girls Cleethorpes in Lincolshire and teaches Home Economics and Human Biology. John Clemens arrived via, Melbourne, London and Hong Kong to teach English and be guardian angel of the Library. Barrie Jones joined the Technical Department having temporarily left the green green hills which surround Trefforest Secondary School Pontypridd. Mike Newton left Southlands School Middlesborough to teach Mathematics In Tal Handaq and Coach the first XI soccer team. David Walker has joined us as Head of the History Department having left Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Mansfield.
As well as saying goodbye to a large number of pupils at the end of this Summer Term, we also bid farewell to some members of the staff.
Three little maids from Tal Handaq School have become matrons and all of them leave us this summer.
Mrs. Cole, (nee Fiddes) leaves Malta in September for Lincolnshire. At the time of writing Mrs. Manley-Harris is uncertain of her next port of call while Mrs. Whittle although leaving the school will be on the Island for another year.
Mr. Ransom hangs up his chalk and leaves full time teaching for good. He has been in Malta 7 years and in Service Schools for 15 years. An extremely popular member of staff he will be sadly missed by his colleagues and pupils. Unfailingly courteous and friendly he would find it very difficult to make an enemy. He hopes to return to Malaya his spiritual home for an extended holiday. No doubt he will be seen on many of the cricket grounds of England enjoying the beloved game. We hope he will spend many a happy hour writing those books which have been awaiting sufficient leisure for him to complete. Good luck Bon and (though you may not approve) God Speed!
Lastly we come to our three serving officers who will all have left the school within three months of each other. Lt. Commander Cottam who will have a last word on our next pages will not only be passing through the gates of Tal Handaq for the last time after five years as Deputy Headmaster but will also be leaving the service. After a well earned rest in his Hampshire home we hope he will be moving on to fresh woods and pastures new that will be congenial to him.
Lieutenant Commander McCafferty, the only member of our staff who did not leave Malta in the temporary withdrawal in 1972 now goes on to spend two years in Cornwall. This has been a momentous tour of duty for him. After the difficulties experienced early in 1972 the end of the year brought him the happiness of his marriage to a fellow mathematician, Jill Wood. At the end of last year they were blessed with the birth of a bonny wee son.
To our three Jack Tars, BON VOYAGE!
The year that has rolled away
Well, what do we, the Talhandalot, think of our lot? The better part of the day passed 190 times a year within the confines of our high-fenced enclosure (to keep us in or them out?). Making sunshine, yes we had expected that before leaving Britain 'Hi perhaps not the chilly wind gusting in over the Marsa from the north-east hurling teeming rain against badly fitting windows.
1973/74 Easter to Easter.
Winter '73 31/2 inches of rain. Winter '74 13' inches of rain.
Oliver had been put to sleep before the holiday but the melody lingered on to haunt the cloudless days of May and June. The school gardener retired and he had gone for ever from our little patches of colour before we realised what an important man he was at least for those of us who believe that civilisation means Nature under control. Can't we copy and enlarge upon Mr. Naylor's non-sailing Wednesday afternoon gardening sessions? At least one gold ring has been found already and who knows what other treasures lie beneath our mouldering acres?
Brains were stretched and pummelled in examinations. Gallons of chilled coke were consumed each break time. Bodies were stretched and driven in a clockwork orange of a sports. It was that man King Fagin we had to thank for the excellent organisation Legs and arms became more sunburned. Fair heads were bleached. The coast of Malta was ringed by a thick creamy foam kicked up by thousands of swimming bodies. Mrs Whittle gave us an exciting morning of competition at the galathe sun-drenched Robb Lido.
Goodbye Miss Gallagher, Mrs. McCafferty and Mr. Entwhistle and so many of our students young and not so young.
Back in a summer flash to a hall that began to ring to the strains of royal Siamese ditties. Parents evenings. Nights drawing in. Careers men visiting from England pointing hundreds of feet in the right direction.
Wood and canvass, paint and nails, needle and cotton, tongue and throat, heart and voice exploding all over the school on five nights in December. "The King and I". An Irish success. No more need be said. Perhaps next Christmas a party at least for juniors?
A brand new year 1974 and there was a lull in the noise of the traffic on Malta's roads. And all because the descendants of Abraham were having one of their regular brotherly fights at the far end of our land-locked sea. But the Tal Handaq buses trundled on undaunted up to the heights of Rabat, down to sleepy Marsaxlokk or along the winding splendours of the creeks of Pieta and Msida. Our lovely winter moved gently into its annual springtime miracle of flowers. The dun coloured summer Malta became fresh and green in the rain. Every grain of soil was determined to get in on the act by sending out its own little display of wild flowers yellow, blue and red.
