Stroud High School was honoured to host a visit from the South Korean Minister for Patriotism and Veteran Affairs.
Along with other government officials and a delegation from the Korean Embassy in the UK, His Excellency Minshik Park, was joined by Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie and the trustees of Stroud High School.
Park is on a tour to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Imjin River Campaign in which the soldiers of Gloucestershire played a key role. It is on the back of this historic link that Stroud High School has developed a partnership with Hanbit High School in Paju Province, South Korea. This has involved students and staff of both schools collaborating on projects, and in exchange visits, over the last 7 years.
The visit included speeches from the Minister and from students – in Korean and in English – highlighting the need to understand our shared history and to honour the sacrifice of the veterans, as well as the crucial importance of the relationship continuing forward for new generations. After an exchange of gifts, tea was served and everyone had the opportunity to chat informally before the group moved on to The soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum. Here, Korean visitors and SHS students toured the displays and met with veterans of the Korean War.
Stroud High School Headteacher, Mark McShane, said: “It was an honour for the Minister to visit and to award us as their 1st Global Academy School. We have built up a wonderful friendship with Hanbit High School in Paju, all based on the bond created after the exploits of the Glorious Glosters at the Imjin River during the Korean War.
“This year we have sixty of our Sixth Formers working with Hanbit High School in South Korea and Thailand, over two visits on a funded Turing Project. It is not just a partnership between schools, it has become a very special friendship between two communities.”
Amelia Williams in Y11 presented the Minister with membership of the Stroud High School Historical Society, including a badge and certificate. She said: “It was such a privilege to talk to the Minister and invite him to join our society. It is amazing to think that the events of the Glorious Glosters has inspired such a wonderful exchange.”