When it was announced that 2016 was the Year of Reading, the Board of Trustees at Al Ain English Speaking School were quick to back the development of a new library and two ICT suites.
Developed from what was the old school hall that was converted to a kitchen, many years ago, the building was named the Crawford Centre to honour one of the foundling Principals of the school, the late Mr James Crawford.
The current Principal, Mr Andrew Thomas said, “The school is one of the oldest in Al Ain, and I think it is fitting that we honour James and the history of the school. James was the Principal of the school from 1983 until 2005, and was deservedly honoured by Her Majesty the Queen with an OBE for services to British education overseas”.
To begin the celebrations, Winnet Gwenje, a Year 11 pupil at the school, read a poem about libraries that she had crafted, before camel vet, Dr Alex Tinson, officially revealed the plaque. Alex’s children attended the school when Crawford was the Principal, and Alex was able to reflect and share a few stories about the man Crawford was before cutting a huge cake in the shape of a book that was gifted from the Ayla Hotel.
Tinson, himself a published author, donated several signed copies of his books to the library, which range from his Harry the Camel children stories, his fascinating book on his time as the Sheik’s camel vet, and his scientific book on breeding camels.
The school looks forward to further celebrations as it nears completion on the installation of a brand new astro turf pitch.