Thursday, 30 August 2007

The Hostel Ladies

We have always been fortunate in the people who have acted as support staff, both in the hostel and the school. This picture was taken in 1997 of the long serving and hard working ladies who were keeping the hostel running.

Back Row (from left) - Heather Yardley, Heather McDowell, Carol Burnard, Jo Reesby, Barbara Fox
Front Row (from left) - Lesley Loveridge, Ingrid Hanlon, Margaret Smith, Margaret Fleming

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Good Times

In keeping with the new retro look of the site we thought we would post a picture from the "early days". We think this is a great picture but we have no idea who the guys and dolls are and what the occasion might have been. If you have any ideas leave a comment.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Do Not Adjust Your Sets

You will have noticed the change in our layout. This has been done. partially because we can and partially because a retro theme seems somehow appropriate for a site concerned with the past. If there are strenuous objections then you need only sing out.

Anthony McCarten

An article in the Daily News this weekend alerted us to the presence of a very successful old boy in the form of writer/director Anthony McCarten. Anthony was a student at the college in the late 70's.

He has been in town organising the filming of his book/screenplay Endurance. To quote the NZ Playmarket "unique among novelists, Anthony's passion is to adapt his own novels into screenplays and then complete the trifecta, by directing these films himself."

Anthony has been involved in many different projects in the last 20 odd years with Ladies Night probably getting the most attention. It is the most commercially successful play written by a New Zealander.

While we are not clear on the casting requirements for Endurance we are sure there are some past or present students who could live up to the title.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Saturday Chuckle

A priest from Ireland was assigned to a Texas diocese. One morning, Father O'Malley rose from his bed. It was a fine spring day in his new Texas mission parish. He walked to the window of his bedroom to get a deep breath of the beautiful day outside. He then noticed there was a jackass lying dead in the middle of his front lawn.

He promptly called the local police station. The conversation went like this: "Good morning, this is Sergeant Jones, how might I help you?" "And the best of the day te yerself. This is Father O'Malley at St. Brigid's.
There's a jackass lying dead in me front lawn. Would ye be so kind as to send a couple o' yer lads to take care of the matter?" Sergeant Jones, considering himself to be quite a wit, replied with a smirk.

"Well now Father, it was always my impression that you people took care of last rites!" There was dead silence on the line for a long moment. Father O'Malley then replied:
"Aye, 'tis certainly true, but we are also obliged to notify the next of kin."

Friday, 24 August 2007

Vertical Form Time

It has been 20 years since we moved to vertical forms at the college. The system is still going strong but now days there are 32 vertical forms rather than the initial 20!

The vertical form above is the mighty Solomon 3 of 1987. Some of you will recognize the form teacher as Mr Lloyd Edwards who had several teaching tours of duty at FDMC. Lloyd has been living in the UK for a few years now and is teaching at Plumley Girls High in London - in his own inimitable fashion we are sure.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Always a pleasure ...

It is always a pleasure to have old boys call back to the college. This week we had Jono O'Sullivan (mid 1990s) do some teacher relief work - always important at this time of year. Jono and his partner are off to Korea soon to teach English to the locals, something they have done before. Jono tells us the job is OK but the rugby is very average.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Board Of Trustees

The current FDMC Board of Trustees is packed with experience and people who have had a long association with the college.

Back row from the left
  • Judy Hau - married to old boy Kenneth Hau. They have had several sons at FDMC
  • Peter Siffleet - has had 4 sons at the college with Nick the current Head Boy
  • Br Steve Hogan - was Head Boy in 1979, has taught at FDMC on several tours of duty and is currently the Principal at De La Salle Mangere
  • Jenny Dobson - has had 2 sons at the college
  • Alan Johnston - currently has a son in Year 11 at the college
  • Br Pat Lynch - taught at FDMC in 1967, was Principal at De La Salle Mangere for many years and is currently the CEO of the Catholic Education Office
Front row from the left
  • Janet Fleming - currently has 2 sons at the college
  • Diana Blair - has been the Business Manager at FDMC for the last 10 years
  • Br Peter Ryan - now in his 5th year as Principal of the college
  • Chris Sole - Board Chairman and old boy from the 1970's. Chris has had 2 sons at the college
  • Kevin Murphy - Deputy Board Chairman and old boy from the 1970's. Kevin's son Scott is currently the Deputy Head Boy.
  • Chris Moller - is a Deputy Principal at the college and the staff representative

