An old girl of Truro High, Olivia Lowry is a Cornish writer and performer who has founded the theatre company Oh My Clementine and produced her own sell-out lyrical theatre production. She inspired the congregation with a poignant address in which she talked about her own memories of Truro High and the importance of being offered a space to find one’s voice.
“In every story I have written, in each word in ‘The Coastguard’s Daughter’, I have felt as vulnerable and exposed as I was in the notes I scribbled to my school friends. But that is why I consider those notes almost as relevant to me as the first class teaching we have been incredibly privileged to receive,” said Olivia. “It gave me the confidence of my own voice, to know what I wanted to do and to follow it.”
Olivia left the school in 2008 and since returning to Cornwall just over a year ago has been working as an actress, writer and storyteller. Inspired by the true story of the former residents of her Pentewan family home during the First World War, Olivia wrote and crowdfunded her first play, ‘The Coastguard’s Daughter’. As a result of the production’s success, she spoke at Cornwall’s first TED X Talk last September and plans to tour the piece later this year.
She completed her Masters in English Literature at the University of Bristol in 2014 and the school is extremely proud of what she and her two sisters have achieved since leaving Truro High.
Current pupils also displayed their own talents during the service. Sisters Felicity and Eleanor Hood opened the prestigious ceremony playing the traditional pipe band tune ‘The Green Hills of Tyrol/The Battle’s O’er’ whilst soloists included Year 11 Lucy Peek, who was last November told that she has been selected to sing with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.
The school’s Prep Choir closed the ceremony with a moving rendition of Harry Glasson’s ‘Cornwall my Home’. The girls were lucky enough to be invited to record the song for an album of Cornish Folk Songs at Falmouth University earlier this month.
“Founder’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to our long and distinguished history,” said Headmaster Dr Glenn Moodie. “Today we reflect on what Bishop Benson’s foresight of 137 years ago has led to. The school has educated and nourished many thousands of girls, who have gone on to make a positive and lasting impact in the world and it’s always a joy to welcome them back and find out where their journey has led them.”
One of the most important dates in the school diary, Founder’s Day is marked every year with a special service in Truro Cathedral including music, readings, prayers and speeches. This year marks the 137th anniversary of the school’s founding.