04 October 2022

Founder’s Day commemorated by School community

On Friday 30th September, we were delighted to pay tribute to our founder John Lyon. As is tradition, two acts of commemoration took place once again at St Mary’s Church, Harrow-on-the-Hill, where John is buried with his wife Joan.

Pupils and staff were joined by Old Lyonians for a short ceremony, including the laying of a wreath at the tomb of John and Joan Lyon in the church. We were also honoured to have Cllr Jane Motte, The Mayor of Harrow, with us in attendance.

Miss Katherine Haynes, Head of John Lyon, began proceedings by welcoming pupils, staff and Old Lyonians to the ceremony. The Rev’d James Power, the Vicar of St Mary’s, reflected on the life and lasting legacy of our School’s founder. He spoke about John Lyon’s works and the relevance and profound impact it has had on so many in our community.

There were readings from the bible. by Zara (8GMM), Madison (10SCA), Jai (11CCN), Varun (U6JCC), and the reading of The Charter by Youki (Head Boy), as well as a hymn, the School song – Stet Fortuna Domus – and the National Anthem. Attendees were also treated to the sounds of the Motet Choir.

After the commemoration, all made their way back to Middle Road to enjoy a special Founder’s Day themed lunch, with a nod to the ‘humble pie’. The menu was designed to be similar to what would have been served around the time of John Lyon’s life.

John Lyon was a philanthropic yeoman farmer who lived in the village of Preston in Harrow 450 years ago. He and his wife, Joan, set in motion the creation of Harrow School, founded in 1572, and then 300 years later in 1876 a new day school which bears his name.

In a Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I are the words: “Our beloved subject, John Lyon…by instinct of charity, hath purposed in his mind a certain Gramma School…of new to erect, found and forever establish for the perpetual education, teaching and instruction of Children and Youth…giving a very good example to all others to imitate the like hereafter, and also to the common profit of all our subjects.”