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70 candles for school parrot Sim

28 October 2019

A well-known parrot who survived a school fire in the 90s and has helped thousands of new students settle into school life is celebrating his 70th birthday.

Students at Rouge Bouillon School have organised a special party to celebrate the 70th birthday of the school’s pet parrot, Sim.  

Next Monday [4 November] Sim, a multi-coloured Amazon parrot, will be treated to a specially made birthday cake, which is suitable for both humans and parrots. Students have created parrot-themed decorations for his cage, and the school choir will sing him Happy Birthday. 

Sim originally lived at Briggs toy shop, in St Helier, until it closed for business in 1988. After an island-wide appeal was launched to find a new home for the bird, former headteacher Wendy Hurford gave him a home at Rouge Bouillon School, where he has lived ever since.

On 15 April 1991 a fire ripped through Rouge Bouillon School. It started in the roof space where workmen had been conducting repairs before the children returned to their classrooms. Thirteen members of staff, some with their children, had been in the building when the fire was discovered and they, along with Sim, were evacuated. No-one was hurt.

Deputy head teacher, Jess Doyle, said: “This birthday party is our way of celebrating the contribution Sim has made to life at Rouge Bouillon School over the decades. Generations of our students will remember him fondly, and he’s a wonderful presence to have here.

“We have many new students who are nervous about starting school, and other students who might be new to Jersey too. When they see Sim their faces light up and talking to him helps them to relax and settle into life at school.”

One Year 5 pupil said: “We love looking after Sim and cleaning his cage out even though sometimes he makes it very dirty.”

A pupil from Year 6 said: “It’s very impressive that he can talk – he says hello to us and we love it.”​

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