[Edmonton County School Old Scholars' Association]

School song

Author: Graham Johnson.

Most Old Scholars can probably remember the tune of The School Song and as it is also the Canadian National Anthem they may also get to hear it from time to time. Many Old Scholars may be able to reel off the words. There may be some who can't remember it at all. However it is likely there is a large number who may find they can remember the start and the end and take a fair stab at half the middle but are still left with a 'dum dum de dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum de de dum' before the big finale. They probably have an inkling that fortune was smiling and there was a hill involved but they've no idea why. They then recall that there are definitely two verses so they've forgotten even more than they thought and the bits of the middle they've remembered are probably a composite of different lines.

At this point I once confidently presented the words of The School Song and was feeling very pleased with myself. However in doing so I would have left quite a number of the Old Scholars scratching their heads because the version I presented was the one I knew from my time at the school. However this was not the original version.

The words to the original version were written by George 'Gus' Locke, for many years the Head of English at the school, and it is believed that he may have been assisted by Noel C. Wilkinson, a senior Physics master. This version was still in use well into the 1960s.

O mother school, thou Alma Mater dear
Thy brow is crowned with bays we wreath for thee.
Thy smile serene, thy friendly mein,
Has lured us, lures us still.
Thy word of cheer, thy rod severe,
Hath strengthened heart and will.
Thy faith divine, thy courage bold,
To high endeavour shall thy children hold.
To high endeavour shall thy children hold.

May thoughts of thee inspire the coming years,
Thy counsel free chase far all secret fears.
May friends we've made stand by us still
To hold us on our way.
May fortune smile as we climb the Hill
Towards the Closing Day.
When comes the end, be still our friend
Then Alma Mater smile and say "Well Done".
Grant every son and daughter God's "Well Done".

At some point in time the lyrics were rewritten (Chris Britton feels both versions seem familiar and he attended the school between 1966 and 1973, so that may help narrow down the date of the change). It seems likely that a trawl through archive materials would suggest when this happened but perhaps not who wrote the new lyrics. The reason for the change might not be revealed either.  Anyway the following is the version I was familiar with and so dates from at least 1974, if not sooner.

O Mother School, our home in youthful days,
Thy walls shall ring with echoes of our praise.
Thy kindly care, thy spirit rare,
Have guided, guide us still.
Thy word of cheer, thy rod severe,
Have strengthened heart and will.
Thy faith so strong, our guard from wrong,
To high endeavour shall thy children hold,
To high endeavour shall thy children hold.

May thoughts of thee inspire the coming years,
Thy memory fair dispel all faithless fears.
May friends we've made stand by us still
To hold us on our way.
May fortune smile as we climb the hill
Towards the closing day.
When comes the end be still our friend.
Grant every son and daughter God's "Well done!".
Grant every son and daughter God's "Well done!".

It is assumed that the School Song remains unchanged to this date but confirmation or correction of this would be welcomed.

I have amended the punctuation from that found in my source (1981 Speech Day programme) as even I could tell it couldn't have been right to start with. It probably still isn't. Likewise I have punctuated the original version with apologies to the original author! Oh yes, and I was one of the 'dum dum de dum' brigade myself.

[ECSOSA: Quis separabit - Who shall separate us?]
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