Record: 414 Leprechauns say goodbye at Cowan House

2011-11-12 00:00

FOUR hundred and fourteen leprechauns painted the Cowan House co-educational preparatory school green and black in a Guinness World Records attempt yesterday. As a parting gift for their Irish headmaster Mark Emerson, pupils, staff and parents of the Hilton school dressed as leprechauns to break the current world record of 224 people, which was organised by The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in the U.S. in March.

Cowan House public relations officer Linda Hill was confident that they had the record in the bag. “Our headmaster has been with the school for an amazing 14 years and he has done an amazing job so we organised this whole thing without his knowledge. The pupils made their hats from green paper and waistcoats from green plastic bags and we had the appropriate footwear as well as the beard. We stuck to all the guidelines and we hope to hear from the Guinness book of records in a few weeks to see if we made it,” said Hill.

The rules for qualifying for the record state that every­one must wear a top hat, a green waistcoat, green or black trousers, a beard and buckled shoes. Three independent observers have to ensure that everything is done according to the rules. All the Cowan House leprechauns gathered in the school’s indoor sports centre with their prickly beards and tall hats doing a jig and singing along to Ireland’s national anthem. The anthem is popular at the school as it is Emerson’s ringtone.

Emerson is still in shock about the surprise. “I am really shocked that my grade sevens, who cannot keep a secret, managed to hide this from me for weeks. I am very proud of being an Irish South African and of my heritage. I believe that we have blasted the record, making leaving the school that much more special,” he said.

He resigned to work with the LIV Foundation in Durban.

• thandiwe.jumo@witness.co.za

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