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Nau mai, haere mai, talofa lava, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, kia orana, warm greetings

This week we celebrated our special character here at St Thomas’. It is a term we use a lot, the focus this week has been on what this means? We find the answer in the many events our boys’ have participated in throughout the week, put simply, it stems from our vision ‘An Educated Mind and an Educated heart’. 

During the week, we had mentor group activities which enabled our boys to further strengthen their relationships across year levels. The boys organised a fair in which they raised $2700 for charity and a truck load of clothing for St Vincent de Paul. By far the highlight of the week, was a very special mass celebrated by Fr John Adams in which 10 boy’s received their Baptism along with a further 12 making their confirmation. I was impressed by the deep SPIRITUALITY evident in our hall during mass. The reverence and reflection of our boy’s throughout mass, was a blessing to be part of.

Last weekend we had 22 students from  year 7-9, participate in the first round of the World Scholars Cup. The World Scholars Cup is a global competition whereby students compete across a variety of academic spheres, to gain entry to the next level of the competition, which will finish with a Grand Final at Yale University. I am extremely proud to report the following boys have qualified to participate in the Global round in Melbourne in August –  Jackson Bunting, Jackson Austin, Sam Jackson,  Jack Robinson, Memphis Vaszilyko, Alex McCorkindale, Quinn Kelliher, Louis D’Aloisio and George Bassett-Smith. Well done men, an outstanding achievement.

All term, we have worked extremely hard as a community on educating the mind through our academic ventures. We have also worked hard as a school, to push ourselves to aim and expect high levels of achievement. This has been done this through student agency, expecting our men to be in charge of their learning, understanding what the next steps are and having the self-discipline to complete all aspects of assessment.

Today, all of our student reports will be available on the parent portal, they are a good opportunity for plenty of conversation at home around your son’s learning and achievement. If you have any questions around these reports, please don’t hesitate to contact your son’s mentor teacher.

I would like to congratulate the members of our Kapahaka and Pasifika groups for their outstanding performances at the combined Catholic cultural festival that was held at Villa Maria College on Wednesday evening.  Both groups performed to a high standard and have put a lot of effort preparing for the event.

On Monday, at our Honours assembly, we awarded Honours Ties to the following boys for achieving National Honours in their chosen pursuit. Tom Stewart, Treye Butler, Oliver Cosgrove (Football), Fletcher Due, Connor Stanley, Oliver Wright (Softball), Sam Gallagher, Tane Lavery (Basketball) Cauis Faatili (Rugby League). Well done to these men. It is fantastic to have so many National representatives from one school.

On the sporting front our 1st  XI received some positive National news featuring on the College Sports Facebook page. They are continuing to lead the way in 1st XI football, played here in Christchurch. We wish our 1st XV all the best as they head to Nelson to challenge for the Moascar Cup. I would also like to acknowledge the good work of our U13 and U14 Rugby teams, who both currently hold the Challenge shield in their grades. A big congratulations to DANIEL PRESCOTT, who came 2nd in the Year 8 Cross Country Championships and has been selected in the Canterbury Primary Schools Cross Country team.

To bring this term to a close,  I would like to share a prayer that was passed on to me from Br Bill Dowling to share with our students and community in celebrating our feast-day and special character week.

Feastday of St Thomas Beckett, Martyr who was Archbishop of Canterbury in England, back in the time of King Henry VIII. He is also patron saint of St Thomas of Canterbury College, Christchurch.

‘We give thanks to God our creator for all those who have been an integral part of St Thomas of Canterbury College since it’s opening in 1961, and we especially keep in mind those former staff members who have passed away over the 57 years that our College has been offering a quality education in the tradition of Edmund Rice, the founder of the Christian Brothers.

We ask God’s continued protection and guidance on all staff and students, and we pray that all those associated with the College will be faithful in giving witness with the same commitment that St. Thomas Beckett showed in his life, and that we may all rise to the challenge of inspiring others to live faithful, generous and dedicated lives.’

I hope you all have a restful holiday break.

See you in the new term.

Steve Hart