In memory of Charlie Dunne

As the School Community comes to terms with the very sad loss of Charlie Dunne, our continued support and thoughts are with his family and friends.

The ‘Memories of Charlie’ book remains open for anyone to sign and we will present this to the family at the right time.

Over the past days there has been much press coverage of the tragic events that have engulfed the Dunne family and our School. On Tuesday 17 July, we held a special gathering for Charlie’s year group and any Old Aylesburians wishing to return and share in their loss. The event provided an opportunity for Year 13 to return to School from exam leave and speak to staff, to their peers and to remember Charlie.

With photographs, video and a number of incredibly emotional reflections from staff, the overriding feeling was one of celebrating a life that filled us all with happiness. Charlie was one of the special young people that had boundless positivity. He was the embodiment of being an Aylesburian, ready to take on any challenge, supporting others and always giving to his community.

Thank you to everyone who attended and to all the staff for their incredible strength at such a challenging time.

The Dunne family would like us to share the details of the funeral arrangements and specifically the opportunity to donate in Charlie’s memory to the two charities that were close to his heart, the RNLI and the Aylesbury Grammar School Malawi initiative.

If you would like to donate please follow the link here:

https://www.cpjfield.co.uk/arrangement?id=33297

I would like to end by saying that Aylesbury Grammar School is a great School, not because of its exam results or sporting success, nor because of the achievements of our alumni or performing arts, but because the whole School community cares. Every member of staff cares, all of us are Aylesburians.

Once an Aylesburian, always an Aylesburian.

Goodbye Charlie, our friend, an Aylesburian.

 

Mark Sturgeon

Headmaster

Sad news from Aylesbury Grammar School

It is with great sadness that we have to share with you the news that Charlie Dunne, one of our Year 13 students in Denson House, has died after suffering a terrible accident on a beach in North Devon, whilst on holiday.

Charlie had recently completed his A levels. He attended the Leavers’ Ball on Sunday 8 July and then travelled to North Devon for a holiday with family and some friends. Whilst on the beach Charlie suffered a terrible accident that left him with a catastrophic injury to his vertebrae causing spinal injury and cardiac arrest.

His family took the impossible decision to turn off the life support that had been assisting Charlie since the accident. Charlie died on Wednesday evening. Charlie was registered as an organ donor and there is some comfort in him living on in others and potentially transforming their lives.

Charlie was lively, inquisitive, friendly and helpful young man. He was always smiling, always happy and was well known across the whole School. His impact on Denson House, on the rugby squad and his friends cannot be underestimated and our thoughts and support are with the family and the whole Aylesburian community.

We are in contact with Charlie’s family and helping them in any way we can at this most difficult of times. The teaching staff and his closest friends have all been informed as well as special assemblies held across the School. The outgoing Year 13 have been invited back into School to share in their loss with us over the coming days and a ‘Memories of Charlie’ book has been opened for those who wish to share and contribute, located in the Boardroom.

As can be imagined this tragic news has hit the School community very hard. It is important for individuals to express their feelings and also get the support they need. As a result counselling capacity for staff and students will be provided in the coming days. We will be writing to all parents this week and would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support.

Once an Aylesburian, always an Aylesburian.

Mark Sturgeon

Headmaster

Thought for the Week – 09.07.18

“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it”

WALT DISNEY (1901-1966)

Walter Elias Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) was an American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons. As a film producer, Disney holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual, having won 22 Oscars from 59 nominations. He was presented with two Golden Globe Special Achievement Awards and an Emmy Award, among other honours. Several of his films are included in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

Born in Chicago in 1901, Disney developed an early interest in drawing. He took art classes as a boy and got a job as a commercial illustrator at the age of 18. He moved to California in the early 1920s and set up the Disney Brothers Studio with his brother Roy. With Ub Iwerks, Walt developed the character Mickey Mouse in 1928, his first highly popular success; he also provided the voice for his creation in the early years. As the studio grew, Disney became more adventurous, introducing synchronized sound, full-color three-strip Technicolor, feature-length cartoons and technical developments in cameras. The results, seen in features such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio, Fantasia (both 1940), Dumbo (1941) and Bambi (1942), furthered the development of animated film. New animated and live-action films followed after World War II, including the critically successful Cinderella (1950) and Mary Poppins (1964), the latter of which received five Academy Awards.

