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

It is hard to believe this is the last newsletter of the year. I can see in our students and staff that they are coming to end of a very busy and full 40 weeks that make our school year. It has been a year filled with outstanding results inside and outside the classroom, as well as moments of adversity and challenge, especially the horrific events of March 15.

The last day for Junior Students is next Wednesday 11 December, where we will finish with our Junior Prizegiving which starts at 10.00am and finishes at 11.30am. At the end of prizegiving all students will be finished for the year and are free to go home.

The highlight for me lies in the students and the daily displays of human connection that we are so blessed to be part of, to see our staff walking alongside our students in all facets of school life to develop the whole student. We are lucky to co-exist in a school community that understands we are here to work together, to help develop these young men and that this path is often taken in many different ways for each individual student.

We had a fantastic group of Fathers and Sons from our Year 10 Rite Journey programme that joined in the “departure” last week, in exercising together and sharing breakfast, and finishing the morning listening to a guest speaker.

This week our new student leaders, led by College Captain, Kole Harmer, have spent three days strategic planning on the direction they would like to take our St Thomas’ community in 2020. It has been fantastic to see their energy and enthusiasm.

I would like to congratulate our U15 Rugby 7’s team who competed in the National Condor 7’s with honour, pride and courage. It was fantastic to see our students compete so well at a national level, finishing 13th out of 32 teams. The boys were a little unlucky going through undefeated on day 1, but missing out on the quarter finals on countback.

Good luck to our students, Daniel Prescott, Liam O’Donnell, Josh Price, and Caleb Robinson who will be representing St Thomas’ at the National Athletic Championships in Wellington.

Our 1st XI finished the season on a high, winning their final against SBHS to claim the Secondary Schools 1st XI Cup. Well done to coach, Tim Muir, and, in particular, to the three Year 13 students who played their last game, Will Andrews, Fraser Buckley, and Nathan Bruce.

My prayer for us in this holy time of advent is to keep getting ready. In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, let’s keep Christ in Christmas. In our shopping and baking, let’s remember to purchase and prepare something for the poor. When we clean our homes, let’s distribute some of our possessions to those who lack many things. While we are decorating our homes, let’s not forget to prepare a peaceful place in our hearts wherein our Saviour may come to dwell.