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Year 13 Graduation Chapel and Dinner

December 05, 2016 at 3:35 PM

The Year 13 leavers came together for one last time to formally graduate from Saint Kentigern College at their Graduation Dinner. It was the last time they would wear their school uniform, the last time they joined in worship and the Prayer of Saint Kentigern, and the last time they would follow a lone Piper as one.

Over 900 guests comprising students and their families, along with staff and Trust Board members gathered on the top floor of the Ellerslie Convention Centre for Reverend David Smith’s Graduation Chapel – an ending and sending. Before Chapel began, the audience was treated to a moving duet by Sam Elliot and Isaac Samuels.

Reverend Smith reflected on all that he hoped the students had learned in Chapel. He said, ‘I hope at Chapel you were challenged to think about life and love and community. And at the very least, that you were encouraged to be open to the possibility that there’s more to life than meets the eye.’ Reverend Smith encouraged the graduates to go forth with all their strength ‘and then some’. ‘Three words,’ he said, ‘that can transform our lives.’ 

Directly after the Chapel Service, the audience were again treated to a very powerful and moving solo by Emily Young, who sang ‘Forever Young’. The Heads of Houses then called each student up to receive their Diplomas and to be congratulated by Dr Bruce Goodfellow, Chairman of the Trust Board and Mr Steve Cole, Head of College. They then went on to receive their testimonials from Mrs Suzanne Winthrop, Head of Senior School.

Upon completion of the formal graduation, the procession was led by Piper, James Milner to the dinner venue. From there, the evening was free of formality to enjoy dinner. Each table had been transformed by the Parents and Friends, with House photos as place mats and coloured balloons, placed in strategic winning order.

After dinner, Head Boy, Edward Barry and Head Girl, Sydney Fraser addressed the audience. Sydney thanked Mr Cole on behalf of the Class of 2016. She said, ‘Even though our final week was a tad crazy, It’s the high expectations that you place on us, that enables is to succeed in all areas of life, so thank you.’

Head of College, Mr Cole, gave his address saying there are times in your life when you have to move on, mostly you know when that time is and you are ready for it. He said, ‘Undoubtedly, the time is right now for all of you, to do just that, and you should do so with no regrets.’

As always, the House leaders spoke on behalf of their houses. Each mentioned how it has been a privilege to lead their House and they offered thanks to their teachers, fellow students, parents and Heads of Houses. Most referred to Field Centre as being the highlight of their time at the College. Winning House, Chalmers leaders, Annabel Saker and Spencer Johnstone, joked about how their House went from the best to the worst, and now back to number one again. They both mentioned, they will ‘miss the competitions and rivalry’ as they all move into the next phase in their lives.

We wish all these students and their families well as they end their time with us. We send them on their journey, well prepared and with life lessons learned and the potential to go on and do good things in the next chapter of their lives beyond the College gates. We will always be interested to hear how their lives progress and look forward to our students keeping in contact and retaining their special ties to the Saint Kentigern community.

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