Boarding Report – March 23, 2017

March 22, 2017

In this final Crest edition of Term 1, I ask you to allow me to change our focus. Our Crest reports serve to provide you (our parent/guardian group) with an insight into our boarding program over the previous fortnight period. Whilst some time is given to promoting forthcoming events or offering words of advice for coming periods in the school year, we hope that you enjoy the snapshots of weekly events and observations from our Housemaster team. However, in this final edition, I wish to allow our two departing staff members the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings on their time as part of our boarding community. Once again significant times lay ahead of us in boarding with all our boarders residing on the main site from the start of Term 2. This week we welcomed a returning boarder to our staffing team. Daniel Briggs, who served as Captain of Boarding in 2014, has joined our team to complement our program in providing support for our boarders. His personal, experiential insight into the lives of our boarders will provide us a greater opportunity to offer the optimum boarding experience for all. We have also now been able to welcome our second GAP Tutor, Tadi Sora. Tadi joins us from Zimbabwe where he completed his final year of studies in November. Tadi’s educational journey has taken him around the world and he looks forward to supporting our boarders in whatever way he is able.

Farewells are always difficult, however especially so in the case for Ewen and Shelly. Ewen welcomed me here almost five years ago and is our longest-serving boarding staff member. His loyalty and support of our boarders is unmatched. Working full-time alongside his responsibilities with us his commitment and hard work have been remarkable. I am indebted to him both personally and professionally -“ Ewen will be sorely missed, however we are delighted that his time with us has inspired him to continue to work in boarding and we wish him all the successes as he continues his career, and life, in Switzerland. Shelly has not been with us for as long as we, or she, would have wished. She is a remarkable professional who excels in this field. In just a few weeks she had endeared herself to all here at St Patrick’s College, however, most importantly, our boarders. Family must always be our priority and, after her impassioned speech, at a recent Monday Night Guest Speaker event, no one will begrudge what she must do. We wish her and her family well, now and in the coming months, and retain a hope that she will be able to return to us in the not too distant future.

Term 1 has brought with it the usual challenges for our boarders and our boarding community, however I believe we are all the stronger for it. My thanks to you all for your support of our program and I now simply wish you an enjoyable break with your son/s. We look forward to welcoming all back to us at the start of Term 2.

Look after yourselves.

Mike Silcock

Director of Boarding

Phyland/Farley House Focus:

As the term draws to a close, I write this Crest contribution as the Housemaster of Phyland-Farley with mixed emotions.

This week saw the boys return from the EXEAT weekend, refreshed and ready to see the term out. With the usual happenings of each week, the latter part of next week will see the Phyland-Farley boys and Mr Willey, commence their boarding relocation to the main campus of the school -“ all boarders living in Kenny House and surrounding accommodation. Some boys are eager for the move (an opportunity to unite with friends from Kenny), while others may be a little cautious, but I can confidently say I know the Phyland-Farley boys are ready to accept and take on the new, exciting and challenging change to their environment. Their adaptable nature, the inclusiveness of the boarders currently living in Kenny and the social wellbeing nature of all boarding house staff ensures that the transition for all involved will be one that is smooth and uniting.- It’s a new phase for all the boys in boarding community at St Pats and this opportunity brings patients, practice, and within time, readiness for the move into the new boarding facilities in 2018. I warmly wish all involved a smooth and enjoyable year ahead with the new living arrangements.

Some may not be aware; I regretfully write this Crest contribution as my last. I unfortunately have ceased my position at St Patricks College at the end of this term to return to my family. I take this opportunity to formally thank the community of St Patricks College; staff, parents and students, for the incredible experiences I’ve had during my term’s stay. I had never anticipated my final days at St Pats would turnaround so quickly and it is with great sadness that I farewell those around me. My time here has been marked by both challenges and triumphs, all of which I cherish dearly. The experiences and the friendships I have made during my time at the college I will always be grateful. For the opportunities, the lessons learnt and the additional boarding experiences I have gained, I am truly indebted to this school community.

