The Annunciation Infant and Junior Schools, Celebrate 80th Anniversary
On the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation 24th March 2011 the Annunciation Infant School celebrated their 80th Anniversary. The occasion was marked by a moving and prayerfully planned Holy Mass, in which the pupils played an active part in the liturgy.
The school was founded by our Dominican Sisters in 1931 to meet the needs of a growing urban population at the time. It has progressed over the years and is now regarded as one of the best schools in the area and one which is highly recognised by the Ofsted Inspectors. Many of the past Dominican Sisters who taught in the school, including the previous head teacher and past teachers were present, as well as some of the first pupils who attended the school. An attractive photographic display of teachers and pupils past and present brought back happy memories to many who were present
The chief celebrant at the Mass was Archbishop Vincent Nichols assisted by Canon Colin Davies the parish priest in Burnt Oak. The school hall was cheerful and welcoming with many banners depicting the traditions and life of the school over the years.
Following the Mass a procession led to the play-ground where a beautiful garden had been created with a skilfully designed stone carving of the Annunciation that was blessed by the Archbishop.
The combined effort of the teachers and pupils to make this area a quiet place for peace and reflection will be appreciated by all in an otherwise busy, lively play-ground.
The guests were invited afterwards to a delicious party in the school dining room where many met and exchanged greetings and stories of happy days spent in the school.
The celebrations continued as the Archbishop travelled a short distance to the Annunciation Junior School. The pupils there formed a guard of honour to welcome him and make him feel ‘at home’. Most of the pupils here in the junior school had transferred from the Infant School where their education commenced in the nursery classes.
The theme of the Assembly they had prepared for the occasion was appropriately linked with the Pope’s visit to England, the Year of Education and the role the Dominican Sisters played in education during their long years in the Infant and Junior Schools in Burnt Oak and in St James’ Catholic High School now situated in Grahame Park.
The pupils had prepared a tableau on the Annunciation with special emphasis on the part Mary played as Mother of God and our Mother too.
An especially designed life sized statue of Mother and Child was blessed by the Archbishop. This is situated in a quiet area in the school grounds which will be developed and form a peaceful atmosphere for a time apart, for recollection and prayer for the whole school in future years.
Dominican Sisters, teachers, pupils, governors and friends were present for this joyous occasion. A feature that attracted many visitors was the viewing of photographs of many events past over the years.
Whilst enjoying a cup of tea the Archbishop mingled among the visitors, staff and pupils.
His visit will be remembered by all involved as an occasion to be cherished and appreciated.
Much appreciation was expressed for the Head Teachers, staff and children of both schools who worked so hard with commitment, dedication and inspiration to make this a happy and memorable occasion.