From The Rector
As I write this column, the St Andrew’s College Centenary Gala Weekend, held just a few days ago is dominating my thoughts… what a celebration it was! Most rewarding and satisfying were the happy smiles, animated conversations and renewed friendships.
A full and engaging programme had been organised for the three day event with something for everyone – from the five-year-olds who have just started at the College to those who returned aged now in their 90s. What struck me most was the sense of community and belonging. There was something in the air that made everyone feel they were part of something special and so much bigger than themselves and their immediate group of friends or family. Several families present were third or fourth generation at St Andrew’s and I know the weekend was particularly special for them as some family members travelled from overseas to share this event together.
Many a tear came to a St Andrew’s eye as several hundred gathered to view the Centenary Film The Spirit of St Andrew’s, produced by Old Collegian Rick Harvie of Belmont Productions. This 20-minute film cleverly interweaves archival footage of St Andrew’s College life with reflections from present staff and Old Collegians. The result is an emotional journey which takes us through the triumph and challenges of 100 years and truly captures the StAC spirit; whether it is through experiences at the Mountain Lodge at Castle Hill, the sound of the pipes, the pride in sporting achievements or cultural performances, engagement in classroom learning, the community feeling at a College event such as a fête, a ceilidh or a Black and Bling Ball. There is no doubt St Andrew’s has touched and shaped thousands of hearts and minds.
Equally as engaging and successful as the film, is the Centenary Book of the same name, The Spirit of St Andrew’s, which also successfully interweaves the past with the present and captures the special St Andrew’s flavour throughout. Personally, I was delighted to be able to share the Centenary weekend with my husband Gavin, and son Alex who attended St Andrew’s for three years from 2008 to 2010.
I was also pleased to be able to honour the magnificent contribution of outgoing Board Chair Garry Moore who for the last 10 years has given me such wonderful support and encouragement. Garry’s legacy to St Andrew’s after his eleven years as Board Chair, I am sure will be the stuff of legend as StAC celebrates its bicentenary!
For me, the most poignant moments of the weekend were when the present students intermingled with the Old Collegians at the Founders’ Day Assembly, the Highland Games, the Fête and the Gala Dinner. Old Collegians were just blown away by the poise and talent of our musical groups, the slick and polished performances from the Pipe Band and the astonishing sophistication of the production StAC Showcase performed at the Gala Dinner.
There certainly could have not been a question in the Old Collegians’ minds about the promise of the youth of today or the quality of opportunities available at StAC as we celebrate our milestone of 100 years of education. The past has been well remembered and honoured and we will continue to pay tribute to all of those who have laid the foundations for what we enjoy today. The present has been celebrated as we showcased the talents, energy and vibrancy of teachers and students. And most importantly we look upon the future with confidence and hope in the knowledge that our St Andrew’s values of Truth, Excellence and Faith, which have guided us through the last 100 years are as important now as they ever were.
‘Fides et Patria.
We are also celebrating some exciting success during Term 1. What a term it has been. First, the Pipe Band nationals where our Pipe Band achieved their best results ever, winning Grade 2, Juvenile and a number of other trophies. Then the Centenary Gala Weekend and to cap it all off a New Zealand Secondary Schools mixed tennis title, and the magnificent win of the Springbok Shield and Maadi Cup in rowing, all in the space of four weeks. There has certainly been some Centenary magic in the air in 2017!