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Message from Mr Hymer: 13 Nov 2020

It was pleasing to receive a number of emails and photographs of our boys taking on last weekend's 10km challenge.

I joined the boys in spirit whilst completing my Saturday and Sunday morning cycle rides heading into the Clent Hills and through the country lanes towards Droitwich. I hope some of the pictures in this newsletter may inspire other families to take up the challenge.
It was shame that we were not able to join together in our school chapel for our usual Remembrance Day service. My assembly focused on what life must have been like for the ordinary soldiers of WW1 and their appalling experience in the trenches. Daily life in the early part of the 20th century was a challenge for many people before war intervened. To face the growing cold of winter without any prospect of the war ending must have been utterly dispiriting and terrifying. The sacrifice made by so many men and families to preserve our freedoms today is one that we must continue to remember.
There is a certain irony that as we remember the fallen, we are also seeing the worst possible examples of modern leadership in recent times. At times it appears as if the whole system of democracy is under threat. 
The ancient Athenians had an ingenious way of dealing with people threatening the institutions of the city state. The system of ostracism allowed citizens to vote whether a fellow Athenian should be banished for 10 years. If a person received 6,000 votes or more, they could be asked to leave the city within 10 days. Once the 10 years had elapsed, they could return without stigma and with the assurance that their property and belongings would be still intact.
If the services of ostracised individuals were needed in an emergency, the ostracism could be revoked as was the case when the statesman and general Cimon was asked to return when Athens faced the might of the Persian empire. 
Whilst few electoral systems are perfect (Athens, for instance only allowed male citizens a vote) a ten year exile might just be what is required to restore some order. It would help counter the polarising views of some of the worst modern-day demagogues. Our young people need good examples of moral leadership.
Certainly in America there are divisions to heal and our recent Brexit arguments saw politicians stooping to the lowest denominator. Let us hope that the act of Remembrance helped bring a focus to the ideals that previous generations fought to uphold.

Mr Hymer, Junior School Headmaster