The members of the Historical bench met at The Mitre yesterday to attend a presentation prepared by the Chairman/Adjudicator Duncan Edelstein (Grade 12 - Kidd House - 2019). The presentation took the form of overhead slides of some of the events that recently have been unfolding on the international stage, accomanied by some videoclips. These slides included the recent Hong Kong protests against the extradition laws; President Trump's visit to meet with the North Korean leader; the stand-off between the US and Iran over the deployment of nuclear power; Putin's visit to the Vatican; and the trade wars between China and the US. After the presentation, the Adjudicator asked the members to consider some questions: will the world fall into turmoil?; what or who is the greatest threat at the moment; will China and the US come to an agreement that everyone is happy with; why is it important to know the world around you?
Duncan then emphasized the need for students to be informed, just as he had become more informed when he was preparing for the presentation for the meeting, which took him several hours! The members were asked to decide on from a choice of questions and finally settled to vote for 'Will Pres. Trump be re-elected in 2020?' The result was 20-16 - in favour.
The formation of the society that is The Historical bench was inspired by a former teacher Mr Michael F. B. Fisher who himself ran a number of societies at Bishops, including the Magic Circle, Lingua Franca and Forum. When Paul Murray arrived at Bishops in 1991, Mr Fisher decided it would be a good time for him to hand over some of the societies to Paul, which he continues to run, adding another one, The Museum Society, this year. The Historical bench itself is an idea that Mr Fisher had, from his own school in the UK, Ampleforth.
Lingua Franca was started in 1969; Forum in 1976; and The Historical Bench in 1999.
ODs wishing to address the boys in any of these can contact Paul Murray [email protected]