I have spent much time over the past couple of weeks watching games from the World Cup rugby tournament. There is no doubt that the current Wallaby team has much skill and speed, but what has impressed me the most about their performances has been their determination. I believe that there have been at least two games so far when supporters would have been worried if they were going to win the game at some stage. However, when things seemed to be at their hardest and the players appeared to be totally spent, they somehow managed to lift themselves...
I have spent much time over the past couple of weeks watching games from the World Cup rugby tournament. There is no doubt that the current Wallaby team has much skill and speed, but what has impressed me the most about their performances has been their determination. I believe that there have been at least two games so far when supporters would have been worried if they were going to win the game at some stage. However, when things seemed to be at their hardest and the players appeared to be totally spent, they somehow managed to lift themselves with extra effort and finish the game with a victory. When interviewed, many of the players referred to this as a part of the team culture. Each player wanted to do well for the other and never give in. The television station has coined the phrase “never underestimate an Aussie” to capture this sense of determination.
During Tuesday’s spirit assembly I mentioned this to the student body, but more in the context of St. Patrick’s. Our College has a proud tradition of academics, cultural and sporting achievements since its inception in 1952. When I first arrived at the College in 2001, we were a relatively small school compared to many others and worked hard to be competitive. This was often a difficult task for some of our teams. When I left the College in 2007, the school had worked hard at being competitive and was often seen as a school that “achieved above their weight”. One of the significant differences that I see now is that the College is no longer a smaller competitor and is becoming used to being successful within the competitions, championships and performances that we compete. This playing field includes music, drama, art, sport and academic pursuits and competitions. My challenge to the young men was it is time for us to remind the other schools that we are proud of who we are and what we have achieved and, more importantly, what we aim to achieve into the future. It is our endeavour to aspire to our College Motto – Certa Bonum Certamen -Fight the Good Fight – by being the best that we can be and continuing to enhance a culture that states near enough is not good enough. To be at our best we require maximum effort, determination and persistence. Our message to other schools should always be “never underestimate a Paddies' boy”.
During our assembly on Tuesday, we also congratulated a large contingent of students who have been selected in the College Athletics team. The team, led by captain Jack Kelly, competed strongly at the championships finishing 6th overall. A special congratulations to our Year 5 and 6 members who finished 3rd in the aggregates and the Open Division team members who finished 1st overall. The AIC sporting calendar is now finished. It is a year that we can be very proud of our achievements. This has been the most successful year for the College since the beginning of the AIC competition. I would particularly like to congratulate our senior students as all of our Firsts teams finished in the top three schools across each competition.
Our Year 12 students finish their regular attendance at classes at school on Friday 6 November. This is only six days away. They will then start their final exams on 10 November and graduate on the evening of Thursday 19 November. The remaining weeks will be a time of mixed emotions for the students. There will be the excitement of finishing school but also the angst of no longer having regular contact with all of their friends and the safety and structure that school provides. It is important that each of the young men continue to work hard in the classroom and finish the year with his best possible results. The Year 12 study sessions on Wednesday and Friday afternoons will finish next Friday 6 November.
Mrs Katie Moro and Mrs Kate Mulvihill both temporarily finish working at the College tomorrow afternoon. Kate and Katie will begin a period of maternity leave. Katie will return to the College next year at the beginning of Term 4 and Kate will return for the beginning of Term 3. I am sure that I speak on behalf of the entire College community when I wish them well with the new additions to their families.
This evening we will have our annual Showcase evening. This is usually one of our more popular community events. As usual, the winner of the House Shield competition will be decided by the results of this evening. Unfortunately, the Callan Centre will not be as comfortable as usual because the air conditioning is still not ready due to the new building. We ask that only the families of students sit in the Callan Centre and that students and friends watch the events from the large screen on the back oval. I look forward to seeing my first Showcase in a number of years.
Next Friday 6 November, we will hold our Celebration of Excellence evening in the Callan Centre. This is an opportunity for our St. Patrick’s community to congratulate the many young men who have achieved well or worked with great diligence across a range of academic, service and co-curricular pursuits. I hope to see a number of our young men and their families on this occasion.
We begin the eleventh month of the year next week. Whilst the end of the year may be approaching, it is important that we keep reminding our young scholars to be the best that they can be, requires them to work diligently until the end of their last exam.