125 Book Review – Jenny Purchase

Congratulations to all those who contributed to the production of Epworth: 125 years. This beautifully illustrated, comprehensive book is packed to the brim with interesting detail on every aspect of school life and includes the stories of many of the individuals involved over the course of Epworth’s long and successful existence. It is a joy and a delight to read, and a very worthy commemorative publication which will be treasured by many.

As the Epworth Archivist Renee Alcock states in the Acknowledgments, this is ‘no dry history’.
Epworth is an exceptional educational institution, and her enduring story over 125 years is anything but boring and conventional. By bringing together anecdotes and accounts from a variety of sources, interspersed with relevant photographs and memorabilia across a range of themed chapters and germane topics, the editors and designers have allowed the history of Epworth to emerge naturally across the almost 300 pages of this impressive publication, resulting in the presentation of the story of our precious alma mater in a highly engaging, attractive and cyclopaedic manner.

As I worked my way through the book, reading various articles and admiring the photography and layout, I found myself totally absorbed, travelling through the entire range of emotion and reaction, from joy to sadness, from gratitude to surprise to humility to awe, and back again. Here I agree with editor Elise when she remarks that everyone who is a member of the Epworth community in whatever capacity will find themselves somewhere in these pages. And I guarantee that most will respond as I did, with an enormous sense of pride and appreciation for Epworth and what the school means: to us as individuals, to her place in our personal histories and lives, but also to the enduring moral principles Epworth espouses, and the dedication to the development of human potential she has always exemplified.

This book is a credit to Epworth and to all Epworthians; to all those who have come before and all those who will follow after. Fida, Humana, Fortis: Loyalty, Humanity and Strength — the values Epworth instilled in us, the values we live by.

Writer Jenny Purchase (Class of 1973) – New Zealand

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