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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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Final Open Meeting

John Hume-wThe final Open Meeting of the season will be on Wednesday March 29 at 7.30pm at the Civic Centre, East Clyde Street, Helensburgh. Professor John Hume willl speak on the history of some West Dunbartonshire churches.

Winter Talks 2016-17

  • Wednesday September 28 2016 — Ewan Kennedy: The Leiper Legacy
  • Wednesday October 26 — The Rev David Clark: Helensburgh Boys Brigade Centenary
  • Wednesday November 30 — Ian MacEachern: The Luss Slate Quarries

  • Wednesday January 25 2017 — Bill Anderson: The Anderson (Local Collection) Trust
  • Wednesday February 22 — Dr Andrew Bicker: Recent Archaelogical Discoveries on the West Coast of Scotland
  • Wednesday March 29 — Professor John Hume: West Dunbartonshire Churches and their history

Meetings in Helensburgh Civic Centre, East Clyde Street, at 7.30pm prompt.

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