Boys' School Graduation Dinner

December 05, 2013 at 2:47 PM

DSC_9640.JPGOur Year 8 boys, proudly sporting their Old Collegians ties, gathered with their parents, staff and invited guests at the Ellerslie Convention Centre to reflect back on the boys’ last eight years of friendship and learning as they ready themselves for the next step in their education.

The Dean of the Senior School, Mr Carl Lidstone opened the formalities by reading out a series of numbers, asking if anyone knew their meaning. No, they were not telephone numbers but the boys’ individual Saint Kentigern identification numbers. He told the boys that as they moved on, they would not be remembered for their numbers but for their actions – the things they have said and done; the service and excellence they have exhibited as young men who led the School so well in 2013.

The School is grateful to the Old Collegians for sponsoring the dinner each year and welcomed the president, Mr Andrew Morgan to speak. Andrew encouraged the boys to reflect back on their time at school and to keep in touch through the Old Collegians Association. He concluded by saying, ‘Have faith and belief in yourself, be caring of your friends and family. Always remember the real strength that develops from honesty, hard work and the inclusion of others in your life.’

Following dinner, we were pleased to invite former professional adventure athlete, Steve Gurney to speak. Steve is best known for having won the challenging Coast to Coast event nine times and being appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to endurance sport. Whilst Steve may be slight in stature, his personality, drive and passion for life was larger than life and his many tales of adventure, such as the perils of kite surfing across the Sahara Desert, were perfect anecdotes for a mixed age audience. In finishing, his words of advice to the boys included not to have any regrets in life and to choose to do things that they can look back on with pride.

Each year the boys receive a Saint Kentigern pennant to be signed by friends. Amid much laughter, the boys quickly circulated, gathering as many signatures as possible, including queuing for Principal, Mr Cassie and guest, Steve Gurney to add their names.

In his closing, Mr Cassie said, ‘This evening acknowledges the importance of our senior students, recognising the contribution they have made during their time at Saint Kentigern Boys’ School. You should look forward to the next five years of your education with excitement and anticipation. Your understanding of the world around you will broaden, subject knowledge will deepen and your personal interests and strengths will be nurtured. You have been given a very solid grounding academically where further independence is critical for your continued growth. You have had many opportunities to get involved in both physical and cultural activities and you have been provided with exceptionally strong Christian values and leadership that make for good citizens.’

A final set of ‘reflections,’ a DVD prepared by Paul and Victoria Wilkes, parents of Head Boy, Edward, looked back on the boys time together provoking many memories as images scrolled across the screen dating back to when some were new entrants! The evening finally concluded with one last haka from the boys.

We thank the Prefects' parents who lovingly decorated the venue with the star attraction being bags of lollies inscribed with Saint Kentigern hanging on the Christmas tree. Our thanks also to Wendy Hart from ‘Flowers after Hours’ for providing the beautiful floral centrepieces for the tables. We are also indebted to Subaru New Zealand and Winger Auckland who arranged for Steve Gurney to be our guest speaker.

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