A former pupil and Armed Forces hero told the next generation to “live life and have fun” during a special address at a recent event.
Flt Lt Nathan Jones, who left Rydal Penrhos in 2001, took the podium as the special guest speaker at the school’s annual Speech Day on Saturday, May 26, just days removed from serious back surgery.
He began by outlining how speeches from Duncan Kenworthy and Ben Elton that he heard as a pupil shaped his life, before thanking his parents and wife the support he has received throughout his most troubled times.
The 35-year-old also offered advice such as “praise your friends” and “be nice to people”, before reminiscing about his rugby training sessions with long-serving staff member Mike Leach and how this benefitted him in later life.
Flt Lt Jones then spoke about how he counted himself lucky following his traumatic ordeal with the Royal Air Force, where he managed to crawl along the ceiling to wrestle back control of a plane, saving the lives of 187-people on board by steadying the Voyager aircraft after it was sent into a 4,400ft-dive in just 29 seconds.
This left him with a fractured back and various other injuries, and this hardship ended up with Flt Lt Jones forming a friendship with Prince Harry due to his participation in the Invictus Games and receiving an invite to the recent Royal Wedding.
He then spoke about how his new role as a pilot for the Royal Family and Prime Minister Theresa May highlighted the importance of “making the best of any situation”, while he also told a tale involving Mrs May’s recent trip to the United States to meet controversial president Donald Trump.
Flt Lt Jones closed his address a life lesson to “treat everyone as an equal” all through your life, and he received a standing ovation from those in attendance following his inspiring speech.