I consider myself blessed that both of my parents are still alive. It also means that my two daughters have enjoyed the wonderful benefit of sharing a considerable part of their lives with their grandparents. I am also lucky in that I can see my parents on a quite regular basis even though we are separated by some distance. In early September I will be able to join them again with my family to celebrate their 60 th wedding anniversary. Over the last few years of conversations with them, one significant point mentioned by my mother has stood out to...
I consider myself blessed that both of my parents are still alive. It also means that my two daughters have enjoyed the wonderful benefit of sharing a considerable part of their lives with their grandparents. I am also lucky in that I can see my parents on a quite regular basis even though we are separated by some distance. In early September I will be able to join them again with my family to celebrate their 60 th wedding anniversary. Over the last few years of conversations with them, one significant point mentioned by my mother has stood out to me. She commented that the most significant thing for her as she got older was that she seemed to become "invisible". Ever since she mentioned that, I have observed the way that other people deal with her and on some occasions other elderly people.
It is particularly personal to me because I have seen what my parents have done for our family and what they have achieved personally and professionally. They are both intelligent, caring and compassionate people who still have much to offer in their older years. Yet, on many occasions, strangers (often through a sense of good will) have been quite patronizing and belittling to them. My mother very succinctly summarised it when she said … " I may not be able to run a marathon or do a lot of physical things, but I can still remember things, think for myself and use my life experiences to assist others if need be … not a runner but a trainer."
Last Friday morning, the staff and student body of the College had the great pleasure of welcoming a large number of grandparents to the College for our annual Grandparent's Mass. There were just over 600 grandparents, parents and proud young men in attendance. So far this year I have enjoyed many great community events and this occasion was up there with the best. Upon reflection, I think that my own personal enjoyment of the event was because it gave us an opportunity to tell the many grandparents that they are not "invisible" in the eyes of their families and that their grandsons are so very proud to have them as their guests at their school community. From my observations of the families, there is still a special relationship between the many young men and their grandparents. I hope that they take the chance to be well "trained" by them whilst they have the opportunity. I look forward to another wonderful Mass next year. I would also like to thank Fr Anthoni Selvaraj (College Chaplain) and Fr Modestus Mgbaramuko (Parish Priest - Sacred Heart Sandgate) for celebrating the Mass and Mr Paul Corfield and Mrs Helen Righetti for their organisation of the event.
During Tuesday's assembly we recognised two special occasions. Firstly, it was our Spirit Assembly for the Basketball and Tennis teams and the main part of the assembly was put aside for our co-curricular sporting awards for the past trimester of sport. I would like to congratulate Joshua Potter (Basketball) and Matthew Beard (Tennis) for their appointment as captain for their respective sports and wish them the very best with their leadership of all of the students in their sports across the term. I would also like to congratulate the many award winners and young men who were members of premiership winning teams and thank Mr Doug Locke and Ms Donna Day for their organisation of the event.
I also had the pleasure to meet with Fiachra Sides to congratulate him on his appointment as Music Captain for this year. Our Music program is starting to move into full swing with the Bramble Bay Concert for students in Year 5 and 6 this evening and the Catholic Colleges Musical festival in two weeks.
Tomorrow, I have the great pleasure of welcoming around 50 Indigenous students from our EREA schools across the State. This year, we are the hosts of the FIER (Festival of Indigenous students in Edmund Rice schools). I would particularly like to thank Mr Luke Royes and Mr Paul Corfield for their organisation and facilitation of this event.
Last Friday night our Year 11 men hosted many young women from a number of schools across Brisbane at the Year 11 Dinner Dance. I was very impressed by the sense of friendship and fun shared by all at the event. The young men and women spent most of the time dancing the night away and enjoying each other's company.
The Cultural and Sporting Precinct is starting to take shape at last. In the coming weeks, there will be some further movements and changes to the work site that will impact on some of our facilities and student use of these. We are endeavouring to ensure that these will be kept to a minimum, but it may require us to reconsider how we facilitate some events in the latter half of this year. We will ensure that good notice is given to all families if any changes are required.
Our College Open Day will be held on Tuesday 18 August. Once again I would request as many students as possible avail themselves to assist us to "show off" this great school to perspective students in the future.
Over the course of this year, I have received numerous letters and emails from parents requesting that their son(s) be excused from school for a period of time. The reasons are wide and varied. I understand that there are occasions when family circumstance requires students to be absent from school. However, in the case of leaving early for holidays, I would ask all families to consider this practice carefully. It is our practice, and will continue to be our practice, to run exams up to the last day of school. This allows the maximum amount of teaching time for teachers and students to maximise their outcomes. Absence from school during this time will mean that many students will miss exams or other assessment and they are unable to do the exams before they leave. Consequently this may have some impact on their overall results. As importantly, we are endeavouring to further enhance the notion of a learning community at the College. This includes students developing a work ethic that assures that they will try to the best of their abilities at everything and not avoid work. The extra time in the classroom will allow them to develop the skills so that they can deal with their schoolwork.