Newsletter (October 2009)
It was exactly three weeks to our senior prize giving when I started to write this newsletter, so there is very little time before exams start, which are so important for our boys' future. I have asked the staff to ensure that they stress the importance of a sound study/revision programme, and from a parental perspective, insist that they give a generous amount of time to study. A key issue is the casual approach boys have, that they have achieved enough credits to pass, but unless they have the sufficient number of Merits and Excellences many desirable courses will not be open to them. Our senior boys should be looking to do at least three hours homework a night.
Just a few thoughts you might like to share with your boys that seem to me to be very relevant at this time of the year. What is the secret of success? Roald Dahl said he believed the golden rule was not inspiration but hard work, making the most of what you had. He gave as an example the great composer Stravinsky's reply when an interviewer asked him: "Maestro, where do you get your inspiration? Walking the woods, in the bath, while shaving?" Stravinsky replied, "At the piano." Gary Player, the great golfer, was once asked what part luck played in success. He replied: "What I have noticed is the more I practise, the luckier I get."
Tom Gerrard says: “The more you study and revise now, the better will be your chance of success.”
New Zealand Economics Competition
Congratulations to our Year 13 boys who did so well in this competition. Kenny Doria achieved High Distinction which means he was in the top 5%; Jacob Harrington, Matthew Howley, Kit Min Poon and Liam Winter achieved Distinction (top 20%), as did Year 12 boys, Luca Brown, Samuel Hoskins, Duncan McCallum, Robert McConnochie, James Pasley and Timothy Shardlow.
We are very proud of three of our Year 13 boys who have received scholarships from The University of Auckland.
Chris Rahardja - University of Auckland Scholarship, which is the University’s most prestigious undergraduate award. These scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated academic excellence, all-round ability and leadership. This year the University received 950 applications for these scholarships and 110 have been awarded throughout New Zealand. This scholarship is worth up to $50,000.
In addition to the university scholarship, Chris received an AIMES ‘Emerging Talent’ Award for Sport which was presented to him at a ceremony held at the Spencer-on-Byron in Takapuna last Thursday. To qualify for an AIMES award, recipients must have shown outstanding ability or potential in the areas of the Arts, IT, innovation/technology & Science, Music, Education, Sport and Service to the community.
Chelsea Tevaga - Chancellor’s Award for top Maori and Pacific Scholars. This award was introduced in 2001 and the University received 247 applications this year and 44 awards were given throughout New Zealand. This scholarship is worth up to $35,000.
Peter Yoo – Jubilee Award. In 2008 the University of Auckland celebrated its 125th jubilee. The Jubilee Award is made to students with academic merit and the potential to succeed at university. The University received 600 applications for this award and 135 were given throughout the country. The award will provide Peter with $2000 per year for the first three years of an undergraduate degree.
Our congratulations go to Chris, Chelsea and Peter who are examples to everyone of what can be achieved with hard work and commitment to succeeding.
Jed Franich is a member of the Orewa Surf Lifesaving Club who sent a team to compete at the world renowned Coolangatta Gold Ironman event on the Gold Coast recently. This is the premier Ironman event in Australia and attracts top Surf Life Saving athletes from all over the world. The team, who were one of the youngest, competed successfully against much older competitors to finish midfield. Well done Jed.
Massey University Harbour Sport Excellence Award
- Old Boys, Anthony Boric and Rudi Wulf were nominated for Sportsman of the Year for Rugby Union.
- The Rosmini College 1st XV Rugby Team was nominated as Junior Team of the Year.
- Year 13 Sports Captains, Chris Rahardja (Karate) and Gareth Anscombe (Rugby Union) were nominated for Junior Sportsman of the Year and Chris has now been selected as a finalist.
USE OF GROUNDS
One thing that is very frustrating is when people misuse or abuse our grounds. This varies from vandals driving around on our cricket pitch, doing `donuts' on our fields, to people just helping themselves to our playing areas. Perhaps I should take this opportunity to establish some clear guidelines for all concerned. Our groundsman is Tom Hallam, and it is he who makes the decisions on the state of the grounds. For all cricket enquiries, Mr Keeling is to be consulted, and for rugby, Mr Bell makes the decisions. For hire of the Auditorium, Mr Hughes is the person to contact. If any of the above teachers are not available, I will make the call, in consultation with the appropriate people.
Care and maintenance of the grounds is an expensive exercise, as I have mentioned, and it is crucial that everyone takes a mature and responsible approach.
SENIOR PRIZE GIVING AND LEAVERS’ SUPPER - THURSDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2009
Following the senior prize giving, which starts at 7.15 pm, the PTFA will be providing a cup of coffee, tea or soft drink in the foyer of the Auditorium approximately 10 minutes after Prizegiving finishes. This is an opportunity for students, staff and parents to mingle for the final time! As a contribution to the catering, would each leaver please bring a “plate” to the Auditorium kitchen before Prizegiving. We look forward to seeing you all on this auspicious occasion.
