The first Lycee Yearbook was published nine years ago in 1987. Nobody remembers who actually came up with the idea anymore hit the impetus behind it, unsurprisingly perhaps, was American. The end-of-school Yearbook is one of those institutions as American as Thanksgiving dinners and pecan pie and it was a student of that year, Jennifer Irvine, and her redoubtable all-American mother who first got the ball rolling. They found us a publisher, fired us with enthusiasm and said "Let's go!". Ten years later, somehow or other, we're still going.
The aims of the Yearbook were stated in the first publication and are still fundamentally the same today. this was to produce a high quality, hard-covered memento of the Terminal year, the main body of the book being an "album" of individual portraits of everybody in that year. Furthermore, the book was to be a joint-venture of the two sections of the school, emphasising its bicultural, bilingual character. Finally, it was seen as a project that might provide experience of a wide range of skills, not normally available in the classroom - accountancy, fund-raising project management, graphic design, editing and so on. Few people recognise the sheer hard work that is put into each publication, for it is not simply a question of gathering together a few articles and photographs and sending than off to the printers. First, every individual has to be tracked down and persuaded to pose before a camera. Then there is the writing of articles to deadlines - rarely met as invariably happens. Once, the photos, the art work and the articles have conic in, the design of each page can begin, the measurement of each photo space, of each copy block, the choice of type and point size, the typing itself onto copy sheets where each character and space has to be counted, and then the final drawing of the desired lay-outs. The American printer merely follows our instructions, so every error we make will be reproduced in the finished product.
That the Yearbook has survived is down to the popularity of the original concept. Few books are thumbed through as frequently in the school library. Several have gone missing and the only complete set is probably the one in the Proviseur's office. The main stumbling block is money. The last Yearbook, for example, cost something in the region of four and a half thousand pounds, for 200 copies. In order to make the book affordable, the Yearbook committee have to raise more than two thousand pounds through a mixture of sponsorship, advertising and fund-raising activities like fashion shows and parties.
The 1996 Yearbook is now nearing completion. We are pleased to say that it is a more genuinely bicultural endeavour than most years and will certainly be amongst the best Yearbooks published to date. Make sure you don't miss out by ordering your copies in advance. In June, we hope to celebrate ten years of the Yearbook by putting on a display in the library. Check it out.