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St Mary's School in Finchley throws birthday party to celebrate 200 years

By Ruth Halkon, Reporter

Children danced around maypoles and 200 balloons were released into the sky as a Finchley primary school celebrated its 200th anniversary.

Politicians and dignitaries from around London visited St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Dollis Park on Friday to share in a day of celebrations.

The day centered around the unveiling of specially commissioned art works painted by staff member Vincent Chan and parents Mrs Diakite and Mrs Everson, showing events in the life of Mary, mother of Jesus.

The five works were blessed by the Bishop of Edmonton the Right Reverend Peter Wheatley.

Headteacher Rob Allen said: “We now have a lasting tribute to celebrate the school’s 200 year history.”

There were speeches from Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Greater London Sir David Brewer, Mayor of Barnet Councillor Brian Schama and MP for Finchley Mike Freer.

Mr Allen added: “It was very clever in the way the speakers moved from talking about the national picture to the very local level of day to day life at this school."

“The guests of honour were good to the children. They were open and approachable and their attention and care made the event a great success.”

He added the weather made the day “more wonderful” as children left the marquee where the speeches and unveiling took place and danced around maypoles on the school playing field.

Children, staff, parents and guests then looked on as two hundred balloons in the school colours were released into the sky.

Children were then given party bags with school mementos and cake as a reminder of the day.

Mr Allen added: “We wanted to create the feeling the day was our birthday, the whole idea of celebration came across really well – the Lord Lieutenant even cut the birthday cake with his sword.”