Tomorrow our School will be 460 years old and we will be marking the occasion with a special Chapel service for the whole school in the morning, a smaller service at nearby Etwall Church, where Sir John Port and other members of his family are buried, and a sequence of readings and music in the Beldam Hall in the evening.
Throughout its history Repton has found ways to commemorate its Founder, Sir John Port; it seems appropriate to reinstate this tradition this term and this year as we have been thinking so much about generosity and doing good, and using Sir John Port as an example to reflect on what our legacy might be to future generations.
I hope that you can use the time in the service tomorrow morning, and afterwards, to consider these ideas more deeply. Sir John Port set out a vision for the education of young people that would stretch into the future and in such a way that he would not be recognised for it in his lifetime. His moral principle of doing lasting good for the generations to come is a powerful mode of selfless benevolence for us.
It is certain that the Repton of today differs radically from the vision that our Founder might have had in his mind’s eye in the early spring of 1557. Great institutions adapt along the years as they attempt to lead and also to reflect the society in which they exist. I hope though that Sir John Port, and all the benefactors to this school who have followed him, would still recognise the same spirit of grounded goodness, an enduring respect for each other, and a community of Reptonians striving to be better versions of themselves.
Have a good Founder’s Day,
Mr Alastair Land