Monday, 20 August 2007

A Big Weekend

The weather may have been poor but the weekend brought some very good results for the college.
  • We had 5 teams in the secondary schools rugby finals, two playing each other for the E grade title. We won all of the titles we played for with E Grade Reed just beating E Grade Blue 17-15, the Under 15's defeated NPBHS Gold to win the C1 Grade, the 4th XV defeated Waitara HS 1st XV to win the B2 Grade and the 2nd XV beat Opunake 1st XV to win the A2 Grade.
  • The 1st XI soccer team had a good away win over Hawera 1st XI and are currently closing in on the top of their league table.
  • The 1st XI hockey side plays NPBHS 1st XI in Stratford on Thursday night to determine the winner of the Taranaki Sec. Schools title.
  • The Taranaki finals of the Rockquest was on Saturday night with FDMC bands finishing 1st and 2nd in the competition.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Old Boys' Business

We are adding a new feature to our blog. If you are an old boy with a business lets us know at, include your logo,web address or contact information and we will list you under Old Boys' Business - no charge. As part of a wider community it is great if you can support your own.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Share The Mission

A reminder of the La Sallian Share The Mission programme. We have several students contributing to the Brothers work in Balgo Hills in the course of next year.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Evolution of A Badge

There have been a number of FDMC Old Boys Badges over the years. The badge on the left is from the 1960s while Br Declan has had his contacts work up an up dated version. If there are no strong objections from you all, and dissent is encouraged, we may use the new version as part of our "corporate image".

Thanks to the people at for their work on the new image.

Hockey 1 Hockey 2

Hockey has grown considerably as a sport in the college over the last ten years. Br Tim kicked things off back in the early 1990s and recent efforts from the likes of Graham and Lee Blanks now sees FDMC fielding 4 teams.

Tonight both the 1st and 2nd XI sides are playing in the secondary schools semi finals - not against each other but the old foe NPBHS. The intermediate team has already won it's competition.

We are now producing players who are going on to representative levels, with recent old boy Connor Landrigan playing for Taranaki and Jacob Blanks (Y11) recently named as part of the NZ Under 16 squad.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Which One?

Which one of these two current FDMC staff members was playing representative cricket the next day? Difficult question given that they are both natural athletes, but we think you can probably figure it out.

If you have any incriminating photos you might want shared, don't be afraid to pass them on to us.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

The 1980 Swim Team

Here is a likely looking bunch of lads. The 1980s saw a number of very good swimmers through the college, often in family groups. This photo contains no fewer than 3 Kelly's - John, Peter (brothers) and Brendan. We wondered how Ronnie Pirikahu (currently living in Wanganui) managed to get that afro into his swimming cap!

The staff member is Mr Graeme Lind who went on to be a primary school principal in Eltham, Masterton and Tauranga. Graeme was the chairman of the Wairarapa Bush RFU for a time and served on the Hurricanes Board.

Monday, 13 August 2007

A Visit from the Minister

Last Friday we had a visit from the Minister of Education Mr Steve Maharay who was in town to speak to a Principal's conference.

Mr Maharay got the grand tour from Br Peter and the Head Boy Nick Siffleet and then addressed the school assembly. He spoke about his own journey through, out of and back into education and encouraged the students to make good choices for their futures. He was also complimentary about FDMC and the successful way it develops students.

There was tea and buns afterwards for our guests and staff.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

A Daily Reflection

At FDMC the daily staff meeting always starts with a prayer or reflection from a staff member. It can get hard to come up with new and original thoughts but as usual the world wide web has something to offer. A Daily Reflection is a site that offers a prayer and reflection for every day of the year. It is sponsored by the De La Salle Brothers and just might help you out if you need a prayer in a hurry.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Did you know ?

We thought you might be interested in some of the facts and figures pertaining to our humble blog. Since we started in March
  • we have had a total of 403 individual visitors who have visited 1564 times and viewed 2976 pages.
  • the average visitor has spent 5 minutes and 34 seconds on the site.
  • the average visitor views 2 pages per visit.
  • we have been visited from 13 cities in the UK - with one, or more, devoted old boy in Newark-on-Trent visiting 58 times to date.
  • we have had 63 visits from Melbourne but only 6 from Sydney
  • 63% of our visitors use Internet Explorer as their browser while 20% use Safari.
What does it all mean? Probably not a lot. We are just happy for you to keep dropping in to see us.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Hair Today ....

