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Old Collegians Annual Dinner

April 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM

In a change of venue this year, the Jack Paine Centre Atrium at the College was transformed into an elegant dinner venue to welcome our Old Collegians and invited guests for their AGM and annual dinner. The ground floor of the Atrium had been set up with white and blue linen covered tables, a dinner buffet and a refreshment bar for the social occasion.

First on the agenda was the formal AGM for the year, followed by a traditional performance from the Old Collegians Pipes & Drums band who played outside in the courtyard. Over refreshments, the guests had a clear view of the Band’s recital through the Atrium’s high glassed windows, before the ensemble made their march through the building and invited guests to take their seats for dinner.

We welcomed back recent graduates, Manase Latu and Grace Sturgess who in perfect harmony, sang the traditional Scottish song ‘Loch Lomond’ before Head of College, Mr Steve Cole opened the ceremonial dinner speeches. Mr Cole said that he could not be prouder of the College as the leading independent school in Australasia and as the roll continues to grow, the aim will always be to provide the best teachers, facilities and motivation for our students to succeed in their education.

This was followed by an address from Principal of the Girls’ School Dr Sandra Hastie and Principal of the Boys’ School Mr Peter Cassie who both thanked the Old Collegians Association for their on-going financial support and interest in all they do. Dr Hastie said that in our ‘family of schools’ we continue to develop strong men and women and she also thanked the Association for the scholarship opportunity for Year 7 girls. Mr Cassie told the guests that Saint Kentigern was a fantastic community living the values where service and leadership are the key drivers and that our boys leave as great citizens who are confident, articulate and engaged in their learning.

After the buffet meal, former long-serving Deputy Head, Mr Jack Paine undertook the roll call for each decade in his own unique style. As he announced each year group, the former students all stood to attention to recite their full name and ID number one by one. The decade of 2000-2009 was particularly well represented by young men and women attending the evening’s function in celebration of the Old Collegians Association.

Welsh-born guest speaker, Mr Phil Kingsley Jones, head of one of New Zealand's most successful sports management companies, and former manager of international rugby legend, Jonah Lomu spoke on ‘Life since the Welsh Coal Mines.’ Mr Kingsley Jones is described as an after dinner speaker with a heart of gold, a mind full of jokes and humourist anecdotes. And he did not disappoint! He entertained his audience with numerous stories of his life and career, capturing his audience with his irreverent wit and his genuine passion for New Zealand. He said that Saint Kentigern was more than just bricks and mortar, that it was an environment where people are proud of what they are doing and of themselves, and that is what makes a difference. He thanked Saint Kentigern for giving our students the right path to lead them on to wherever they may travel.

The function closed with the School song ‘We are heirs of Kentigern’, once again led superbly by the talented voices of Manase and Grace.

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