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Alumni Overview

In honour of our 75th Torch Ceremony on April 19, 2012, here is a bit of history on the ceremony.

The Torch Ceremony was started by Marjorie Hallett, Headmistress of The Bermuda High School for Girls, in May, 1937. In those days, Thursday was a half day holiday and businesses in town worked on Saturdays.

Originally, the luncheon for alumni was followed by the Torch Ceremony, and then during the rest of the afternoon there was a School vs alumni softball game. The lunch was prepared at the School by alumni.

The entire School numbered approximately 220 girls. The kindergarten students did not participate in the activities.

The School lined up for the Torch Ceremony from Form I to Form VI - each Form in order of height. Then came the staff, followed by the alumni - youngest to oldest.

The original torch was simply a tin can nailed onto the end of a broom stick with a rag soaked in kerosene in the can. Later D.J. Williams gave the School an Olympic-type torch with a short handle. The handle was later lengthened for safety reasons, and ultimately a harness for the Head Girl was made at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

In the pre-war and post-war days, the ceremony was held in silence. The students stood, facing front with hands at their sides, except when touching the Torch. The Royal Gazette was always invited and could take pictures from the Marjorie Hallett steps. No one else took pictures, in order not to break the continuous line.

The original dress introduced by Dr. Hallett and worn by the entire School (except the kindergarten) was white. The lighted torch was carried past the alumni, then handed to the Headmistress who carried it past the Staff, and then handed to the Head Girl, who carried it past the entire School. Everyone in turn, touched the handle of the Torch with their right hand. The Torch Ceremony is followed by a lunch for alumni in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Another important tradition is the presentation of lilies to the graduating class of the current final class at the School. This presentation is to symbolize the transition from student to alumni.

Traditionally, the Torch Ceremony and alumni lunch take place on a Thursday in April and all former students of the School are welcome to attend.

Please check the school calendar for more information or contact the Advancement Office or a member of the Alumni Association.

After the torch has been touched by alimni, teachers and students the following poem is read: 

The Torchbearers

by Alfred Noyes

So I Speak
Not for myself, but for the age unborn.
I caught the fire from those who went before,
The bearers of the Torch, who could not see
The goal to which they strained; I caught their fire,
And carried it only a little way beyond;
But there are those that wait for it I know,
Those who will carry it on to victory,
I dare not fail them. . . Looking back, I see
Those others . . . with their arms outstretched
. . . pointing to the future. 

The School Song

by D.J.M. Hartley


Kindled by the faith and vision,
Deep devotion of a few,
Burns the flame of consecration
To the steadfast and the true,
To the high pursuit of learning
To the knowledge of the right,
Leading on each generation
In the search of wisdom's light
Ever guiding to the goal
Purity and strength of soul.

Ours the trust and ours the duty, 
We must pay the debt we owe. 
Feed the flame's undying beauty 
Never let its light burn low. 
Each one's striving, each endeavour 
Counts far more than we may dream 
Present, past and future blending 
Into one compelling stream. 
Ever tending to the goal 
Purity and strength of soul!

Jubilee Scholarship

Each year, The Bermuda High School for Girls' Alumni Association awards the Jubilee Scholarship to an Outstanding Student in Year 9. This Scholarship provides $5,000 of the recipient's school fees for Year 10. It is awarded to the daughter, granddaughter, niece or sister of BHS alumni, providing she meets the Scholarship's regulations listed below:
1. Must have a minimum average grade of A-;
2. Have exemplary conduct, demonstrated effort, participation in School activities and unquestionable integrity; and
3. Be a relative of a BHS alumni (daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister).
Applications for the Jubilee Scholarship should be made in writing by the student and addressed to:
Mrs. Minta Watson
Advancement Officer
The Bermuda High School for Girls
19 Richmond Road
Pembroke HM 08.
It is advised that the student includes a curriculum vitae with their covering letter. The application deadline is the last day of March each year.

Reunions

We encourage class reunions both on the island and abroad. Anniversary years are celebrated at our annual lunch and the Advancement and Alumni Affairs Office is available to supply help with locating classmates. Reunions have been held in London, Boston, New York, Vancouver, Philadelphia and Toronto.