Commander Law began to count the days off. Sport flourished. Another rash of examinations brought a week of anxious faces and tired fingers. Willing walkers raised an enormous sum to help mentally handicapped children. Our mothers of tomorrow revealed a taste in clothes which augurs well for our collective future. Young throats rocked St. Andrew's Barracks with their enthusiastic singing in the Junior Music Festival. The blare of "Jesus Christ Superstar" frightened the birds taking refuge in the eaves of Tal Handaq from the deadly pellets of Maltese gunslingers
Before we knew it, Commander Law had waved a last farewell, piped ashore by SIX cheers no less. And now...
The last word
Having waited many a long year for someone to ask me to write in the School Magazine, (for I am very shy at heart) and suddenly realising that this is the last chance, I've decided to cease being modest in the hope that the Editor, kind man that he is, will find a space for his, on the back page.
The only trouble is that one needs a topic, not the withdrawal or return for, interesting, funny, sad, frustrating though it was the subject is now part of history. The School history perhaps? No our dear friend Miss Yule has written a better article than I could ever produce. School activities? Again no, that is covered 'by other contributors, so what is left, having rejected those and many more ideas? As far as I can see it only leaves something about ME!
Just in case somewhere within the .magazine there is a mention of me (how immodest can one get?) may I hasten to state that this is the authorised version and is possibly nearer the truth.
I have had the honour and pleasure of being the Deputy Headmaster for nearly five years, not because I am brilliant in the job, but because of the withdrawal mentioned above and the fact that in true British fashion it was thought that those who packed up should be the ones that unpacked.
The job has proved to be very interesting although at times frustrating and long. I nearly asked for photographs of myself, before and after to be put in, but unfortunately if placed in the wrong order, they might have been mistaken for an advert for hair restorer: it might even have made some of the longer haired boys jealous too.
What then is my job that has caused this change in me? Some might think it is to scold the naughty boys, others that It, is to act as the bus despatcher at 5 pm, but actually it is more than that. My job definition does not in fact make me a deputy headmaster at all, but states amongst other things that I am responsible for the daily routine and day to day running of the school, for the timetable, for the examinations and that In between, I teach.
Perhaps the major task is the
preparation of the timetable, to decide who goes where, to whom, to
learn what! Yes, I confess that I am to blame when you have to go
from Block 8 to Block 27 between lessons, a long walk perhaps from
Physics In Art? but look how healthy you have become, and fresh air
between lessons harms nobody, and clears headaches. The final
timetable is produced on a planning board (I still recall with
horror the three year old who removed the pegs when the parents of
an older brother and I were not looking but before that, much work
is carried out by the staff with the object of providing the best
course for each and every pupil bearing in mind his/her ability and
inclination. I doubt if there is an ideal timetable for a school
such as ours, considering that few pupils stay for more than two
years, but we do our best, and so far we have avoided putting two
classes, or two teachers in one room at the same time. One of the
advantages over other schools is that we usually keep classes below
thirty in the lower school and even less in the upper.
Oh Yes, that is another job, reserve First Aider when our kind and willing helpers are off duty. Tribute should be paid to those ladies, but, at the same time, would pupils, if they must, have accidents, whilst the volunteers are in attendance, and not afterwards? An additional plea, please do not ask for an aspirin at the slightest twinge, or is it to avoid a lesson?
Another task for the DHM is to be responsible for the ordering of stores and books. The allowance of money per student is considered good but prices as always are rising, and the purchase of one book per pupil in the school, would mean a bill of £500 on average, and, considering that each pupil takes over eight subjects, perhaps you realise why staff get annoyed at those who ,damage books even by neglect, or who, thoughtlessly damage other school property. Perhaps they are the same people who leave personal belongings behind, for our Lost Property room is full of clothing awaiting collection - - when did you last mark your child's clothes, Mum?
The editor may well be running out of space by now, so I had better conclude this article, but not before saying that, as my tour finishes at Tal Handaq I leave with a sense of sadness and loss. I have enjoyed my time here, and will go away proud to have been a member of the school, proud of the pupils, most of whom are a credit both to school and parents, grateful for the help that has been given me over the years by the staff, (I name no names but refer you to the complete list on another page) and, in return, can only hope that in some small way, I have helped keep up the good name of the school, certainly I have always tried to put the school first, and perhaps I have even helped some people to become better and more educated citizens I hope so!
PS I nearly forgot my pet hate the phrase I forgot -used today, not as an apology, but as a legitimate reason for not doing work, being lazy, or otherwise not being responsible.