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School in Malaysia honours Secretary-General with theatre naming

12 February 2020

A Malaysian school which launched a scholarship programme for students from Commonwealth countries and aspires to be a centre for music and dramatic arts, has named its new state-of-the-art auditorium in honour of the Commonwealth Secretary-General.

Secretary-General Patricia Scotland was invited to King Henry VIII College in Selangor on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur to present the award to the first scholarship recipient and formally open the impressive 600-seat 'Baroness Scotland Theatre'.

The auditorium was dedicated to the Secretary-General because of her strong ties with young people in the Commonwealth - notably the Commonwealth Youth Programme and her steadfast belief in youth as the present and also the future of Commonwealth.

King Henry VIII College is the sister school of Christ College in Brecon, Wales, a co-educational, boarding and day independent school founded by Royal Charter in 1541 by King Henry VIII. 

The College prospectus says it builds on the experience and expertise of Christ College in creating an environment where students can learn to relish public performance, where drama and performance is a significant part of school life -from student-led assemblies to house plays, and from speech and drama lessons to full-scale school productions.

The Secretary-General said: "I am flattered to be the recipient of such an honour. The theatre is a truly magnificent facility and I'm greatly humbled for it to bear my name.

"I want to thank everyone from King Henry VIII College for inviting me to visit and open this fine facility - The peformance by students was an Oscar-winning performance, and I'm sure this theatre will host many budding Commonwealth stars of the future."

It’s hoped the school could become a leadership centre for Commonwealth youth programmes in Malaysia.

The Secretary-General is on a five-day working visit to Malaysia, where she has been engaging with young people, including having a conversation over breakfast with the International Islamic University of Malaysia.