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News > News > Founders' Day 2022

Founders' Day 2022

Over 1,000 family members, staff and OPs were there to watch the Parade which was observed and inspected by our Guest of Honour, First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key KCB CBE ADC.
12 Jul 2022
Written by Timothy Hamilton
The Class of 2022 signing off in style
The Class of 2022 signing off in style

Founders’ Day 2022

After a pared-down Founders’ Day in 2021 in which only the Upper Sixth students and their parents attended, there was an even greater sense of jubilance to this Founders’ Day; our first full one since 2019.

Over 1,000 family members, staff and OPs were there to watch the Parade which was observed and inspected by our Guest of Honour, First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key KCB CBE ADC. Following weeks of rehearsals, the pupils did themselves proud, especially in the trooping of the colour,  which was given to the College by Her Majesty the Queen as part of the centenary celebrations in 2017.

The Prizegiving ceremony followed the Parade, during which, amongst other prizes, the Queen’s Gold Medals were awarded to the Chief Cadet Captains of the College, Rory Hogan and Emily Cox.


There were a number of speeches during the ceremony. Mr Patrick Roberts, Chair of the Board of Governors praised the staff and pupils for their efforts in adapting to the challenges in recent years. He also reflected on the recent memorial services which have commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Falkland Islands War. 

He spoke about the weekend event in Autumn 2021, when around a hundred OPs and guests attended a two-day event in Portsmouth on 15 and 16 October designed to remember the Falklands Conflict and to recognise the extraordinary Old Pangbournian contribution

Mr Roberts went on to describe the more recent memorial service which was held in the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel in June. This event was attended by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent and Mr Roberts was particularly proud of the way in which the College “put its best foot forward with pupils and staff helping to make it a memorable day for the veterans.” 

Mr Roberts concluded by thanking the Board of Governors for all of their hard work over the last year, with particular thanks to the retiring Governors, Dr Matilda Oppenheimer and Bex Tear.

In Mr Garnier’s speech, interspersed with some physics-related jokes on the weather, he referred to the ways in which parents and families have re-engaged with community life in the College, the return of public exams and school trips, sporting fixtures and live performances from the Music and Drama departments. He reflected on the global issues facing our community and highlighted how the College’s Flag values, and focus on leadership, will help to provide pupils with the tools they need to overcome them.

Our CCCCs also gave eloquent speeches about their experiences of Pangbourne. Rory Hogan reflected on what the Pangbourne community is and what it means to him, and Emily Cox, having lost her voice earlier in the week,  battled through to explain how Pangbourne has allowed her and her fellow students to be the best versions of themselves.

Mr Garnier finished his speech by thanking the College community and offering a fond farewell to three particularly long-serving members of staff: Mrs Harriet Paynter (Eight years), Mr Dan Paynter (10 years) and Mrs Viv Richardson (20 years).

“Two years ago Jenny Crossley previous CCCC in her Founders’ Day speech suggested that Pangbourne provides courage; that the next step for all the leavers of 2022 requires courage, the courage to take the next step and continue to be the best version of ourselves whatever walk of life we find ourselves in.” Emily Cox, CCCC

“My fellow Upper Sixth peers and I will be a part of the Pangbourne community for life. The friends, memories and most importantly the characteristics that Pangbourne has taught us will be ingrained in us for years to come.” Rory Hogan

“Our commitment is to be a caring community which enables young people to flourish by inspiring learning and developing character through a relevant and adventurous curriculum that provides challenge, but for a purpose: so that our pupils can make a positive difference to the world, to be influencers for good, recognising that leadership is a function of how we act rather than of the position we hold.” Thomas Garnier

The final speech after the prizegiving presentation came from our Guest of Honour, First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key KCB CBE ADC. 


After a quick break involving tea and coffee to warm up the visitors, Beat Retreat took place in front of the Upper Sixth, with magnificent displays from the Guard and the Marching Band. As is traditional, the students marched off the Parade Ground to ‘We Are Sailing’. Some time passed before the students made their way back to the Parade Ground to take part in the unofficial tradition of cap throwing (and champagne throwing) under the flagpole.

After the official proceedings had concluded, pupils and their families were treated to drinks in Divisions, followed by their picnic lunches on White’s. As usual, it was wonderful to see so many OPs, old and new join in with the celebrations. 


The OP Society put together an impressive team for the Cricket match which took place on Big Side throughout the afternoon. The match was played in a 20/20 format and the College XI batted first, setting a challenging total of 140 runs. The overcast conditions eventually saw a couple of rain showers, one of which interrupted play just after the College concluded their innings and just before the OP XI went into bat. However, the showers soon passed and did nothing to dampen the spirits of a very good humoured game.


As the evening drew in, the Upper Sixth students and their families were treated to the Leavers’ Ball which was organised by the CCCCs’ parents, Mrs Rachael Cox and Mrs Sophie Hogan, along with a Committee of Upper Sixth parents. The theme of the event was ‘Heaven on Earth’ and included pre-dinner drinks in Drake Marquee followed by a two-course dinner in Drake Hall. Guests enjoyed a surprise visit of the ‘Secret Singers’ who entertained the crowds with impromptu popular songs. They danced the night away with DJ Sam Butler, who is also an OP, providing the tunes.


Our Guest of Honour, First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key summed up the day as follows: "There is a super feel to the school community (even allowing for the fact it was the last day of the academic year, and the mood was one of celebration), and I was reminded - again - how much talent and energy the young of today have. As I said to you at the time, I was hugely impressed by the parade and the standard of drill; great to see the naval linkage so proudly invested in at the College."


Prize winners:


Awarded for exemplary academic performance and effort throughout the year

YEAR 7: Sadie Partridge and Maisie Stephenson

Outstanding Endeavour: Laila Ball and Flora Merry

YEAR 8: Grace Jeffers and Eva Skidmore

Outstanding Endeavour: Isaac Henry and Rory Price

YEAR 9: Faith Merry and Theo Stephenson

Outstanding Endeavour: Erika Bevis and Ida Riggall

YEAR 10: Imogen Ambrose and Frederick Stokes

Outstanding Endeavour: Kit Hayes-Newington and Paige Mason

YEAR 11: Oliver Edwards, Eva Griffin and Thomasin Munro

Outstanding Endeavour: Reuben Hepplethwaite, Tara Hogan & Eve Powell

LOWER SIXTH: Bonnie Jackson and Eva Krstikj

Outstanding Endeavour: Sophie Bennett and Julia Yuille

UPPER SIXTH: Thomas Harvey and Alice Moody

Outstanding Endeavour: Jemma Humphreys and Phoebe Key



MARCUS GRAHAM ART PRIZE: Maria Humphreys-Evans








Edward Butterworth

Olivia Crane

Alice Moody

Ryne Robson

Nora Shields

Callum Wray


HARBINGER: Morgan Llewellyn

HESPERUS: Myles James

ILLAWARRA: Megan Fergusson

MACQUARIE: George Young

PORT JACKSON: Liam Turnbull

ST GEORGE: Charlotte Richards







Emily Cox

Rory Hogan


As is tradition, on the day before  Founders’ Day, the Chief Cadet Captains of the College, Rory Hogan and Emily Cox, laid a wreath on the grave of the younger of our two school founders, Sir Philip Devitt. Sir Philip was passionate about our school and committed to making it a lasting memorial to his father, Sir Thomas Lane Devitt, who died in 1923.


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