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Foundation Day: Understanding our Past, Celebrating our Values, Working for a Better Future

The inaugural Honorary Fellow, awarded to Fadwa Affara
  • Junior School
  • Senior School

Before Half Term, we celebrated our first ever Foundation Day which set out to encourage the Watson’s community to rethink the significance of our Founder and his legacy.

A range of activities were organised across campus, extending from traditional ceremonies, through to debates and discussions, collaborative activities, a flash mob and even a colour run to conclude the day of recognition. Every one of our pupils were involved in one way or another which made for an incredibly memorable day.

Our School Captain, Megan (S6) explained:

“It was a privilege to be a part of the new way we remember the history of our school. The day was filled with all sorts of engaging activities, including quizzes and the colour run, as well as formal gatherings across all year groups. This really brought the school together and encouraged a wonderful sense of community. I look forward to hearing how the day evolves and develops in years to come.” 

Our Foundation Day also saw the inauguration of our first ever Honorary Fellow. 

Fadwa Affara (GWLC Class of 1961) was awarded the Princess Srinagarindra Award for nursing and midwifery in 2020 after an extraordinary career in nursing which spanned six decades and culminated in her role establishing the Protect Nurses, Save Lives Campaign and the Covid-19 Africa Action Network for nurses and midwives to promote access to practical guides, training courses and personal protective equipment during the pandemic.

Going forward we will annually award a member of our community with an Honorary Fellowship. This award will recognise an individual who has provided an outstanding example of our school motto and values in their lives. 

Fadwa Affara is an extremely worthy recipient of the first such honour.

On awarding Fadwa, Principal Melvyn Roffe said:

“The Honorary Fellowship is intended to honour an outstanding member of our school and wider Watsonian community but by accepting the Fellowship, Fadwa has greatly honoured us. Her commitment to humanitarian work is outstanding however, the understated way in which she talked about her career on Foundation Day belied its significance to the lives of people in practically every area of the world.”

During the various ceremonies throughout Foundation Day we also acknowledged, for the first time, the evidence of George Watson’s involvement in the slave trade. It was hugely important that we not only made that acknowledgement but also committed ourselves unequivocally to making Watson’s a place where everyone is welcomed, cherished and valued, reaffirming our school as a safe environment where racism and other forms of discrimination have no place.

We are looking forward to seeing how Foundation Day evolves going forward and are incredibly proud of the positive and creative response within our community. We developed a new understanding of our heritage whilst reaffirming the values that are most important to us all.

Ex corde caritas.

  • Foundation Day
  • Honorary Fellowship