OLD COLLEGIAN FEATURE
Our School Song The history of Carmen Regale.
As new boys, Old Collegians will remember, in our first week or so in College, learning the School Song, and then having to recite or sing it to a Prefect to prove that we knew it. Since we only had to commit the last verse to memory probably none of us realised then that there were four verses. I. G. G. Strachan, a master from 1924-29 wrote the song in 1926 but I wonder if the full version still exists in the College hymnal? Fortunately I copied all four verses into my diary in my last year at King’s and at that time could sing all four stanzas extempore, but I can no longer do that. However after singing the School Song in Chapel at the recent Floreat Semper reunion my mind started mulling over the other verses. The first verse begins rousingly:
“Convenimus rursus regales alumni, Regressi cum gaudio, mater, ad te;” We come together again, King’s boys, returning with gladness to you, Mother, but it was the third stanza which got me thinking:
“Et nunc et in vita, quaecunque vocabit -- Ecclesia, curia, quaestus, ager --” which one can translate loosely as Both now and in our lives, whatever our calling be -the Church, administration, business, farming” That was a fairly narrow field even for 1926! So I wondered what those who left the College in 1926
became in their adult lives, and out of interest those 25 years later, in 1951, my last year. Studying the Centennial Register in Bruce Hamilton’s splendid history O Floreat Semper (1995) reveals that 86 boys left the College at the end of 1926, while 118 left at the end of 1951. What careers Old Collegians from 1926 entered is not specified for 41% and for 1951 the figure is 30%. However, looking at the song’s categories is interesting. The Church does not feature in 1926, but 2.5% of 1951 leavers entered the Church. There were no obvious Administrators from 1926 or 1951, but I’m sure some Old Collegians served in administrative or official positions. Business was taken up by 26% of the 1926 contingent, and 21% for 1951. Farming was the career for 20% in 1926 and 19% of the 1951 leavers. What of the others? Law accounted for 3% in 1926, rising to 6% in 1951; Medicine and Dentistry were taken up by 2% in 1926 and 10% by 1951. The other careers for 1926 were the Armed Forces, 6% and Engineering 2%; 1951 produced 5% Scientists and a group of 6.5% which included a few Engineers, Teachers, Artists and Airline Pilots. So business and farming remained the dominant careers over this period. It would be interesting to know what Old Collegians are working towards now, 84 years after I. G. Strachan wrote the School Song, Carmen Regale. Basil Hutchinson (Peart, 1947-51)
S U M M E R 2 0 1 1 • K I NG ’ S C O U R I E R 4 5
The King's Courier is a publication produced 3 times a year that takes a look into the life of King's College.