Bruce House Dinner 2015

October 22, 2015 at 3:44 PM

‘As I cast my eyes over you, I see a community, a family, a whanau – a very special whanau – which others never really ‘get’ until they belong.

Reverend David Smith, Housemaster

As the College year draws to a close, parents of the Year 13 graduates, staff and Trust Board members joined the boarders at Bruce House last night to celebrate their achievements and give thanks to those who care for them – their surrogate family members during term time. This is a special evening where the invited guests soon gain an understanding of the very strong family bond that pervades the boarding house.

This year, Year 12 student, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta led the Bruce House Haka, before the guests were escorted to their table for dinner by the graduating Year 13s.

Following dinner, Housemaster, Reverend David Smith, told of the privilege he felt to be able to share in the daily lives of over 112 young people who make Bruce House their ‘home away from home’. He said that the particular enjoyment for him comes from the ‘every-day stuff,’ hearing their laughter, observing the camaraderie, hearing their stories and celebrating their successes, as talent abounds amongst the boarders. He said that whilst it was hard to explain the enormity of the responsibility he feels for all the girls and boys in his care, he found it equally hard to express the immense pride he has in his ‘extended family.’ ‘As I look at you, I see myriad characters. Each one of you is your own person, yet each one of you is part of something bigger than yourselves. You can be proud of yourself for who you are, for what you do and for all that you contribute to the fabric of the College.’

Current Bruce House Head Prefects, Trent MacDonald and Sienna Spence both came forward to speak with passion about their boarding experience. They have both been excellent role models to the younger students and epitomise all that is good in such a community. Sienna holds the distinction of being a foundation girl boarder. Having started in Year 9, she is the first girl to have completed five years since girls were first introduced to the House. Along with sister, Maija and brother, Lucca, the Spence siblings are currently the biggest family group to board. Sienna finished by saying, ‘If I could leave one thing with you, it’s to keep being yourself and always remember how strong all of you are. To live away from home at such a young age takes so much courage and that courage will continue with you all when you leave these safety nets.’

Trent is a true son of Kentigern, his brother, Rafe, also boards and his father is an Old Collegian. He opened by saying, ‘Being able to stay at Bruce House has been an honour and a privilege, something that I hope each of you sitting here tonight realise. The memories we make and friendships we create will last forever. Going to Saint Kentigern College is one thing but boarding at Bruce House is on a whole other level.  Whether you’ve been here for one year or six, we all have experiences we will recall and cherish.’

The evening concluded with Head of College, Mr Steve Cole presenting the Bruce House Awards for 2015 followed by the announcement of next year’s Bruce House student leaders: Head Girl, Iris Lee, Head Boy, Alfie Robertson and their deputies, Ainslie Paxton, Tayla Farmer, Joe Haddleton and William Langley.

There is an extensive network of staff who care for the boarders including a team of duty staff who live on site, headed by Reverend Smith as Housemaster and Mrs Juliet Dale as Head of Girls’ Boarding. A team of ‘gappies’ from overseas offer assistance in the daily duties of the House. There are two further very important teams who also provide daily support. Matron, Mrs Rosemary Capill, is now in her 24th year at Bruce House and loves the boarders as much as they love her! She is assisted by Mrs Kendrick and Mrs Rowe. The kitchen team, led by Shobna, do more than just provide the meals; they know each boarder by name and are always ready with a listening ear! If the parents of our graduates were once worried about the idea of their child leaving home to board at school, their fears would surely be have been allayed last night as they came to fully understand the strong bonds and support networks between the boarders and those that care for them at Bruce House.

Bruce House Awards 2014
The MacFarlan Award for Head Boy:                                       Trent MacDonald                           
The MacFarlan Award for Head Girl:                                        Sienna Spence   

The McGuiness Cup for Academic Honours:                           Annie Wang
The Morgan Cup for Year 11 Academic Achievement:         Lisa Mayaura

The Bruce House Cup for All-Rounder Boy:                            Joseph Bradshaw

The Norma Cowie Cup for All-Rounder Girl:                           Hanna English    

The Marcroft Cup for Sportsperson of the Year:                   Hanna English    

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