Sunday, 01 August 2021

Primary school mascot tells globetrotting tales

A SCHOOL mascot has returned after travelling the world for 10 months.

A SCHOOL mascot has returned after travelling the world for 10 months.

Billy, a toy badger belonging to Badgemore Primary School in Henley, accompanied Mark Richardson as he visited a dozen countries between June last year and March this year.

Mr Richardson, from Twyford, is a friend of parent–governor Tuc Ahmad and agreed to take Billy so the children could learn about other cultures.

Billy “wrote” a weekly email to the youngsters about his travels and attached photographs and short videos. He also sent postcards regularly.

His journey started in Dubai, where he ascended Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, before seeing the Taj Mahal in India and visiting Sri Lanka.

He then went to the Angkor Wat Buddhist temple in Cambodia, the world’s biggest place of worship, then visited Malaysia, Indonesia and Polynesia, so Mr Richardson could go scuba diving. The pair then surfed in Hawaii, celebrated Christmas in Mexico and swam with whale sharks in Panama. Finally, they visited Howe Island in Australia before coming home.

Mr Richardson gave a presentation at the primary school and quizzed pupils about the different countries, awarding wristbands from central America to those who answered correctly.

Pupils showed him a display they had made about Billy’s travels. Headteacher Jackie Steele said: “Not all of our pupils travel regularly so this has given them a chance to see what life is like in other countries. It has raised their awareness of the wider world and helped them understand that there are many different cultures apart from their own.”

This term the pupils will be raising money for an Indonesian school and a Cambodian hospital which Billy visited.

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