Boarding Report – December 1, 2016

November 30, 2016

Our final Crest contribution for 2016. What a truly remarkable year. Our boarders have accomplished so much and enriched our College community. Our remaining boarders are now occupying just Kenny House, however do not be mistaken that the year has finished. Both our Year 9s and Year 10s have commenced their end of year examinations and are demonstrating great maturity studying each evening in their own rooms. Whilst usually a privilege only afforded to our Year 12s our junior boys are learning a valuable lesson in self-driven study and, from an early reflection, doing it well.

I have asked our Housemaster team, led so ably by our Senior Housemaster Miss Tam Westwood, to use this final Crest edition to reflect on their highlights from this year. However, I have also asked our junior boarders to do the same. So often our younger years are not afforded the same platform as our senior boarders to express themselves -“ I felt it prudent to give them that. One boarder’s experience is never the same as another and that is certainly clear from the highlights that each of our boarders has shared.

Finally, this will be the last contribution from Mr Michael Murphy, our Phyland/Farley Housemaster, who earlier this week accepted the position as Assistant Head of Boarding at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst. We share part of Michael’s farewell reflection and leave him with the last word after three years in our boarding community.

2016 Boarder Highlights:

Josh (GAP Tutor): The boarding music video -“ seeing the reaction of all of the boys and the parents who witnessed it at the dinner.

Ed (GAP Tutor): The termly dinners -“ I like how it brings everyone together and we are able to share good food with great people and we are given the opportunity to express our gratitude to all staff in boarding. Also the many table tennis matches -“ the ups, the downs, the defeats, the upsets!

Tyrese: My highlight of boarding is the weekend activities, and my favourite activity was going to the Melbourne Aquarium.

Liam: My favourite part was the weekend activities when we went to Go Karts and the Melbourne Aquarium.

Myles: My highlight was winning the best and fairest football award for the Year 9 team, which I wouldn’t be able to play in if I wasn’t a boarder.

Sam H: The whole year has been a highlight -“ the mateship within the Year 10 level has been my favourite part -“ the banter and the laughs with the boarding community, but especially beating Miss Westwood in a one on one match in basketball.

Lincoln: My highlight of boarding this year have been the termly dinners because we get to enjoy good food with our friends and family. Being a member of room 5 has certainly been great fun this year.

Ethan McM: The highlight of my year has been a bit of everything -“ the experience of boarding, the school, my mates. I’ve enjoyed every part of boarding this year.

Ethan McL: My favourite part of boarding this year has been the friendships I have created and the mateship within the house.

Tristan: I’ve enjoyed the weekend activities, especially the Go Karts and Ten Pin Bowling.

Lochie: I’ve really enjoyed the dinners this year as I have been able to spend time with my friends enjoying great food.

James: One of the many highlights of my time in boarding this year was going to Melbourne to watch an AFL match with my mates in the house. The friendships have been the best part of boarding in 2016.

Kenny Catch-up

When asked by Mr Silcock to consider my fondest memories of 2016 Boarding, I was able to recall so many that I may have asked for a few extra pages! However, to mention only a few, I could not go past our Mother’s Day activity of sharing afternoon tea with the residents of the Queen Elizabeth Centre. To see the faces of the residents when half a dozen St Pat’s boys came in with plates of goodies, will stay with me for an extremely long time. The boys were exceptional and made the day of many residents, especially one special lady who thought one of our boys was Prince Harry who had come to visit her!

Another special highlight of mine was watching those boys I began my boarding career with, graduate this year. I am happy to admit that a few proud tears were shed on Valedictory night when the Year 12 boys returned as young men to graduate.

Although technically not a 2016 highlight, my daily interactions with the boys are certainly a highlight of each day! You never can quite tell what you will be dealing with, but getting to know these exceptional young men, experiencing their highs and lows alongside them, really makes me appreciate the amazing opportunity I have been given as a Kenny Housemaster.

Miss Tamara Westwood

Senior Housemaster, Kenny House

Approximately one week remains for the school year. Our Year 9 and 10 boarders are the only ones still residing in boarding with both boarding houses amalgamating into Kenny House for the last two weeks. The year has gone so quickly and our boys have all experienced tremendous growth in regards to knowledge, achievement, maturity and spirituality. Not forgetting the tight bonds that boarding nurtures and provides for our boys, including the staff. This time of year is a reflective period as we say farewell and good luck to our senior boys, whilst also preparing for the ascension of our current continuing boarders alongside the induction and welcoming of our new boarders. Each year in boarding I have witnessed this process becoming smoother with continual improvement from such a professional experienced collective of staff under Mike Silcock’s expert tutelage. We are always striving to improve the product we supply our boys that encompasses all that St Patrick’s College desires for such fine young men. Our new boarders Dinner/ Induction evening takes place at the beginning of next week, which will be a terrific opportunity for us to spend some time with our incoming boys for 2017 as well as giving them the chance to meet our current boarders, always a highlight on our boarding calendar!! Our most recent weekend activity was a trip to the Melbourne Aquarium which our boys enjoyed thoroughly. The last weekend activity is House Games and will see our boys competing in fun contests based in and around Kenny House. We all look forward to getting some overdue rest as well as giving the boys the opportunity to spend the holidays with their family and friends, whilst behind the scenes our staff diligently prepare for St Patrick’s College 2017 boarding year. Please take care and be safe over the holidays.

