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Commemorative envelope for the 2003 bicentennial

Among the many items created to celebrate the 2003 bi-centennial year and available for sale on Grand Day was a commemorative envelope bearing the aphorism "Looking forward with confidence, looking back with pride".
First day cover of the commemorative envelope issued for the School's 2003 bi-centenary year. Obverse side of the bi-centenary year envelope, which carries a short statement of purpose for the continuing existence of the School.
The attractive commemorative envelope will be a welcome memento to alumni, collectors and philatelists alike.

Dated 1 January 2003, the limited edition and privately printed first-day cover comes in a numbered series of 1 to 500 copies, selling for £5 a copy. Although the envelope has an attractive face and obverse design, it is not suitable for mailing unless the sender would be prepared to obliterate the fine photograph of the chapel with a stick-on white cover on which to write the recipient's address. The fine colour photograph of the chapel, incidentally, was the work of David Cross (K39-43), retired and living in Hythe, Kent, within handy driving distance of the School.

Unfortunately, the obverse side of the envelope carries a message that might have been written by committee. Not only is the text shoddily punctuated, it conveys a message unlikely to sit well in today's multi-cultural society of British life. In particular, "These goals are to be achieved in the context of a Christian environment and a unique military tradition" may convey the sentiments of the vast majority of the Armed Forces, but surely not all, which makes it exclusive. This message would seem hardly suitable to inspire the trust, loyalty and allegiance of those members of the forces who adhere to the Judaic, Moslem, Hindu or Tao religions to mention a few, though one may be sure there are many more out there.

A limited number of the commemorative covers are, no doubt, still available from the Bursar at £5 each (not confirmed) plus the cost of mailing. For philatelists, the first-day cover is a good investment, which is sure to increase over the next few years.

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