The community of current pupils, the leavers of 2017, families, staff and Governors gathered together for the college to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of its staff, parents and pupils and to thank leavers and current pupils for their outstanding contribution to college life.
Academic, artistic, sporting and pastoral successes were honoured, with over 100 individuals and groups awarded prizes.
Guest speaker was Fr Aaron Spinelli, A former pupil of the school, Fr Aaron spoke with warmth, humour and humility about his journey to priesthood. He retold many fond memories of his time at St Richard’s and amused the audience with cheekier tales of school life. Fr Aaron focussed on the importance of following dreams but never forgetting those who helped achieve them.
Head Girl, Maisie Edwards also spoke and reminded those present of the words of Saint Teresa of Calcutta who said ‘Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.’
Head boy, Jack Eaton, gave the final vote of thanks at the end of the evening, reminding everyone to hold on to all the wonderful memories of school years, to strive to be their best and to be true to themselves at all times.
St Richard’s Principal, Doreen Cronin, gave a report on the achievements and events of the past academic year (2016-17), thanking all the staff who inspire, encourage and challenge the pupils to get involved. She said: “I am always really proud of the pupils’ response to fundraising and the past academic year was no exception, with over £17,000 raised for our local, national and global community. In total, the pupils donated funds to 28 different charities and supported organisations such as Surviving Christmas, Bexhill Foodbank and Love in a Box.
“A highlight in terms of enrichment in the past academic year was the inaugural debate of the Debating Society organised by former Head Boy, Ethan McDonald, who arranged for Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, and Hugh Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle, to be the judges.”
At the end of the evening Miss Cronin paid tribute to the leavers, who were leaving St Richard’s saying they were “well-rounded, talented young men and women”, reminding them of the importance of taking on board Fr Aaron’s advice to work hard to achieve their dreams and to show care, kindness and respect to all they come into contact with throughout life.