My life belongs to the whole community, and, as long as I live, it is a privilege to do for it whatsoever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment; and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
George Bernard Shaw
From a 1907 Speech at Brighton
As you walk into the Main Dining Hall, entering from the front door, and cast your eye to the right hand wall, you see, nearest the raised platform, a portrait of a rather bald man of youthful appearance dressed in a military uniform. I suspect you have looked at the portrait many times. Perhaps, though, you have not reflected on who the person is except to assume he was a St. Mark’s Headmaster, and you may not have reflected on why he is wearing a uniform.
I have been looking at the portrait since 1970. Only recently, thanks to research, especially from a draft of the School history Mr. Noble is writing, have I come to understand how important that man is to St. Mark’s and have I come to understand the significance of his choosing to be painted in his uniform. I would like to spend my time today elaborating on both of these points.(read more)