150th Anniversary Celebrations
The school's Governors, Staff, Sisters of Sion, pupils and parents, along with past staff and pupils and other members of the local community with links to Our Lady of Sion School commemorated the 150th anniversary of the school's founding with a wonderful service of celebration in Worthing's Assembly Hall on 20th January 2012. This date marks the anniversary of the miraculous conversion of the second of our founders, Alphonse Ratisbonne, in a church in Rome in 1860, and is the day the worldwide Community of Sion celebrates as Founders' Day.
Senior and Junior Schools took part in the celebration, with choirs from both schools performing, the Senior School Dance Team performed, accompanied by the choir, and Heads of School read messages from other Sion Schools around the world, and Junior School pupils read prayers from different. The Headmaster, Michael Scullion, gave an address underlining the school's debt to our founders, and how their ideas of tolerance, respect and understanding underpin the ethos of the school today. Flags representing the countries around the world where the Sisters have communities were paraded into the hall and Father Chris Benyon, Parish Priest from St Mary of the Angels Church, rounded off the service with prayers for the school and for the members of all these Communities.
The service was followed by refreshments in the Richmond Rooms, which gave past staff, pupils and friends of the school the chance to catch up with each other. Three sisters, the eldest of whom had attended the school in the 1930's enjoyed reminiscing with others who knew the school from that period, and had brought photos with them of their school days. A group of ex-pupils sang a rousing chorus of the school song 'Carry on the Sionian Tradition', and more recent past pupils had the opportunity to meet up with some of their old teachers.
Present pupils returned to the school, where a special Founders' Day lunch was provided for them, followed by the cutting of the 150th Anniversary celebration cakes in the Senior & Junior Schools. The Sisters of Sion continued their celebrations with a lunchtime party and their own celebration cake.
This thank you message was sent in after the service by Georgia Brookes, ex-pupil from 2005;
"The way everyone came together really made you feel you were part of a life-long community. It was great to see so many old faces and to meet many new faces, with whom I enjoyed swapping anecdotes of our time at Sion. It was also inspiring to see so much talent in the younger generation, which is testament to the continued support and dedication of the staff. Overall, a wonderful service and a true credit to Sion's name and ethos."
The Assembly Halls looked splendid for the occasion. The stage was decorated with banners representing countries around the world where there are Sion schools, made by Diana Thorn, Toni Howells, Ann Whitchurch, Valerie Rossat, Alexis Paine and Brenda Jones with the Junior School Art Club. The school's pupils were presented with a specially designed 150th anniversary commemoration Founders' Day badge, and all the guests who attended the service were given a commemorative 150th anniversary bookmark, showing the Founders' Day prayer, in addition to a memorial booklet giving the order of service.
Everyone at the school, and everyone who attended would like to say a big thank you to the members of staff and to everyone else involved who worked so hard to ensure the day was such a happy success.
Click Here to read the Headmaster's address
Click Here to read the text of Sister Brenda McCole's Speech
Click Here to see congratulatory messages sent from other Sion schools around the world
Click Here to see 150th Anniversary Founders' Day Service Programme
Click here to see 2-page Worthing Herald Feature 23.2.12
Click Here to see Worthing Journal Feature March 2012
150th Anniversary Celebrations
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