Boys' School Graduation Dinner

December 05, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Our Year 8 boys, proudly sporting their Old Collegians ties, gathered with their parents, staff and invited guests at the Ellerslie Convention Centre to reflect back on the boys’ last eight years of friendship and learning as they ready themselves for College. 

As guests gathered, the Jazz Band played before Deputy Principal, Mr Grayson Aspinall invited the guests to take their seats. The Dean of the Senior School opened the formalities with an address to the boys. He concluded by saying, ‘Boys, you have lit your leaver’s candle, been given your leaver’s tie, you are here at your leaver’s dinner and soon your name will be on the Leavers’ Wall but you are not leavers; you will still be a Saint Kentigern boy. You are just moving on to another adventure in life.’ He asked the boys to reflect on what they had achieved during their time at Saint Kentigern and to take the time to thank those who have helped them along the way.

The School is grateful to the Old Collegians for sponsoring the dinner each year and welcomed the president, Mr Andrew Morgan to speak.  He told the boys that when they leave the school gates for the final time, they will take their school number with them and that their names will be set in bronze on the Leavers’ Wall to be remembered forever as part of Saint Kentigern history.

In this, the year of the London Olympics, we were pleased to invite Rowing Gold Medallist and five time World Champion, Mahe Drysdale as the guest speaker. Mahe, in his own way, reflected the values of Saint Kentigern, confident in his ability but humble about his successes. We watched, on screen, Mahe’s winning race and there was spontaneous applause as he crossed the finish line. He told the boys that sport is about the little moments in time; performing at a certain time on a certain day in a finite moment. There is only one opportunity. This is what the public sees but what goes unseenis the huge amount of preparatory work in the background. It’s the hard work that gets you into a position to win.

Each year the boys receive a Saint Kentigern pennant to be signed by friends. Following dinner the queues built up for a signature from Mahe; from the new Principal, Peter Cassie; and former Principal, Geoff Burgess who was invited to the dinner say his final farewells to the boys.

In his closing address, Mr Cassie said, ‘This end of an era signals that you are well-prepared for the next level of your education and our wish is that you can move forward with confidence and enthusiasm to make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead. You are in control of your destiny and the decisions you make will form and shape your life. As Casey Stengel wisely quotes – ‘There are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who ask, 'What happened?’ Be the one who makes things happen.’

A final set of ‘reflections,’ a DVD prepared by Mrs Marianne Looker, mother of Head Boy, Joshua, looked back on the boys time together provoking many memories as images scrolled across the screen. The evening finally concluded with one last haka from the boys.

We thank the committee from the Parents and Friends who lovingly decorated the venue with the star attraction being baubles on the Christmas tree, each in house colours and enclosing a portrait of each boy to take home.

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