Boys in Year 8 spent a day full of reflection last week as they attended the very sombre but hugely important London Borough of Sutton’s Holocaust Memorial Day at Sutton Grammar School, having been invited by Councillor Adrian Davey, lead Councillor for Equalities.
The service, which was opened by the Worshipful the Mayor of the London Borough of Sutton, Councillor Muhammad Sadiq, was based around the theme of ‘Don’t Stand By’. Those in attendance were encouraged not to stand by and watch when they know something wrong is occurring in front of their eyes, not to surrender to tyranny and bullying and to stand up for the weak who are preyed on. Perhaps most memorably, the boys had the opportunity to listen and ask questions to Mrs Eve Gill, a Holocaust survivor. Mrs Gill’s address was full of emotion and entirely inspiring – it clearly had a huge effect on the Homefield contingent.
Prior to the service, the boys were given the opportunity to respond through any medium to the stimulus of ‘Don’t Stand By’. They were given some inspiration from the poem called ‘First They Came for the Jews’ by Martin Niemöller. Martin Niemöller was a German pastor and theologian, born in Germany in 1892. Originally a supporter of Hitler’s policies, he eventually opposed them. He was arrested and eventually confined in the concentration Sachsenhausen and Dachau camps. He was liberated by the allies in 1945 and continued his career in Germany as a clergyman and as a noted pacifist.
The students certainly did themselves and Mrs Gill proud with their artistic creations. Headmaster Mr Towers also chose a selection of finalists and congratulations go to the following boys:
- Poems – Qais, Rhys, Christopher
- Short stories – Ashwin, Felix
- Drawing - Anish
All of the work done by the boys will be on display at Europa Gallery Sutton Library for the next month.