Boys' School Celtic Day 2016

April 01, 2016 at 4:02 PM

The most anticipated date on the Boys’ School each year is, without doubt, Celtic Day; a day to put school work aside and celebrate our Scottish heritage, the Saint Kentigern way! Expectations were definitely high as the clans gathered on the field, the older boys taking their younger buddies securely under their wings ready for a day that mixes tradition with fun and games!

There is an old Scottish saying, ‘There's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!’- so it was apt that the morning dawned with weather fit for the Highlands – cloudy and grey with rain on the horizon. The boys, however, were dressed appropriately, clad in tartan, kilts, tam o’ shanters and bearing menacing face paint that William Wallace would have been proud of!

The day opened with the Kapa Haka group laying down the challenge on the top field, a slight deviation from the Scottish theme but one that ‘Brave Heart’ would definitely have given his approval to!

No Saint Kentigern event would be complete without the sounds of the Pipes and Drums! The Boys’ School Band has made great strides in the last year and were proud to join with the College Band to lead the procession of clans around the field and into the Sports Centre.

Principal, Mr Peter Cassie addressed the school, parents and invited guests saying that he approaches Celtic Day with both excitement and trepidation, knowing he will be taking part in the Battle of Roselle – and that the boys will show no mercy with their wet sponges! He said, Celtic Day is definitely a day for you boys; where your intellectual, physical, creative and cultural talents will be challenged and hopefully nurtured bringing a sense of achievement and fulfilment at the conclusion.’

For 10 years, parent and expatriate Scot, Mr Euan Allan has graced us with his knowledge of all things Scottish – giving the boys a taste of an authentic Scottish accent. Mr Allan is also responsible for coaching the Head Boy to recite Robbie Burns’ ‘Ode to the Haggis’ in Gaelic no less! This year, it was Issac Mellis-Glynn’s turn to get his tongue around the fiendishly difficult language and he did a superb job with loud applause from his peers!

In support of Isaac’s efforts, Mr Allan paid further tribute to Robbie Burns by reciting another of his poems, ‘A man’s a man for awe that.’ In it, Burns expresses his belief that all men are equal and that it is not wealth, privilege or possessions that matter but how we actually live our lives that is important. Mr Allan said ‘Think about just how eloquently Burns describes the things that really matter and how similar his view is to the Saint Kentigern values! What he thinks that matters is a person’s character, their honesty, their desire to act on their own beliefs and not to accept what others say as being the truth without considering all things properly.’

For his 10 years of service to Celtic Day and superb tutelage of the Head Boys, Mr Cassie presented Euan with the Gold, Silver and Bronze Service Award, the first parent to receive this recognition. We thank Euan immensely for the hard work, wisdom and authenticity he has provided to a decade of Celtic Days!

While the official ceremony is the most traditional part of Celtic Day, the anticipation on the boys’ faces suggested the real fun was about to start. But first, a taste of haggis! This was well received by some, others were definitely not so keen on the warm sheep’s entrails!

Let the games begin! In their clans, the boys enjoyed sessions focused on various features of Scottish culture, including cooking porridge, music, Highland dancing, arts and crafts, and learning about pulleys and the forces in weaponry. Without doubt though, the highlight was the Castle Siege on Roselle Lawn. In scenes reminiscent of ‘Brave Heart’ with wet sponges and buckets in place of arrows and quivers, the boys and a few game parents summoned their inner Celtic warrior in attempting to capture the other team’s cardboard castle!

Such a fantastic day would not be possible without the awesome help of the Parents and Friends Association. Thank you to all of those who mucked in with the many tasks required, from cooking and serving the haggis (and the alternative shortbread option for the visitors!), to leading the charge in the war games! 


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