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Headmaster's Blog


The first ever YouTube video was uploaded to the YouTube website on this day in 2015.  It showed the YouTube co-founder, Jawed Kari, on a visit to the San Diego Zoo.  Incredibly, only one year later, the site had approximately 100 million videos - staggering growth by any measure.  Equally impressively, the following year YouTube was acquired by Google for US$1.65 billion. Since then it has become one of Google's most lucrative subsidiaries, earning $19.8 billion in 2020.  Furthermore, in 2007, just two years after its founding, it consumed more bandwidth than the entire internet had used just seven years earlier in 2000!

And why do I mention this?  Well, to me it is a great example of how mighty things can grow from tiny beginnings.  In assembly this morning I discussed seeds with the children and how, with incredible resilience and a fair amount of tender care, the tiniest of seeds can develop into strong and vital plants.  Perhaps the best example is the mighty oak which emerges from the tiny acorn.  One of my favourite stories of the oak involves Nelson’s successor and Command-in-Chief at Trafalgar, Admiral Collingwood.  Collingwood was so worried about the rapid use of the British oaks by the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars that, when home on leave, he took to wandering the countryside with his pockets full of acorns.  As he walked he would press an acorn into the soil whenever he saw a good place for an oak tree to grow.  Some of the oaks he planted are probably still growing more than a century and a half later, ready to be cut down to build ships of the line at a time when instead, nuclear submarines are patrolling the sea.  Collingwood's purpose was to make sure that the Navy would never be short of oaks to build the fighting ships upon which the country's safety depended.  Of course Collingwood would never see these oaks reach maturity, but he understood the importance of planning for the future and thinking of the needs of future generations.

I often remind the children that great things can be achieved from small beginnings and the old proverb, ‘Mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow’ served this morning as another great example of this.

John F Gilmour

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