To celebrate Rathgar Junior School’s centenary, the Parents’ Committee, on behalf of all the families attending RJS, commissioned a stained glass window, which has recently been installed outside the School office on the first floor. This was financed by fundraising activities over the past two years.
The window reveals itself to the children as they climb the stairs on their way to classes or the library. If you walk up, you will notice that the colours reflected in the glass are never static. Over the course of the day the colours dance and move as they are animated by changing light, their patterns wandering across the floor, inviting the children to see different elements of the artwork each time they look at it.
George Walsh, a local, well renowned and award-winning stain glass artist with over 65 years’ experience in his craft, was chosen to develop the piece. Here is an explanation of some of the elements of the glass:
- Throughout the window you will see aspects of the Quakers, sometimes called the Religious Society of Friends.
- The top panel shows the Rathgar Junior School crest imposed on the first epistle of St Peter, from which the ethos of the Quakers is derived. Also, on the book, the Quaker symbol of Ireland and the Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the end). It also signifies the book of learning.
- In the mid panel, you can see birds representing nature and freedom. The sun shines on the joy of the lives of the school and its children. Many of the pupils’ activities are shown throughout this section, including tennis, hockey and cricket.
- The environment is present throughout the glass with flowers, butterflies, blackberries, apples & more. The daffodils that are planted each year by the children are represented in the bottom right hand part of the pane.
- Across the base of the window, there is water, which is a symbol of cleansing and renewal. The fish is a symbol of nature and ocean life.
There are many more details in the work which viewers will discover on closer examination. We invite you to discover details yourself and to enjoy the beauty of this magnificent piece. We hope that it will give many, many years of joy for both today’s and future generations of RJS pupils.
The RJS Parents’ Committee, 12th February 2020