To the parents/guardians of the Phyland-Farley boys, I thank you for this period that you have entrusted your sons in my care. It has been my absolute pleasure to have these young men in my life and to provide the diligent care and social wellbeing for them all. I leave knowing that they are a little bit older, some slightly taller and others cheekier and outspoken than they were when you left them at the beginning of this term and it has been a privilege to watch their character and personality grow day-by-day as we all learnt new things about each other. My connection and interest in the future of the boys will always be a part of me. I look forward to hopefully catching up with you all at terms end as you collect your son from boarding at the Parent/Teacher interviews next Friday afternoon.

To the boys in, what now is Phyland-Farley for the final weeks, I bid farewell as you start a new phase of your time at St Patricks College boarding. Accept my best and sincere wishes for your continued success. Continue to stay focused and challenge yourself to accept all opportunities that present themselves, remembering there is -‘no reward without effort’. I have great belief in future successes for you all and wish you all the best for the future.

To the boarding leadership team and support staff; Mike Silcock, Tam Westwood, Daniel Willey, Ewen Larson and all housekeeping and catering staff, I express my deepest thanks to you all. From the onset of my employment you have made my transition to St Pats, and to Ballarat, a smooth and valuable move. Many thanks for the guidance, opportunities and heartfelt friendships which have formed and will continue to stay with me. It is my hope that our paths do cross again in the near future and if something is to present itself I will jump at any opportunity to return to St Patricks boarding community. I look forward to the future of boarding at St Patricks and wish every success to you all, I will always feel a part of this community due to the warm and opened nature of you all.

Kindest farewells and I pray for God’s richest blessings on you all.

Miss Shelly-Ann du Plooy

Housemaster, Phyland and Farley

Kenny House Catch-up

The end of the first term fast approaches but the at times fickle Ballarat weather is holding out still giving us warm days. Our boarders and staff recently got the chance to recharge their batteries at the recent EXEAT weekend giving all fresh faces and minds for the few remaining weeks of Term 1!! The weekend activities continue with a recent table tennis competition in the gymnasium proving to be a great success. Tom Morrish is not only the in-house champion but also won himself a place on the house games trophy!! This last weekend the boys have enjoyed a visit to the Ballarat Aquatic Centre as the weather temperature still hovers around 30 degrees. We have two new staff additions with Daniel Briggs and Tadi Sora. I am quite certain they will do a splendid job in the next few weeks of Term 1 and onwards into Term 2. Sadly, this will be my last Kenny -‘Catch-Up’ report as after five years I am moving overseas to Switzerland at the end of this term to change direction slightly however to again work in boarding. My time in boarding has been wonderful, a truly unique and ever changing experience. In the time I have spent here I have seen vast improvements that never cease to continue. I cannot compare the boarding environment now to when I started. For me it has not been a job, it has been an honour and a privilege to assist and develop our boarders working within the St Patrick’s College guidelines that we all believe in so deeply. It will be very hard to leave and I will always think of the school as my home. I wish to acknowledge firstly our boarders, a terrific group of young men that never cease to amaze me with all they accomplish, it has been a truly gratifying, proud experience. Also I wish to thank the supportive and cooperative parents and guardians of our boys who make our supervising work so much easier with their wonderful communication. A huge thank you to our Headmaster John Crowley who’s never ending support secures a permanent, prosperous future for St Patrick’s College boarding. So many fine people I have met and so many to thank, our GAP Tutors, housekeeping staff, catering staff, maintenance staff, groundstaff, administration staff and the support and feedback we receive from our boarders’ day teachers, it has been a great pleasure. A huge thank you to our boarding staff Ms Westwood (the -‘mother’ of boarding), Mrs Silcock, Mr Willey and Ms Du Ploy, all whose cooperation and collaboration defines the boarding product that we strive to provide our boys. Lastly a gracious thank you to our Director of Boarding Mike Silcock, a dear friend who is responsible for the amazing positive transition that boarding currently is and never ceases towards driving boarding to be the best it can. Thank you for the opportunities to assist our boarders and allowing me to play a part in realising your goals. A sad and emotional time for me but I promise to continue on assisting boarders in Switzerland to the best of my abilities in ways that make you all proud. Fondest regards .

Ewen Larsen

Weekend Housemaster, Kenny House