In the 1950s, Disney expanded into the amusement park industry, and in 1955 he opened Disneyland. To fund the project he diversified into television programs, such as Walt Disney’s Disneyland and The Mickey Mouse Club; he was also involved in planning the 1959 Moscow Fair, the 1960 Winter Olympics, and the 1964 New York World’s Fair. In 1965, he began development of another theme park, Disney World, the heart of which was to be a new type of city, the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” (EPCOT). Disney was a heavy smoker throughout his life, and died of lung cancer in December 1966 before either the park or the EPCOT project were completed.

Disney was a shy, self-deprecating and insecure man in private but adopted a warm and outgoing public persona. He had high standards and high expectations of those with whom he worked. His reputation changed in the years after his death, from a purveyor of homely patriotic values to a representative of American imperialism. He nevertheless remains an important figure in the history of animation and in the cultural history of the United States, where he is considered a national cultural icon. His film work continues to be shown and adapted; his studio maintains high standards in its production of popular entertainment, and the Disney amusement parks have grown in size and number to attract visitors in several countries.

Thought for the Week – 02.07.18

‘Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction’

ANNE FRANK (1929-1945)

Annelies Marie Frank (German: 12 June 1929 – February or March 1945) was a German-born diarist. One of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust, she gained fame posthumously with the publication of The Diary of a Young Girl (originally Het Achterhuis in Dutch; English: The Secret Annex), in which she documents her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. It is one of the world’s most widely known books and has been the basis for several plays and films.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, she lived most of her life in or near Amsterdam, Netherlands, having moved there with her family at the age of four and a half when the Nazis gained control over Germany. Born a German national, Frank lost her citizenship in 1941 and thus became stateless. By May 1940, the Franks were trapped in Amsterdam by the German occupation of the Netherlands. As persecutions of the Jewish population increased in July 1942, the family went into hiding in some concealed rooms behind a bookcase in the building where Anne’s father Otto worked. From then until the family’s arrest by the Gestapo in August 1944, she kept a diary she had received as a birthday present, and wrote in it regularly. Following their arrest, the Franks were transported to concentration camps. In October or November 1944, Anne and her sister Margot were transferred from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they died (probably of typhus) a few months later. They were originally estimated by the Red Cross to have died in March, with Dutch authorities setting 31 March as their official date of death, but research by the Anne Frank House in 2015 suggests they more likely died in February.

Otto Frank, the only survivor of the family, returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that her diary had been saved by Miep Gies, one of the helpers, and his efforts led to its publication in 1947. It was translated from its original Dutch version and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl, and has since been translated into over 60 languages.

Thought for the Week – 25.06.18

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies”

MOTHER TERESA (1910 – 1997)

Mother Teresa, known in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta (born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, Albanian: 26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. She was born in Skopje (now the capital of Macedonia), then part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. After living in Macedonia for eighteen years she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life.

In 1950 Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation which had over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries in 2012. The congregation manages homes for people dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; children’s- and family-counselling programmes; orphanages, and schools. Members, who take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, also profess a fourth vow: to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor”.

Teresa received a number of honours, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She was canonised (recognised by the church as a saint) on 4 September 2016, and the anniversary of her death (5 September) is her feast day.

A controversial figure during her life and after her death, Teresa was admired by many for her charitable work. She was praised and criticised for her opposition to abortion, and criticised for poor conditions in her houses for the dying. Her authorised biography was written by Navin Chawla and published in 1992, and she has been the subject of films and other books. On September 6, 2017, Teresa was named co-patron of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta, alongside St. Francis Xavier.