A Very Special Dove Day

Wycombe Abbey Dove Day

A year of celebrations for Wycombe Abbey’s 125th anniversary came to a spectacular finale with Dove Day on Saturday 25 June.

The day began with a beautiful chapel service led by our School Chaplain Reverend Penny, and we were delighted to see so many parents join us for this service, indeed there was hardly an empty seat! As the doors of Chapel opened and pupils and parents spilled out, the fête began. Smooth jazz played as everyone checked out the stalls, grabbed a bacon butty and gathered around to watch the first instalment of entertainment for the day. The arena was first graced with a wonderful gym display demonstrating incredible feats of athleticism and grace. The competition heated up for Tug-of-War with each House cheering on their team as they battled it out for pride and glory. Before long, the ever-popular Dog Show began with over 50 primed and eager pooches taking part in categories including waggiest tail and best trick. As the action continued on Midget Pitch, elsewhere pupils and parents were taking the opportunity to experience ‘Open Doors’ and to take a look around parts of the School they may not have seen, such as the newly installed Cookery room, Clarence House, and the soon to be re-opened Big School.

Before long, everyone was on the move to the House Marquees. It was lovely to see parents, pupils and staff all sitting down together to enjoy their picnic in the beautiful Wycombe Abbey grounds. After a leisurely lunch, Chair of Council, Peter Warren, took to the stage to give a moving speech praising the hard work and sacrifices that had been made over the last few years dealing with the pandemic. It was notable that this was the first Dove Day in three years, and the joy at being able to meet all together was palpable. Mrs Duncan also spoke evocatively about the importance of community that days like Dove Day enshrine. Finally, the Head Girl Team spoke about a few of their highlights from the 125 year, including the Colour Run and Founder’s Day. The Charity Raffle for House Hampers was then drawn with the lucky winners delightedly collecting their prizes. All the money raised went to our elected Whole School charities – Ripple Africa and Sexual Abuse Support Service. Before leaving the stage, Mrs Duncan and Mr Warren cut the spectacular Dove Day cake which was then shared with all the attendees at tea.

The afternoon was a relaxed affair with a Review Show that showcased highlights from the year’s productions. Acts included a 1920s Charleston dance and 1980s acapella first performed in 125 Live!, hit songs from the School Musical Sister Act, an eclectic mix of dances from the Spotlight shows, an exceptional violin piece from the music competition, and the debut performance of our pupil-led Gospel choir Phire. The day ended with a joyous and stirring set from Concert Band with the surprise and hilarious addition of two giant dinosaurs – where else but Wycombe!

Whilst Dove Day has been a highlight of the School calendar for many years, this year was undoubtedly extra special and huge thanks must go to the team of staff who enabled the event to happen, to all of the pupils for taking part in the activities, and to all the parents and families who attended to support their daughters and the School.

Emma Bowen
Chair 125 Committee

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