Boarding Report – November 17, 2016

November 16, 2016

In a fortnight’s time we shall each write our final Crest contribution. I shall ask each of our Housemasters to reflect on the year at large and try to select a couple of their highlights to share with you all. With that said I thought it prudent to start myself. I have just commenced my annual report and always find it difficult to provide a such a short summative piece that does justice to capturing the boarding life of a year. For that is what it must be -“ a reflection on the whole lives of a boarding community that has lived together, shared experiences, supported through adversity, explored new pathways, had positive times and difficult times -“ that has called St Patrick’s College -‘home’. On Monday of this week I shook the hand of our last Year 12 student to complete his examinations. It was most apt that it was our only boarder who has been with us since I started at the College in 2013. He and I have witnessed many -‘comings and goings’ over the past four years, significant changes, some welcomed, some less so -“ from both our perspectives. He has had quite the journey and, as with all our Year 12s, we wish them only the best as they leave us for pastures new. So a highlight, to see so many joyous Year 12 faces over the past few days as the culmination of their school careers is met. Of course we shall have the opportunity to celebrate with them at the Valedictory evening as they enter as College students and leave as Old Collegians.

Another highlight and source of such promise for the year ahead has been the actions of a number of our Year 11 students who, led by our new boarding leadership, have energetically and enthusiastically set about our 2017 community goal of supporting others. The accompanying picture captures our boarders giving to others who are less fortunate than ourselves and doing so with a grace and humility that is authentic and refreshing. I am so encouraged by those moving through our boarding ranks and look forward to supporting them in all their endeavours.

Finally, we are all eagerly awaiting our Orientation evening, where we shall welcome our new boarders into our community for an afternoon/evening of fun and festivities. It is certainly been a very positive end to the year.

Kenny Catch-up

Week (7) and boarding seems to be a different place with our remaining students already stepping into their new roles flawlessly -“ our Year 9 boys seem like grown up year 10s, our Year 10s are developing that cheeky familiarity and our Year 11s have already grown significantly into studious leaders.

It is wonderful to see our Year 11 students take to their Year 12 Headstart week with enthusiasm and a little quiet trepidation. Already they are developing wonderful study habits and becoming a lot more aware of what is expected of them during their final year. I don’t doubt that these boys will be extremely successful next year and I can’t wait to be a part of it all.

It will be with mixed emotions that I farewell the 2016 Year 12 Boarders at the Valedictory Dinner this Friday night. I could not be happier or prouder with how each of these young men finished their time with us, and I know that they will all do amazing things in the near future.

In a few weeks’ time we will also be welcoming the new 2017 boarders. This is such an exciting time for the staff and current students and I am sure that our new friends will only strengthen what is already an amazing group of young men.

The future continues to look bright for SPC Boarding.

Miss Tamara Westwood

Senior Housemaster, Kenny House

Only three weeks remain of the boarding year. Most of our Year 12s have now departed with the completion of the final exam. Kenny House feels quite different at this time. The next to complete the year is our Year 11s after a Headstart week of Year 12. One final opportunity to see all our Year 12s before they become ‘old boys ‘ will be the Valedictory Dinner this week. Looking forward to seeing all together one last time before they begin their next journey, be it further education or employment. The weekend activities continue to go well with the most recent ones a trip to Torquay and a visit to the Ballarat Show. Next weekend is the Golf Driving Range and Mini Golf. The final term of this year is going very smoothly and is a credit to all involved. One last -‘Catch Up’ remains before the year ends so I look forward to giving you more feedback at this time.

Mr Ewen Larsen

Weekend Housemaster, Kenny House

Phyland/Farley Catch-up

Earlier this week I had the privilege of attending the funeral for Carol Sinclair, a St Patrick’s College staff member. Carol was a warm and friendly person reflected not only in the eulogies, but also by the large number of people in attendance. One of the saddest aspects I took away from the funeral, was not her courageous battle with cancer, but that her mother was there to bury her.

In this you may ask -“ where is this going. There are two points: it is in moments when confronted with such profound grief that the crystal ball of our life truly reveals what is important. It’s not the results of our last test, it’s not our goal average for the season and, ultimately, it’s not our ATAR. Overwhelmingly the most important factor in our lives are our families and the relationships we build.

This week, as a College community we celebrate the Valedictory Dinner with our Year 12s and their families. It is by far one of the most important events in the Year 12 calendar, marking the conclusion of school, the closing of that chapter of our young men (and parents’) lives. As Monica and I sit back this year, I will certainly reflect on the true reason for the joy in the room: the love and pride of families being openly celebrated.

The other significant event is the conclusion of the Year 11’s academic year. These young men very soon will be traveling home to spend their time with you all at Christmas. On the back of this week’s events, hug your young men, let them know how much you love them, strip away what often distracts us from what is truly important.

During the homily today Fr James mentioned the freedom and peace Carol, despite her great battle with cancer, found in her faith. Ultimately it made clear that there is always hope; even in death. A hope grounded in the love Jesus showed the world as he died on the Cross. It is why as a Catholic school the celebration of the Eucharist each week on Sunday evening is so important. A life centred on love and faith, like Carol’s, is one well lived and beautifully celebrated.

Mr Michael Murphy

Housemaster, Phyland/Farley House

Not having spent a lot of time in the house of late, family commitments keeping me absent, I have little to report back with since our last Crest edition. Working within a boarding community has its challenges, however, whilst away recently, I quickly realised how much I miss it. The forthcoming break is most welcomed and also a little feared, how will I cope. That said, I can still report that Phyland/Farley is still a place of hotly debated -‘issues’. Our boys’ plans for the Christmas break or, in the case of our Year 12s, their future in general are still a constant topic. For myself and Ewen, our other Weekend Housemaster, planning for the house games has become a significant priority. Sumo suits or pirate and doughnuts versus muffins for some reason have caused much vocal debate. While we already have some new faces experiencing Headstart, in preparation for next year, we await the new members who will join our family for Orientation and then permanently in the new year. However, by far the most popular -‘issue’ is house allocations -“ -where will I be next year?- and -who will be in my room?- being a constant chorus heard across both houses. Again, the joys of boarding.

Mr Daniel Willey

Weekend Housemaster, Phyland/Farley House

Look after yourselves.

Mike Silcock

Director of Boarding