April saw 10 students and a number of staff gather together with staff and students from the six other schools in the Christchurch Diocese to join in a spirit of friendly competition for the Bishop Lyons’ Shield at Catholic Cathedral College. This competition, which was established in 1945, is the only time students from the seven schools in the Diocese have the chance to meet up and compete against each other.
We started the weekend on Friday afternoon with an inspirational Mihi Whakatau. The competition commenced with the Impromptu Speech Competition (Isaiah Ong) before our debaters (Cormac Gallagher, Jack Cunniffe and Daniel Fogarty) argued their case in Debates on Friday evening and Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon the Prepared Speech Competitions were held with Alex McCorkindale (Junior) and William Topham (Senior) representing the College.
On Saturday evening, students and staff were treated to a sumptuous dinner provided by Catholic Cathedral College with a menu of multi-cultural dishes which represented the many ethnic groups in the College community. This was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend as students and staff relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. Entertainment was provided by students from the competing schools with the STC Theatresporters (Cormac and Daniel) representing St Thomas’.
We went back to more serious matters on Sunday with the Scripture Reading Competition (Tahuora Himona-Burcher). This was a moving and uplifting experience as we listened to seven students proclaiming Scripture in Te Reo with belief and commitment and then explaining to us the relevance of the reading they had chosen to their own lives and our society.
This was followed by a time of reflection and prayer as we celebrated Mass together with Bishop Paul in a wonderful atmosphere of music, singing, friendship and cultural diversity. Another highlight of the weekend!
The final event in Bishop Lyons’ is always the Religious Questions (Fraser Buckley, James McLennan, Luke P McLaughlin) which this year was centered around the Beatitudes and their relevance in modern life. Again it was inspirational to listen to our students explaining their beliefs and showing understanding of social issues and how we can respond.
Competitions always have a winner and this year, much to the delight of the competitors and supporters from all schools, the very popular and deserving winners were our hosts, Catholic Cathedral College. This was the first time they had won the Shield since the establishment of the College.
St Thomas’ Placegetters:-
4th – Impromptu Speech – Isaiah Ong
3rd – Senior Speech – William Topham
1st – Scripture Reading – Tahuora Himona-Burcher
Although the competitions were important the weekend is really about the opportunity for students from the schools to meet together, form bonds and socialise – judged by this standard every student was a winner!
The students, coaches and supporters of the St Thomas’ team offer sincere thanks to Catholic Cathedral College for the amazing hospitality, unending supply of food and making us feel part of your wonderful community.
We now look forward to welcoming everyone to St Thomas’ in 2020!!