Farewell and Forward, Class of 2023

December 14, 2023 at 5:09 PM

As the calendar winds down at the College, bidding adieu to our Year 13 students follows a series of events culminating on Sunday 3 December with the Graduation Chapel Service, diploma ceremony, and graduation dinner – one last evening of reflection and celebration in a familiar setting. 

We commenced with the chapel service in Elliott Hall, which was filled to capacity. Year 13s Catalina Addis and George Turner performed both together and individually throughout the ceremony, entertaining the audience around an inspiring message from College Chaplain Reverend David Smith. Beyond the academic lessons, Reverend David Smith urged the graduating class of 2023 to embark on their new journey with curiosity and gratitude for the experiences and relationships that Saint Kentigern College has provided them.

Quoting the Māori whakataukī (proverb), ‘Ask me what is the greatest thing in world and I will reply: Māku e kī atu he tangata, he tangata, he tangata!’(It is people, it is people, it is people!), the Reverend emphasised the paramount importance of valuing relationships as the graduates step out into the world beyond the College:

“So, to you, the class of 2023, can I encourage you to be thankful, grateful for your Saint Kentigern years, and for all the people who have known you by name and been interested in your progress. And don’t ever forget that this is the way the world ought to be…                            

… And may you take with you the proverbial wisdom that ‘A good name is a better choice than great riches, and to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.’ And the thought that one of the best ways to live life is as the prophet Micah once said:                                                   ‘To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’. Yes, may you go out and live lives of empathy, as people who would do for others as you would have them do to you.” 

Following the heartfelt messages, the stage became the focal point as Year 13 students under the watchful eyes of their proud families received their graduation diplomas from College Principal Mr Damon Emtage in what was a poignant moment at the culmination of their educational journey.

The celebration continued at the College Sports Centre, where Gym 2 had undergone a transformation to an elegantly adorned dining hall with ninety-five tables and seating for 865 graduates, parents, and staff. Deputy Head Girl Kayla Conover and Deputy Head Boy George Turner, acting as the evening’s MCs, extended a warm welcome to all attendees.

Speeches were given by Mr Damon Emtage, parent Cam Wallace (on behalf of the Year 13 parents) and, in another first, from our first-ever Year 13 Valedictorian Josh Evangelidakis. Josh commended the cohort for navigating a year filled to the brim with sports, academics, arts, and service. The Class of 2023 was acknowledged for their collective efforts, and well-wishes were extended as they step out into the future. The emphasis remained on keeping people at the heart of their endeavours, holding to a lasting love for the friendships established at the College. The night culminated in many family and group photos by professional photographers White Door Photography.

Back to News List