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College Year 13 Graduation Dinner

December 10, 2013 at 8:26 AM

DSC_6033.JPGOur Year 13 students came together for one last time to celebrate the end of their College years at a Graduation Dinner held in their honour at the Ellerslie Event Centre. This event was ‘the last’ of many ‘lasts’ for these students. It was the last time they dressed in their formals, the last time they gathered together for a chapel service and the last time they joined together in one place to sing ‘We are Heirs of Kentigern.’

The evening began with a reflective Graduation Chapel led by Reverend David Smith. Over 750 guests comprising students and their families, along with staff and Trust Board members gathered to hear Reverend Smith’s ‘An Ending and A Sending’ sermon. The Reverend encouraged the students to think about what they had learned in Chapel over the years – their life, community and their place in the world. He said he hoped Chapel had encouraged the students to live a life of integrity, being grateful and thankful, and to think about the power of their words. He hoped that as they leave the safe, nurturing environment of the College, that the values and beliefs instilled in them will prove a strong foundation ‘when the winds of change shift.’

In two moments that brought some to tears, Manase Latu and Grace Sturgess flawlessly sang ‘The Prayer’ which was followed by a moving performance by Alex Waimora, Denelle Bhagwandhin and Manase. Their rendition of ‘Forever Young’ provided the perfect backdrop for the graduating students to each stand as they were recognised.

The formal graduation took place directly after Chapel with the Chairman of the Trust Board, Dr Bruce Goodfellow joining Head of College, Mr Steve Cole to congratulate the students and offer affirmations.

The guests were piped upstairs to a dinner venue that had been lovingly transformed by the Parents and Friends to reflect the spirit of Saint Kentigern. There were House photos as placemats, house coloured balloons in winning order as centre pieces and chair covers detailed with the Saint Kentigern crest.

In his address to the students, Head of College Mr Cole said, ‘There are times in your life when you have to move on and should do so with no regrets. You are a remarkable and multi-talented group of young men and women, each unique in your own way, who will go on and continue to serve and lead. I ask of you to think of the parents and teachers who have inspired you along your journey, and thank those who have made your Saint Kentigern education possible.’ In closing Mr Cole said, ‘You are great ambassadors for your family, the College and most of all yourselves. You are the rudder who will ensure that the ethos of Saint Kentigern continues.’

Between courses, Head Boy Sam Grant and Head Girl Sharnika Leleni took the roles of continuity presenters to keep the evening flowing. As always, the House Leaders spoke on behalf of their Houses with humour, passion and a tinge of sadness. All students extended their tremendous thanks to the staff members who provided knowledge, guidance, support and wisdom that will be remembered fondly by the students.

In a poignant address to Mr Cole, Deputy Head Girl, Shaan Bone said, ‘You are a brilliant principal and your huge drive and determination to both succeed and also to win has seen Saint Kentigern come so far. You always have your door open to any student who needs to come and chat which has gained you huge respect. Thank you Sir for driving us, inspiring us and caring for us all.’

In wrapping up the evening Sharnika and Sam said that each individual in the graduating class of 2013 had made their own unique imprint on the College. Their final word was a quote from the recently passed former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, ‘Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.’

The evening marked the definitive end to a chapter in each of the lives of the graduating students and the beginning of another. We wish these students and their families well as they end their time with us. We send them on their journey with life lessons learned and the potential to go on and do good things. We will always be interested to hear how their lives progress and look forward to our students keeping in contact and retaining their special ties to the Saint Kentigern community.

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