Links between Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School students and a Tibetan monastery school in India were reinforced in May when QEHS Headteacher Neil Morrison was presented with gifts from his Tibetan counterpart.
Mr Morrison's predecessor Tony Webster and his wife, former head of drama Kathy White-Webster, have recently returned from a month long visit to the Tashi Lhunpo monastery school. Kathy came into QEHS to hand over a special gift of incense and a traditional white scarf, called a kata, which had been blessed by the Principal of the Tashi Lhunpo school, Kachen Tsultrim. The colour symbolizes purity of intention and aspiration.
Kathy was pleased to meet some of the 100 students who regularly correspond with Tibetan penpals, both at the monastery and at the Tibetan Childrens Village School for refugees in south India. She said: "The Tibetan staff and students are extremely keen to maintain these links, they really feel in their hearts that they want to connect with you all. Anything you can send your penpals – letters, notes, postcards – will be much appreciated."
Through the Websters' involvement with Tashi Lhunpo, Tibetan monks have visited Hexham on several occasions during their tours around Britain to give demonstrations and workshops on their culture and beliefs to raise funds for their school. Their fabulous sand mandalas which symbolise the impermanence of everything are especially memorable.
Mr Morrison was delighted to receive his gifts: "I am both very pleased and very proud that so many of our students have taken up this very special opportunity and are forging links that we believe will be long lasting and exceedingly rewarding for the students at both schools. I know our two lead teachers in this link, John Hartshorne and Andy Brook, are working with great commitment and are looking at even more exciting ways of developing the partnership – a visit to India for our students has even been suggested!"
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