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Hermitage School song

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TO MANY people of a certain age, the school song was, if not always much loved, certainly much sung . . . and that was the case at Helensburgh’s former Hermitage School.

Former Helensburgh man Bill McEwen, who has lived in New Zealand since 1966, liked it, but could not remember it.

 

So Bill, who lived at Rahane on Garelochside and attended Hermitage secondary school in the early 1950s, got in touch with Helensburgh Heritage Trust to see if they could find the words.

He wrote: “I still think of my time at the Hermitage and the others I knew there. I know the old Hermitage building is now gone which is sad, but I suppose we have to accept change.

“I remember we used to sing the school song at assembly. The school song was written by Dr Simpson, our English teacher.

“Would it be possible to get a copy of the words, or am I asking the impossible — I know it's going back a long time?”

I gather this turned out to be more difficult than expected. Two musical former pupils of that era could only remember small parts of the song while the current Hermitage Academy does not use it.

However, with the help of principal guidance teacher Isabel Cullen and a colleague at Hermitage Primary School, the words and music were traced.

The words were by Ian J.Simpson, and the music was adapted from Mozart by David Curtis.

 

This is the song . . .

 

Here by river and mountain surrounded

Is the school that our fathers founded;

Not yet is the end of its story

Be it ours to embellish a page

As a witness once more to its glory,

In the book of our school — Hermitage.

 

From the loch and the glen and the valley,

Highland zeal, Lowland steadfastness rally

For old enmities make we amends

Foes no longer, but rivals and friends

Foes no longer, but rivals and friends.

 

Here by river and mountain surrounded

Is the school that our fathers founded;

Not yet is the end of its story

Be it ours to embellish a page

As a witness once more to its glory,

In the book of our school — Hermitage.

 

Bearing many an Argosy,

Flowing onward to the sea

Ever wider, still more deep

Clyde her age old course doth keep;

Seeking that she may expand,

To lose the trammels of the land,

To lose the trammels of the land.

 

So may we, with fullest measure

Of the mind’s and spirit’s treasure,

Freed from bonds of dark unreason,

Know enjoyment in good season,

Of a spacious heritage

Held in trust by Hermitage.

 

Here by river and mountain surrounded

Is the school that our fathers founded;

Not yet is the end of its story

Be it ours to embellish a page

As a witness once more to its glory,

In the book of our school — Hermitage.

 

The Heritage Trust has sent the words and music to Bill McEwen, who said of the Trust website: “I have had a lot of pleasure over the last few years reading through your wonderful website, and looking through the photographs, brings back many happy memories of Helensburgh.

Last Updated ( Friday, 06 January 2017 16:42 )  

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Second Winter Open Meeting

Cleland-Sneddon-wThe next Winter Open Meeting will be held at Helensburgh Civic Centre at 7.30pm on October 25. Cleland Sneddon will speak about childhood holidays in Rosneath. All welcome.

Winter Talks 2017-18

  • Wednesday September 27 2017 — AGM; then Professor John Hume: History of local churches
  • Wednesday October 25 — Cleland Sneddon: Childhood holidays in Rosneath
  • Wednesday November 29 — David Bruce: Greatrex, Forger and Photographer

  • Wednesday January 31 2018 — Mike Thornley: The Glenarn Garden
  • Wednesday February 28 — Bruce and Nicola Jamieson: Developing the Mackintosh Club
  • Wednesday March 28 — Richard Reeve: A Brief History of the Rosneath Peninsula

Meetings in Helensburgh Civic Centre at 7.30pm.

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