To be a governor of a school in England (state or fee paying) can be perceived as a thankless task. No pay, some hard work and potential responsibility when things go wrong, are enough to deter many volunteers. Yet the deterred volunteers risk losing as much as the school govering bodies they have shied away from.
Being a school governor this week proved a fulfilling experience. Boys from a Jesuit junior school in Harare were to spend some ten days with their counterparts in Wimbledon. A supper of welcome was laid on for them, the Wimbledon staff and host families, and the head teachers from couple of other Harare schools who travelled over too.
One of the other Harare schools was fee paying but at $4 a term I doubt that any British political points about fee paying schools could be taken.
At the eleventh hour His Excellency the Ambassador
of Zimbabwe in London decided to drop his normal duties and join his compatriots young and not so young at the welcome supper. Welcome speech was required - from a governor - but what to say? protocol? Ignore domestic politics or add some 'King of Denmark'?
The 8 to 11 year olds set the scene and the protocol with fun friendship, banter and exchanging ideas based on things and interests in common as well as exploring each others different backgrounds and influences.
Governor's and Ambassador's speeches flowed from atmosphere created by the youngest generation present.
A fascinating evening and unusual meal.