Paul at The Liverpool Institute For The Performing Arts

On Friday 20 July 2001 Paul, as usual, attended the Graduation ceremony for the Students graduating LIPA for the year 2001.  It's wonderful that Paul has continued to support the school in this way and to not just be a figurehead.

He arrived quietly in a blue jaguar car being driven my trusty friend John Hammel and was accompanied by Heather Mills.  After a couple of hours he left LIPA for the short drive to The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall where the actual graduation ceremony would take place.  He arrived at the Hall some minutes later to be greeted by people waiting to see him.  It was amazing really, he casually got out of the car on the offside and walked around the car onto the pavement where he was suddenly swamped!!  He waved and greeted everyone like old friends, stopped for pix and went inside.

Inside the ceremony began at approximately 2.00 p.m. with the procession through the Hall to the stage.  Some of those in the procession were:  Joan Armatrading, The Chair of LIPA Council, Member of the LIPA Council,, Course Leaders, Benny Gallagher, Malcolm McLaren, The High Sheriff of Liverpool, Sir Paul McCartney, The Provost of Liverpool John Moores University, the Teaching staff and the Principal and CEO.

The ceremony began with the Chair of LIPA Council bestowing the First 2001 Companion award to Joan Armatrading.  Following this award the presentations to the graduates began and as their names were called they came onto the stage to be greeted first by their tutor, then by Mark Featherstone-Witty, next came Paul who gave each graduate a LIPA pin, shook their hands as he said a few words and finally they were greeted by the Provost of Liverpool John Moores University. This was the trend for all the graduates.

The second 2001 Companion award was presented to Benny Gallagher (Gallagher and Lyle) and the third was presented to Malcolm McLaren of Sex Pistols fame.  Malcolm's acceptance speech was amusing to say the least.

Next came the Graduation 2001 photograph.  This was a great source of amusement to Paul who fidgeted with his chair and made various faces and comments as he waited for the photographs to get the right pose.  Finally three or four photographs were taken and one of these will be chosen as the class of 2001 photograph.

New to this year's ceremony was the introduction of certificates for disabled artists and many were there to receive their certificates.

Also new to this years ceremony was an award called The McCartney Human Spirit Award.  Paul read the citation for this award explaining that the school certainly has a spirit in its halls and it was appropriate that this award be made each year.  He talked about how he hoped the students leaving the city would take some of Liverpool with them to wherever they were heading in the world.  It's obvious from the way Paul talks about Liverpool that his heart is truly still with the city of his birth and he made this clear in his summing up speech. The Award was given to a student from Ayrshire in Scotland and he was in tears as he accepted the silver cup from Paul.  

The ceremony ended at approximately 4.00 p.m. and Paul left the Hall to make his way back to LIPA where he attended a party with the students.

On his way back to LIPA Paul had John stop the car at the corner shop where he and Heather got out, went into the shop, bought two packets of plain, salted crisps and then got back into the car and headed for LIPA.  Don't ask me why, I haven't got a clue and I wouldn't attempt to question Mr. McCartney's reason for this unscheduled shopping trip!!!!

Paul and Heather left LIPA at about 6.30 p.m.

But the story doesn't end there.  Many of you reading this will know Eddie Porter, Magical Mystery Tour Guide extraordinaire.  Well on this day The Walrus finally met The Walrus.  See the pic below.

Check back tomorrow for more Macca pix!

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