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Flowers on the Saint James campus

From the Headmaster
9 September 2022

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, I had the honor of training and then serving in the Church of England for seven years before I returned to America to serve as Headmaster of Saint James School.  I therefore want to take the occasion of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to express my personal gratitude for her life of extraordinary service to the people of the United Kingdom, "her realms and territories across the seas," the Commonwealth, the over 600 causes and charities over which she presided as patron, and the wider Anglican Communion of which Saint James is a part.

Her length of service, 70 years as Queen with over a decade of service as a young princess before that, is, in itself, a remarkable statement of loyalty and permanence for all of us to admire.

In a way which speaks to Saint James especially, she was remarkably adept at adapting to changing times without abandoning community and the traditions which support it.  Like her predecessor Elizabeth I, she thoughtfully, carefully, and graciously discerned and then pursued a reasonable "middle way" between the extremes, which preserved the nations, the Commonwealth, and the Church which she served, allowing us to progress and develop without rancor, dissolution, or division.  In this way, she stood apart from many other leaders in her time who appealed to their followers to pursue a "winner take all" strategy, modeling instead a combination of dignity, duty, service, and faith, which was a great reassurance to her people and indeed to all of us who admired her.

Coming of age during the challenges and horrors of the Second World War in Great Britain, Queen Elizabeth has been for seventy years America's most sympathetic and steadfast ally.  She personally knew every president from Truman to Biden, with the exception of President Johnson, and she ordered the band at Buckingham Palace to play the Star-Spangled Banner after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.  She also personally transformed the British Empire into the free Commonwealth of Nations without any personal political power or the use of any military force, just the strength of her commitment, her diplomatic skills, and the majesty of her office.  We have of course many students on our campus today who come from that Commonwealth, which she built and preserved. 

I always tell the students that all political systems, however they are structured, rely upon the quality of the person who through that system rises to lead them.  This is why we are committed to produce "leaders for good," however they are called to serve:  in their families, their communities, their careers, their countries, and the world.  All of us of course are only human, so can only try our best.  But in this regard especially, Queen Elizabeth has set a wonderful example.

May she rest in peace and may light perpetual shine upon her.

Yours faithfully,

The Revd. Dr. D. Stuart Dunnan

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