Mr Ewen Larsen

Weekend Housemaster, Kenny House

Phyland/Farley Catch-up

The end of the year has finally come allowing us to review what has been. For me this year marked the start of my time in boarding, giving me a wealth of new experiences in a new area of young adult development. Working with senior students getting increasingly anxious about leaving for the unknown has by far been a major part. Seeing a young man steadily refocusing his attention to achieving academic success is generally one of the greater experiences a teacher can have. One particular instance being when the year 12 boarders and I worked on their English speeches giving me insight into their own development and reasoning ability (something you don’t often see in 18-year-old men you are waking up for school). One boy gave a clear and concise argument logically flowing and wonderfully worded for an immigration policy while his roommate gave an emotional charged impassioned speech in contradiction to the first. While both speeches had their pros and cons it was the discussion that flowed between that forced me to admit these were young adults, able to discuss a contentious situation without resorting to anger or bitterness. While we have lost some fine young men with the passing of this year next year looks to be just as promising. Recently the remaining boys have all moved into Kenny House. To liven up a Saturday night we decided to play -monopoly-. At first I was reticent to play knowing from experience how the game can quickly deteriorate any family’s harmony. However, I must report that just like the Year 12s discussing their differing views on immigration the boys enjoyed the game without resorting to poor behaviour. When starting in boarding I was told that -no one falls out like boarders but no one makes stronger friendship then boarders- perhaps a simple game of -monopoly- isn’t exactly an acid test of human relationships; but, what has led to many earthquakes in my family, didn’t even measure between the boys.

Mr Daniel Willey

Weekend Housemaster, Phyland/Farley House

It is with mixed emotions that I write my final contribution to the Crest for 2016, for it is also my last as a Housemaster here at St Patrick’s College. In early January Monica and I will be moving back to New South Wales where I take up the role of Deputy Director of Boarding at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst (affectionately known as -Stannies-). This marks the end of our three years in Ballarat as members of the St Patrick’s College Community. We have been truly blessed to work with some amazing people including four groups of Gap Tutors, the latest being our fine Englishmen who have had such a positive impact on the young men across boarding.

Reflecting on my time at SPC I have been so fortunate to be involved in so many areas, from coordinating the boarding -Bread Run-, to traveling with our pilgrims to the Catholic Youth Festival in Adelaide last year, then to Melbourne on countless debating and musical excursions as well as Brisbane on the 2014 Music Tour. It has been through these many out-of-classroom-activities where I have had the privilege of getting to know so many wonderful young men and families. I have held so many diverse and varied roles including: Head of Choral Music, Head of Public Speaking and Debating, then more recently Co-ordinator of Rugby. In that time, I have witnessed so many good boys grow into fine men through the daily challenges in their chosen co-curricular area. If there was one piece of advice I would offer to our young men (especially our boarders), embrace the opportunities the college offers you.-

It is with some disappointment that Monica and I will not have the opportunity to see some of our young men finish their time at the College. We will very much miss the young men continuing in boarding next year and their families, it has been so wonderful to get to know each parent or grandparent over our three years here and we wish all of each of you all the best and know that your son’s are truly special and capable of so much.

In this article we have been asked to reflect on our highlights, and there are so many. These range from the -standard- day to day interactions with the boarders, including things such as the young man who has struggle with room tidiness, finally getting it right, to assisting the young man in study with his mathematics homework. I believe it is these daily interactions that may boarding at SPC the special place it is. On a larger scale we look to major events such as the Valedictory and Boarding Farewell Mass and Dinner where we can relax and share a drink with the young men and you their families. On a slightly different note, the privilege of supporting young men through challenging times -“ dealing with homesickness, or the death of a loved one, though not enjoyable because of the gravity of our responsibility I believe is also a highlight.

Monica and I will depart from SPC with sadness, as we leave behind a truly remarkable place, but we do so in the knowledge that under the leadership of Mr Crowley your young men are in safe hands.

Mr Michael Murphy

Housemaster, Phyland/Farley House

Look after yourselves and have a wonderful, safe, festive period.

Mike Silcock

Director of Boarding