Last Saturday, 12 June, Homerton College celebrated the award of the Royal Charter and becoming a ‘proper’ Cambridge College. There were speeches by Dr Kate Pretty (Principal of Homerton College), Prof Alison Richard (Vice-Chancellor of the University), and Sir David Harrison (former Chairman of the Homerton Board of Trustees). Alison Richard had just been appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) for services to Higher Education in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
To mark the occasion Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate and Honorary Fellow of the College, wrote a poem simply called Homerton. The poem was set to music by another of the College’s Honorary Fellows (and Master of the Queen’s Music), Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, and performed for the first time at the weekend event by the Homerton Charter Choir. The text of the poem has been beautifully presented in calligraphy, created and donated by Barry Jones (Emeritus Fellow), which is currently on display in the Combination Room. The text of the poem is included below. There was also an exhibition of the history of Homerton College in the Drawing Room Square created with material from the College Archive.
After the speeches and cutting of a cake, Homerton students contributed to the occasion with various short performances of drama (A Brief History of Homerton College) and music (Homerton Steel Pans, music by Marium Jamali and others, jazz by HoJo and the Homerton College Choir). The wonderful weather allowed this to be very much an outdoor event in the beautiful grounds of the College.HOMERTON by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate and Honorary Fellow . Home is in Homerton and you can find the moon concealed in Homerton, a hidden light revealed. Respice finem. . Merit in Homerton, if you will have an eye only for Homerton, a lovely sight revealed. Respice finem. . Respice finem. Look to the end. The last act crowns the play. Respice finem and Homerton the way. . Hero in Homerton. Mother, alma mater, and more in Homerton, a bright new morn revealed. Respice finem. . Respice finem. Look to the end. The last act crowns the play. Respice finem and Homerton the way, Homerton the way.