Father and Son Breakfast

September 04, 2018 at 3:46 PM

‘Knowledge must come from the source.’
Riley Elliott’s Dad

Over two consecutive mornings this week, the alarm clock went off at 4am for a hardy group of mothers who had volunteered to put breakfast on the table by 7am. This was no ordinary family breakfast though. When the extended Saint Kentigern family comes together, there are a fair few logistics involved, especially where the food is concerned!

A sell-out crowd again this year saw 400 sons and dads arrive early on each of the mornings for a hearty start to the day. Across the two days, that was breakfast for 800! A mountain of cereal, fresh fruit salad, muffins, pancakes – with the boys’ favourite, ‘squirty cream’ - and the lovingly home-prepared bacon and egg pie were organised by the mothers and beautifully presented. Our grateful thanks to Cath Costello and her team for getting each of the mornings underway. Cath and her organising committee were supported by two teams of 30 mums who came in each morning to assist in the serving, clearing up and resetting of the breakfast feast.  A huge thanks to over 40 mums who baked the now traditional ‘Father and Son Bacon and Egg Pie!’

Each year we welcome a speaker to our breakfasts and generally leave with a very strong message of inspiration. Parents and Friends Chairperson, Vanessa Playle was pleased to introduce Riley Elliott, also known as ‘The Shark Man,’ a sure-fire winner for boys and dads alike! 

As a surfer, spear-fisherman, free-diver and scuba-diver, Riley’s great passion has always been communing with nature. With his own father’s words ringing in his ears – to always ‘find knowledge at the source’ – he set out to combine his studies with his passion. 

Riley has a BSc Honours in Zoology and a Masters in Marine Science with Distinction in New Zealand. It was while studying for his Masters that he experienced his first shark encounter in Fiordland; an encounter that was to change the course of his working life. At the time, the one-metre school shark sent him panicking to the surface! To learn more, he went to South Africa to literally swim with the great whites, the most feared of the species, developing a rapport that became his true passion. By applying academic principles from university, with real-world field experience, Riley excelled in the shark research environment and has many eye-opening, adrenaline filled stories to tell, with some great photos and footage to back them up. 

Riley finished by encouraging the boys to try as broad a range of experiences as possible to find the one that really resonates. ‘Work hard and success will follow.’ 

Principal, Mr Peter Cassie thanked Riley, rounding out the morning with some truly groan-worthy, shark inspired ‘Dad Jokes!’ 

Judging by the long line after breakfast, the boys and their dads were keen to get a signed copy of Riley’s book! 

This year the Breakfast was supported by the generous sponsorship of father and Real Estate agent, Nick Lyus – the boys enjoyed the laser cut sharks! School father, Martin Smith, General Manager of Collective Hospitality, provided invaluable support providing two chefs and his commercial kitchen to assist with the enormous task of food preparation. 

Our thanks also to Saint Kentigern old boy, Mr David Burton from Jacks Coffee, who returns each year with freshly ground coffee and the Bason Family with their Venluree trucks and team of burly men to help us with logistics of moving furniture! Thanks also to Pacific Linen, Charlies Juice and The Gift Loft for their generous discounts and fabulous service.

And above all, thank you to Cath Costello, Vanessa Playle and all the mothers who stepped up to cook, set out the hall, serve the food – and clean up afterwards! We truly appreciate your efforts!


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