Dunoon Grammar School has been blazing a trail for a while now in media production. Its inhouse television station, DGS TV, saw teams of young people plan, record, produce, floor manage, present and edit news and short features. They didn’t half have an air about them – a blend of a sense of cool and a knowledge that they really knew what they were doing.
Now, pupils at the school are lit by the news that a short film they have made, telling the story of a former pupil, has been selected as a finalist in Poppy Scotland’s Moving Stories competition.
That’s their part of the job done. The rest is down to you and us. Our part of it is telling you what you need to know – to vote for them online to get them the win they deserve. We’ll be doing that as well but its your votes that count. There are hordes of you on For Argyll where there are only a few of us.
DGS needs you – and your votes will help these talented and ambitious pupils in their futures, support a great school and draw attention to what Argyll can do.
The competition links the loved of today’s young folk to the military and civilian sacrifices made in armed conflicts, some ongoing. They are asked to create a short film – up to 5 minutes long – born of their resonse to the theme ‘90 years of the Poppy – then and now. 1921-2011’.
The DGS film tells the tragic story of a former Dunoon Grammar pupil, Walter Sinclair Smith, who was killed during the iconic Christmas Truce of 1914.
It is one of four films now open to a public vote which will decide the overall winner of the competition being run to mark the 90th anniversary of Poppy Scotland.
Sean McMahon who plays the part of Walter in the school production says: ‘Walter was one of five brothers, four of whom were involved in the Great War. We have tried to get across that Walter and other ex-pupils like him are more than just names engraved on a brass plaque but real people who found themselves in the most terrible of events. It was amazing that Walter took part in the iconic Christmas truce of 1914, but heartbreaking how he was shot on Christmas Day itself.’
Mr Stewart Shaw, Head Teacher of Dunoon Grammar, delighted at his pupils success, says“: ‘We are honoured our pupils’ work has been short listed for such a prestigious and worthy award. To received this recognition from Poppy Scotland is fantastic – and we would encourage our school community to get behind the pupils and vote for the film on the Poppy Scotland website.’
Let’s make it an Argyll community behind this sort of talent.
Viewing and voting details
The four films can be viewed online and votes cast here at the Poppy Scotland website.
Voting opens at noon on Thursday, 19 April and closes on Thursday, 17 May 2012.
Note 1: The photograph accompany this article is in the public domain and shows a cross, left near Ypres in Belgium in 1999, to commemorate the site of the Christmas Truce in 1914. The text reads: ’1914 – The Khaki Chum’s Christmas Truce – 1999 – 85 Years – Lest We Forget’.
Note 2: Teacher, Paul Gallanach whose work at the school has inspired much of this development is quietly chuffed at the film makers’ success but prefers to be a background figure.