After poor weather conditions called for the photograph to be rescheduled in the first instance, Wednesday, 7 November saw the Human Coat of Arms receive the final go-ahead. Meticulously organised by the Chinese Hongpao Society, the event aimed to involve hundreds of students and staff members in the celebration of the University’s 600th Anniversary. Taking place in St Salvador’s Quad, participants came dressed in their allocated colour scheme, and were placed into measured sections on the Quadrangle to form an intricate portrayal of the University’s Shield.
The official photograph, taken from the top of St Salvator’s clock tower, showed students forming the silver crescent of Pope Benedict XIII, the golden Maskells of Bishop Wardlaw, the lion rampant of James I, the open book of learning, and the anniversary dates of 1413-2013. Amid Mexican waves, an attempt at recreating a Gangman-style video shoot, and plentiful cheers to the photographers standing atop the tower, the crowd of volunteers were led through the directions required to allow for the best photograph.
Association President, Freddie Fforde, attended the event and afterwards told The Saint: “When the Hongpao society approached me with this crazy idea back in the summer, we had only just formalised the Your600th.net Campaign. Seeing the result today has been a rewarding testament to the many hours of hard work that we’ve put in to making this event happen. It also shows that so many students want to take a part in interpreting our 600th anniversary for themselves”.
Fighting off the blistering cold, fourth year Kate McQueen recalls the event warmly: “Once the feeling had returned to my toes and I saw the final photograph, I was pretty glad to say that I had been a part of it all because it did make me feel a little bit famous.”
The event was supported by the Students’ Association and as a memento, all participants were provided with an A5 photograph of the day, courtesy of the University. Fforde said: “I want to thank everybody at the Students’ Association for helping to make this event happen. Now we’re really excited to look forward and make sure that future events, and any students with 600th ideas, are equally supported for more success.”