b'SIR MARK ROWLEY,Commissioner of the Metropolitan PoliceMark Rowley is Britains most senior policewho were working all hours in preparation for officer. He is also a former HGS pupil andthe funeral. Sir Mark has had to deal with the fallout is one of our most high-profile ex-students.Sir Mark spoke very fondly to the studentsof some dreadful behaviour from serving He appears regularly in the national media,during his prize-giving speech about his timeofficers. He has been in the public eye, and and has become the face of policingat HGS. He remembered that there had beenhas faced understandably angry MPs in the nationally since his appointment to the role asa small careers room just behind the stageCommons select committee. Throughout this, Commissioner last September. Shortly afterarea, and it was there that he found a leaflethe has maintained a calm dignity, but he has Mark began his role, he was our special guestone day about forensics and their role ina steely resolve.at our annual Prize-Giving Evening where hepolice work. That was a lightbulb moment spoke about both his memories of school andfor Mark, and he decided that, after university,Sir Mark has revisited HGS twice in the last his career. he would join the West Midlands Police. five years, and retains close connections with Within a few days of Mark beginning histhe school and with the city of his birth. He new role he was thrust into the biggestAcademically strong, Sir Mark, whoalways speaks very fondly of his time here security operation this country has ever seen,is originally from Handsworth Wood,at HGS, and his speech was peppered with following the sad passing of Queen Elizabethcompleted a Maths degree at the Universityreferences to the school and the impact that it II. With many of the worlds leaders wishing toof Cambridge. Indeed, his name is still onhad on him in the late 1970s and early 1980s.pay their respects to our sovereign, Sir Marksour honours boards in Big School, with aAs Dr Bird said when introducing him and team were responsible for the security ofgovernors prize for 1983 recognising hisquoting from another senior officer about Sir untold numbers of world leaders descendingacademic achievement. Mark: Sir Mark is tougher than he looks, is on London. When he visited school, he spokeAfter graduating from Cambridge Mark begangritty, resilient and a great appointment. This to me about this challenge, but also of whatas a young officer on the beat in Handsworth.is good news for Londoners and bad news a huge success it was, given the fact thatHe recalled a dreadful incident where hefor criminals. He does have one weakness officers were brought into the capital fromsuffered a bad assault at the hands of athough: he is a supporter of Aston Villa!around the country for the days before andBirmingham City football hooligan, and whereWe wish Sir Mark continued success in this after the funeral. Although plans had beenhe was hospitalised. He was commended formost important role, and he continues to be in place for some time for this event, it washis bravery by the West Midlands Police, wasan inspirational role model for our pupils who, a huge operation and involved thousands ofable to bounce back from that experiencelike Sir Mark, can reach the very top in their officers and security staff. and also commented that he had eventuallychosen professions.Sir Mark also mentioned the support of Kingtracked down his assailant who was Charles, who visited the main operationsconvicted for the assault. Mr Conwaycentre a few days before his mothers funeral.Through hard work and determination, he He told me of how the King had made a hugerose through the ranks, eventually becoming impact on the hard-working security teamthe Chief Inspector of Surrey, head of who were working extremely long hours inanti-terrorism for the UK, and finally as the preparation for the funeral. When the Kingcountrys most senior police officer. As the came in to see us, it was like he spread magicUKs head of anti-terrorism, he was the public dust around the room. It gave everyone aface of the police after events such as the huge lift. The poor man did all of this, evenWestminster Bridge attack in 2017. He was though he was exhausted, had already beenable to reassure Londoners and the watching in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, andpublic that these events were extremely rare.was dealing with the loss of his mother. It isSir Mark has been faced with a huge number clear that Sir Mark has great respect for theof challenges in his first year in post. The King, and very much valued the time that HisMetropolitan Police force is Britains largest Majesty was able to offer to the weary officersforce with approximately 48,000 employees. 59'