Fund raising for the new gym is an ongoing process, and I must thank most sincerely all those parents and Old Boys who have contributed so generously to the fund which presently stands at $64,000. It is a marvelous facility that is really appreciated by the boys and staff.
You would have seen the article in the Herald about how much parents have to donate to schools. It is interesting that some of the State schools were high on the list of parent support. I have always been humbled by the generosity of our parents and Old Boys. Nevertheless, as Dean Martin used to say, “Keep those cards and letters rolling in.”
INTER PACIFIC STUDENT RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM
Rosmini College Year 13 students, and students at Washington State University, have been examining the physical fitness, sport skills and eating habits of 9-10 year old students. At the 4th Inter-Pacific Symposium held on 16 October on the link between the USA and New Zealand these findings were shared. Locally, Rosmini students have been working with two classes of students at neighbouring St Joseph's School, Takapuna. The Students at Washington State University worked with a similar aged group at Sunnyside School, located in Pullman in eastern Washington State, near the university.
Differences in the fitness scores were expected, given the culturally inherent emphasis on certain types of sport and physical fitness. The eating habits of the students are not expected to be greatly different given that the socio-economic status of both schools is similar.
Twenty-two students in the Year 13 Sports Studies class each shared a part of the project with the American audience that was made up of students and faculty at Washington State University, Eastern Washington and Oregon Universities, and the University of Idaho. Rosmini Students, Aaron Cole, Raffi and Dany Rassam, Luca Godinich, Robin Iskander and Julo Valdez also shared the findings from their own sport, exercise and nutrition related projects.
There is definitely an interest in expanding this Rosmini-WSU generated project next year to cross other international boundaries and give the Rosmini students an opportunity to think and act globally.
ESTABLISHING A CHARITABLE CONNECTION WITH A ROSMINIAN 'SISTER SCHOOL' IN AFRICA
Rosmini College is proud of the fact that for many years our community has been successful in living out our motto, `Charity fulfils the law', not only by the way we look after each other, but also through the way we have given generously to those in need beyond our school environment.
This year our school has supported a number of worthwhile organizations and causes - Caritas, World Vision, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, to name but a few. Rosmini intends to continue its support to the above organisations. However, from this year onwards, we would like to ask the community to take on a new and exciting challenge - patronage of an impoverished Rosminian school in Africa!
Background: In 2007, Shayne Doyle, a member of our school's Board of Trustees, met Sr Gwynneth at a Rosminian conference in Monte Calvario, Italy. Sr Gwynneth is the Head Teacher at Holy Family Pre Primary and Primary in Tanga, Tanzania and, in his conversations with her, Shayne realized just how little this Rosminian school has, compared with our own.
Present situation: Sr Gwynneth's school has no government funding and relies on donations for any resources they can get hold of to build up the school, which at present has a very basic level of equipment and facilities. Many of the children have health problems, TB, Aids, hearing problems etc. On top of this it is dangerous just getting to school. Several children were run over on the way to school last year!
This situation provides us with an opportunity to reflect on how lucky we are with the equipment and facilities we have at our own school. At the same time it challenges us to reflect on our school’s motto and how we could live it in a deeper way by assisting this ‘sister’ school in Africa.
How can we help? One example of the basic needs we can help the school with is its water supply problem. They have four underground tanks to service the needs of well over 400 students and staff and must use a foot pump to get the water from the tank to the kitchen. If we were to provide the school with a solar powered pump, it would make the harvesting of water so much easier.
The school is at present building a new library and needs all sorts of books to suit the students who are between the ages of 3 and 15. No doubt there are many other things they need, particularly money to buy medicines, food, uniforms etc.
At present we are investigating ways of transporting goods securely from NZ to Tanga. Is there anyone in our Rosminian community who would be able to help us to ship goods there relatively cheaply? Once we have the transport facility in place then we can start gathering goods like books to furnish their new school library.
Over the past decade, our school community, including Old Boys and other generous benefactors, has spent over $10 million to upgrade our school facilities. Would it be worth challenging our Rosminian community to spend just 1% of that amount in goods and services to look after one of our own schools in Africa over the next decade?
WEBSITE – www.rosmini.school.nz
Don’t forget to take the opportunity of looking on our website to find out what is happening at school.
TEACHER ONLY DAY
The school will be closed to students all day on Friday 13 November to enable staff to develop materials for the new 2010 curriculum.
T J GERRARD
N O T I C E S
Heart Children New Zealand – Matthew Blackwell Bike Challenge
“I’m riding in my first bike race in Taupo on 28th November. I will be riding 5 km’s!!! I started training three weeks ago, riding round and round my tennis court. Mum has set up a web page at http://www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/MatthewBlackwell/ (Click on this link to sponsor me). I would love you to support me as I race in the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge 09 in an effort to raise funds for Heart Children New Zealand and for kids like me. Spread the word – please give these details to any other friends so that the Heart Children New Zealand Inc really benefits from my efforts. Thank you. Matthew Blackwell.”
Footnote: Matthew has two older brothers at Rosmini and the Blackwell family is very supportive of the college. Good luck Matthew.