Girls’ School 10th Year Birthday Celebration!
March 18, 2020 at 10:08 AM
After months of planning, the Girls’ School 10th Year Birthday Celebration came to fruition last week and what a success it was! Held over four days, the celebration brought past and present staff, students, families and friends of Saint Kentigern together, where they shared fond memories, looking back on how far we have come and the promising future ahead.
Past and Current Staff Cocktail Function – Thursday 12th March
To open the celebrations, current and past staff were invited to an informal cocktail evening at Winger Maserati Newmarket. Overlooking the stunning views of the city lights and accompanied by beautiful background music played by one of the College Chamber Groups, Celina Tsui, Owen Chen, Annie Ni and Lachlan Wong, the evening was a perfect time for the staff to relax as they prepared for the busy days ahead. Celebrating together, the evening was enjoyable with much chatting and laughter echoing around the room.
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School Assembly – Friday 13th March
The focal point for the weekend was the much-anticipated Friday events. Starting with a full school assembly, the girls, their families and past students filled the hall as the Girls’ School Kapa Haka group took the stage to perform for invited guests, members of the Trust Board and past Girls’ School students. The karanga was called by Year 8 student, Nora Caffery, with the manuhiri in return by Year 13 College student, Selena Agaimalo. Former Girls’ School students, now at the College, Selena, Tiana Gray, Moiralisa Ainu'u Aneru, J'adore Harris-Tavita and Anamia Rangihaeata then joined the Girls’ Kapa Haka group to give an exceptional performance.
Principal Ms Juliet Small warmly welcomed former staff members, Dr Sandra Hastie, Foundation Principal of Saint Kentigern Girls’ School, Mrs Judith Dobson, former Deputy Principal and Mrs Janine Bennett, former Junior School Dean. In her speech, Ms Small congratulated everyone on this 10-year milestone and spoke of the promising future ahead for the girls, as they prepare to relocate to their new school currently being built on the Shore Road campus.
Former Head Girls, Katherine Thibaud (Year 10) and Moiralisa Ainu'u Aneru (Year 13) were invited to reflect on their time at the Girls’ School and how their experience has helped shape them into confident young women. Now at the College, Katherine said she gets a ‘warm fuzzy feeling’ returning to the School and ‘a strong sense of belonging’. She said she contacted four past Head Girls to see what they thought made the Girls’ School so special. All four girls agreed that it was their Principals, teachers, peers and the big sister, little sister bonds that were formed that made the school so special. She also mentioned the fun activities and events that they share at the Boys’ School, reassuring the girls of their exciting move to a shared campus.
Moiralisa shared a similar experience, stating the Girls’ School gave her the guidance that she needed and was the motivation behind her willingness to do good for others and herself. ‘It has installed in me great skills, knowledge and values,’ she said. ‘I’ve learned to always show humility and gratitude and to take opportunities when I am faced with adversity. This school has, and will forever be, a significant part of my life and I will always be grateful for that.’
School Birthday Party – Friday 13th March
Following their speeches, it was the time that everyone had been waiting for, the cutting of the cake. Ms Small, Head Girl, Mikayla Chung and one of our youngest students, Elsa Chang had the privilege of cutting the cake as those assembled sang Happy Birthday. Reverend Reuben Hardie gave his blessing and as the hall cleared, cake was delivered for the students and guests to enjoy for morning tea.
As the morning unfolded, the girls gathered in their four clans (Chalmers, Wishart, Hamilton and Cargill) to take part in an afternoon full of fun activities which involved waterslides, bouncy castles, pool activities, Mr Whippy ice-cream, Nano Girl Science experiments and decorating Saint Kentigern bears. The girls also took part in learning a song and dance which they came together at the end of the day to perform in front of an audience of staff and parents.
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Past Students Informal Catch Up for under 18s and their mothers – Friday 13th March
To conclude the fantastic day, past students and their parents were invited to reconnect with former and current staff in the Girls’ School Drawing Room for an evening of socialising.
One of the highlights for the girls was the array of photos on display, showcasing some of the great memories from the past 10 years. Joy and laughter were shared amongst the girls as their faces appeared on screen.
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Past and Current Saint Kentigern Girls’ School Community Cocktail Function – Saturday 14th March
The fourth event invited past and current Girls’ School community members to a cocktail evening held at the Royal Akaranga Yacht Club. Ms Small welcomed everyone and thanked them for their ongoing support and loyalty. Guests enjoyed their time reconnecting with one another over refreshments and stunning views of Auckland’s harbour. The College Jazz Band entertained the guests with some light background music before our Middle School Design students stepped on the ‘runway’ to showcase some of their WOW designs that they have been working on at the College. Throughout the evening, MC, The Block co-host, Shelley Ferguson did a fantastic job at reminding everyone about the exciting silent and live auction that would conclude the evening. Before the auctions, we had a special appearance from College singer/songwriter, Grace Kelly who performed four songs for the guests. Overall the evening raised $23,000 which will go towards the new school. We thank everyone for their generosity.
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Past and Current Saint Kentigern Girls’ School Community Chapel Service – Sunday 15th March
To conclude a wonderful weekend, a 10th Anniversary Chapel Service was held at St Mary’s Church in Parnell. Ms Small thanked everyone for making the weekend so special and made special mention of the organising committee for their time and effort in bringing the events to fruition. In her reflection, she mentioned one of the highlights for her was ‘the strong sense of community that has resonated through each of our gatherings - the laughs, the memories and bright future that we all share.’
Reverend Reuben Hardie led the service for the morning, making the theme of ‘RISE to Love’ known in his call to worship. Head Girl, Mikayla Chung gave the first reading followed by the Kapa Haka groups stunning performance, ‘Hareruia’. The second reading was presented by Deputy Head Girl, Sophie Yan who then handed the stage over to the Performers Choir who performed ‘The Angel’s Song’.
In Reverend Hardie’s message, he reminded the girls to ‘RISE to Love’ and to practise the Saint Kentigern Values of Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence and Love. Every girl came forward to receive their 10th Year Anniversary badges before closing with the Saint Kentigern Prayer and the hymn ‘Shine Jesus Shine’. To conclude the beautiful service, Reverend Hardie gave the benediction followed by a Maori blessing from Nora.
The College Pipe Band played as the congregation made their way out of the Church to share refreshments together.
The service was a beautiful way to end a fantastic four days of celebration, enjoyed by students, staff and parents alike. It was a pleasure to welcome back Foundation Principal, Dr. Hastie to share in celebration and to hear from former Girls’ School students who proudly acknowledged the great start they had been given, preparing them well for College life.
The Girls’ School now has much to look forward to as they watch their new school begin to take shape on the Shore Road campus in readiness to occupy in 2022.
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Our sincere thanks to the ongoing support of the wider Saint Kentigern community and all those who attended the events. We give special mention to the organising committee who have spent countless hours to ensure the weekend was such as success. Thank you to Development Manager, Richard Lindroos, Chair of the Girls’ School Parents and Friends, Rebecca Scoones, staff member, Kristie Richards and parents, Denise Nel, Caroline Paull – Leighton and Sacha Palmer for all your hard work behind the scenes.
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