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The History Behind “Glenlyon Norfolk By the Sea”

The GNS community was officially introduced to the second verse in May.
As the Junior School recognizes and celebrates Waves of Kindness, the Grade 3 classes introduced a second verse to the school song “Glenlyon Norfolk By the Sea” that included lyrics that celebrated this theme. 

“Our waves of kindness motto inspire the sea theme,” Ms. Illman explained earlier this year. “At first we weren’t thinking about a sea theme throughout, but one student suggested ‘waves of kindness wash over us,’ and then ideas started coming up with flood and current. Then the students were rolling with sea metaphors. It’s something that they discovered on their own as a way to write a song.” 

The GNS community had their first opportunity to listen to the new lyrics when students performed it together at this year’s Grandparents and Grandpals Day. 

“It feels like a historical moment,” said Ms. Shea. “It feels really special that Ms. Illman was a part of it. With her retirement this year, it’s a lasting legacy to the contributions she’s had at the school. It’s also special in the sense that it doesn’t happen very often, so it’s been a wonderful addition.” 

Going back into the GNS archives, Mr. Stuart Brambley, School Archivist, discovered that at some point during World War II, Major Ian Simpson, Headmaster of Glenlyon Preparatory School, asked for a school song to be created. His wife, Florence Simpson, who was a fairly prolific writer and poet, wrote the original version based on the last stanza from the 1902 poem Sussex by Rudyard Kipling. 

Thomas Jenkins, the music teacher at the school at that time, composed music to the words that were produced by Mrs. Simpson. 

God gave all men all earth to love,
But since our hearts are small,
Ordained for each one spot shall prove
Beloved over all. 
Each to his choice, and I rejoice
The lot has fallen to me 
In a fair ground—in a fair school—
Glenlyon by the sea! 
In 1986 Glenlyon and Norfolk House School amalgamated, but it wasn’t until 2003 with the introduction of girls to the Beach Drive Campus, that the song was updated. Mr. Brambley, Junior School Vice-Principal at the time, wrote a more ‘co-educational’ version. 

God gave us all, this Earth to love, 
But since our hearts are small, 
It's up to us to work and prove
Beloved over all. 
Each to their choice, and I rejoice
Fortune has shone on me
In a fair ground, in a fair school, 
Glenlyon-Norfolk by the sea! 

There have only been minor changes to the song since 2003 until the official addition of a second verse this school year. 
We’re thankful for this earth to love, 
But since our hearts are small
It’s up to us to work and prove
Beloved over all 
Each to their choice and I rejoice, 
Fortune has shone on me
In a fair ground, in a fair school, 
Glenlyon Norfolk by the sea! 
Waves of kindness flood our school
Flow out from friend to friend,
The tide takes a loving act
And brings it back again. 
We will include, and not exclude, 
Kindness is the key.
In a fair ground, in a fair school 
Glenlyon Norfolk by the sea!

Glenlyon Norfolk School

Junior School (JK to Grade 5)

Middle (Grade 6 to 8) and Senior (Grade 9 to 12) Schools

We wish to acknowledge and respect the Lekwungen-Speaking Peoples on whose traditional territory we stand, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and Wsáneć Peoples whose historical relationships with the land, where we live, work, play and learn, continue to this day.