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Posted on: 10/09/2019

Speech Night 2019

South African philosopher and academic Gerald Pillay told a packed audience at Loreto Grammar School’s speech to have faith in the future. 
 
A fourth generation South African whose family had emigrated to Natal from South India in the 19th Century, Professor Pillay, now Vice Chancellor of Liverpool Hope University, said "Faith schools are central to Western civilisation."
 
He added: "The very first academies at the birth of the Renaissance were Cathedral Schools and they started from the premise that humanity consists of body, mind and spirit. "They taught a range of disciplines which aimed to educate the whole person. There was always a focus on art and music and at the heart of those subjects is an expression of human spirituality."
 
He told a packed audience, which had overflowed to one of the Bridgewater's conference halls to watch on a specially mounted cinema screen, "Your education is all important to you and you must take full advantage of it because in its lies your liberation."
 
Gerald also spoke of his upbringing and the liberation in South Africa which came with Nelson Mandela’s historic peaceful revolution. 
 
"For us who had been disenfranchised it was a time of immense excitement and hope, for others of course, it was a time of fear of change."
 
Loreto's glittering awards night focused on the leading Altrincham faith school's wonderful year inside and outside the classroom. 
 
Awards were given for fabulous achievements across the arts, sports, charitable work and academic success with Headteacher Jane Beever announcing another year of outstanding academic achievement at both GCSE and Advanced Level. 4 Year 13 girls achieved all A*s - Kate Donnachie, Eleanor Donnelly, Orla Elderton, Ellie Longden and Alex Mulligan. 
 
Mrs Beever said: "Our guest, the distinguished philosopher and academic Gerald Pillay, personifies the inner strength we want to instil in our girls. 
 
His example as well as his teachings set him as a wonderful role model."

Group photo september 2019

Pictured from left to right are Head Girl, Jiya Jijo, Governor Sister Bernadette IBVM, Head Girl Anna Seferta; The Mayor of Trafford, Councillor Robert Chilton, Guest Speaker Professor Gerald Pillay, Headteacher Jane Beever, and Deputy Head Girl Lucy Summerell

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