Thanks to those old boys who voted on the hair length poll. We thought this photo of foundation student Tony Schumacher would be an appropriate image to end that discussion on.

Have you got a topic for our next poll? Some burning question you seek an answer for. If so, leave a comment and we will see what we can organise.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Recent Success

While things have been going well on the sports field we have also been meeting with a fair degree of academic success. Every year a number of students challenge themselves by entering a range of international competitions involving maths, science and English. The results of some of these competitions are know starting to filter back - some highlights to date;
  • Simon Velvin has been selected as one of fifteen finalists, from a field of 1050 entries, for the Eton Press Senior Mathematics competition.
  • the following students achieved distinction in the ICAS Science Competition - Simon Velvin, Andrew Crowe, Shane Rooyakkers, Lance Molyneaux, George Grainger and Ken Imrie
  • the recent Fonterra Taranaki Science & Technology Fair saw 15 of our students win prizes or commendations for their entries, with Trent Lochhead study of "Shrimp Tolerance" winning the overall award of Best in Fair.
There has been quite a lot of discussion in the local media recently about pass rates in various parts of Taranaki. When making comparisons you may be interested to know that 88% of our Year 11 (F5) students achieved NCEA Level 1 last year. The national average is somewhere around 58%.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Oh what a lovely winter!

Courtesy of the Daily News here are a couple of photos taken from the TRFU Club Finals day on Saturday.

On the left we have two old boys playing in the mud, both for Spotswood. Jeremy Kruse is on the ground with Patrick Coltman looking like he is about to join him. They ended up happy, defeating Tukapa 9 - 0.

Our 1st XV produced the best rugby seen on the day to defeat a gallant Inglewood U20 side by 29 - 12 on the main stadium. This is the fourth year in a row that the college has won the U20 grade, a great effort by all concerned. You can see by the look on Liam Coltman's face that the boys were taking things seriously. Liam is Patrick's younger brother, so you know they had a pretty long night.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Fred The Flash

One of the characters of the college in the 1980s and 90s was caretaker Fred Fenwick. Fred had the very distinctive beard and operated at his own pace at all times. He was a very skilled tradesman and was responsible for a lot of the small scale developments on the property during his time at FDMC.

Sadly Fred passed away suddenly only a few months after retiring in the early 2000s. He remains an iconic face from the 20 years in which he served.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Guess Who

We can't wait any longer for someone to get it right. The Senior Shooting Champion of 1963 was none other then Peter Bray, later to become Brother Peter Bray and still later the Principal of FDMC 1979 through 1990. Br Peter is currently the Director of Catholic Education for the Wellington Diocese. While we know Br Peter developed an interest in wood turning we are fairly certain that he no longer shoots. Which isn't to say he doesn't still have a very good eye.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

More Brough

Following on from our post on Alan Brough, we have heard from the man himself and he has been able to provide some info on his brother Jonathan.

"Jonathan is in Auckland and he is directing TV and running around after his 9 year old son Francis. He's been travelling around the world making films. The last one was a documentary about an ex-pat NZ woman caring for street kids in Vladivostok! He's also done a lot of work on 'The Unauthorised History of New Zealand' and is about to go back to directing 'Mighty Morphing Power Rangers' which makes him, by far, the coolest Dad at Francis's school."

A little bit of Google investigation, which means very few of you are now safe, also produced the information that Jonathan has directed a number of episodes of Outrageous Fortune, the TV programme that has been winning awards lately. A talented family indeed.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Bits and Pieces

C'mon people, we can't believe that there is no one out there who can tell me who the 1963 Senior Shooting Champion was.

Ran into Mark O'Dea and Campbell Norgate at the rugby on Friday night. Campbell is back from Perth to see his family and have his young baby christened - he reckons the lifestyle in WA is great.

The 2nd XV managed to defeat Spotswood College 1st XV in the curtain raiser to the Taranaki v Tasman game. The FDMC 1st XV play Inglewood in Saturday's Club Finals in defence of their TRFU U20 title - they kick off at 12.15 on the main ground.

For those of you living in Aussie spare a thought for those of us in NZ and the UK - summer or winter it just keeps raining!