Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Is there a doctor in the house?

Dan Keegan has mentioned to us the success of his relation Te Taka Adrian Keegan who attended the college in the late 1970's. He is now a lecturer at Waikato University and has recently completed his PhD on the Usage of Indigenous Language Within a Digital Library Environment.

Always great to see old boys achieving academic success. How many other university lecturers do we have out there?

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Sports Awards Dinner

Last Saturday night saw our second ever Sports Award Dinner, held at the New Plymouth Club. It was a dazzling night, with Conrad Smith doing a great job as guest speaker (more on that in a later post).

Pictured is Josh Hickford, nephew of old boys Sam and Shane Bennett. Josh received a number of awards with the biggest being the most outstanding contribution to college sport. Other key awards included;

Sportsman of the Year - Rick McKenna
Team of the Year - 1st XI Cricket
Outstanding Act of Sportsmanship - Junior Levi

We will publish a full list of awards later this week for all those who want to know who currently has their cup.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Catch Up

We have had a steady flow of old boys making contact in the last week or so, which of course we always encourage. In no particular order ...
  • Bill Lynch was a "Blenheim Boarder" who's last year at the College was in 1965. Bill is currently living back in Richmond.
  • Mike Whitehead is currently the Senior Marketing Consultant and Auctioneer for Coopers and Co. (Harcourts) in Takapuna.
  • Craig Reilly was at FDMC between 1965 and 1970 an now resides in Kohimarama, Auckland
  • Kevin Reilly ( yes there is a connection) left FDMC in 1974 and is currently living in Auckland and working as the National Key Accounts Manager for ASB Business Banking.
  • Martin Calder is now a Human Resources Advisor for the Rodney District Council and is living in sunny Orewa.
It is interesting to see how many old boys have followed the national trend and ended up somewhere in the Auckland region.

Friday, 26 October 2007

A MAD Walk

Last Friday's Mission Action Day proved to be very successful on a number of counts. The day was fine, which made a nice change, the students entered into the spirit of the liturgy and the day very well and the walk went without major incident. The students were able to raise around $16 000 for the missions, which was an excellent effort and of real value to the people the missions serve.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

In the News

We seem to have a lot of college connections in the local paper of late. Yesterday's Daily News included an article, with photo, on Leo Walsh and his opinions on the current rugby situation. Leo has not been in the best of health recently and it was good to read how positive he remains about the current rugby world.

Yesterday's front page also had an article and photo on Anthony McCarten and his new film project to be shot in Taranaki, staring Melanie Lynsky ( not an old boy, but an old girl of NPGHS). Long time blog readers will recall we profiled Anthony a few months ago.

The other good news was that we did not recognise any one in the court reports! Keep up the good work fellas.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

From Br. Dec

It is inspiring to learn of a time (within the last 70 years) when so many were prepared to die for what they believed.

For those who read Spanish, a website is also included!

On next Sunday 28 October 2007, will be beatified a group that numbers in total 498, all of whom were martyred during the years of the Spanish Civil War, 1934-1939.

There are 2 bishops, 24 diocesan priests, 1 deacon, 1 sub-deacon, 1 seminarian, 7 lay people, and 462 men and women from Institutes of Consecrated Life.

Of the 462 are
  • 45 Sisters from 8 different Congregations.
  • 47 Marist Brothers, the youngest of whom was 19 and the oldest 62.
  • 58 De La Salle Brothers, of these 21 were below the age of 30 and the oldest 60.
Three web sites that give details of names, places and dates etc are:

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Apprentice Of The Year

We noticed the winners list of the Apprentice of the Year competition in last weeks Daily News. It is great to see so many old boys doing well in the trades. We have identified the following old boys from the list - apologies to anyone we have missed.

  • Andrew Turner - winner of the Senior Excellence Award, Light Fabrication and Welding
  • Tony Stewert - finalist for Senior Excellence Award, Fabrication and Welding
  • Paul Clarke - winner of the Junior Excellence Award, Electrical
  • Gareth Tai - finalist for Junior Excellence Award, Electrical
  • Callan Day - winner of the Senior Excellence Award, Maintenance & Diagnostic
  • Reece Hannam - winner of the Senior Excellence Award, Heavy Fabrication and Welding
  • Chad Smith - finalist for Senior Excellence Award, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning

Friday, 19 October 2007


Never under estimate the power of prayer! Today is mission action day (MAD) at the college, which means after a number of school activities we indulge in a sponsored walk to raise funds for the missions. This formula has been happening for close to a decade now and as you can imagine is somewhat dependant on the weather. You can imagine the relief this morning to awaken to a fine day, even more so as it has been raining for the last fortnight and is predicted to keep raining for the next month. We will keep you posted on how the day goes and how much we raise, with perhaps a sunny photo or two thrown in.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

New Nets

Nice article in today's Daily News about staff member Peter Ingram and his up coming cricket season with CD. Pete, Tim Weston and Mark Wales have done a great job in supporting cricket at the school in the last couple of years. In behind them doing a lot of the hard yards is Gaye Bolstad our cricket coordinator.

The observant amongst you will notice that Pete is in our new cricket nets area which has been developed on the tennis courts. The courts have been resurfaced with 7 new nets set up using retractable netting - a great system which will help with all the teams we currently field.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Final Instalment

I didn't expect to be writing my final instalment the week before the final....and I considered not writing anything but I thought it might help the grieving.

Fair to say its been a tough 8 days and I know the guys are still broken about what happened and hoping that time will help heal the wounds and put some perspective on our "tragedy".

I have been oblivious to the reaction over here but I've heard its all been pretty sympathetic which does help. The pain the players and management go through is on a different level to what even the most ardent supporter feels, so I'm always disappointed when people decide to have a crack at us.

For my part I reckon we could have played that World Cup ten times and won 8 of them....but there was always a chance we could have a bad day and get knocked over and that's what happened. That's sport.

I've spent the time since with plenty of College Old Boys for a much needed laugh. Adam Franks runs a Walkabout bar in London and kindly locked the doors for a few ales....he operates with a true Lasalian spirit so I suggest other Old Boys get along there while in London for an ale. Was also up in New Plymouth on my return to farewell Scott Ireland with plenty of fellow Old Boys from '99. I then found myself with a slightly older crew for Kieren O'Neill's 30th. Two great nights with plenty of quality gentlemen that the College has produced.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Cricket Season

No sooner has the winter sports finished than the summer ones start. In the blogging spirit we have set up a FDMC cricket blog for anyone who wants to keep track of how things are going in the world of whites.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Bits and Pieces

Just a few bits of info as we begin the first week of the last term.

Br David Hawke was back to speak to staff at our teacher only day on Monday. Br Dave was in good form and gave a very informative talk about the global La Sallian family and what was happening around the world. He tells us he still has a soft spot for FDMC which was his first teaching appointment.

We commiserate with Conrad and his fellow players. It is a moot point whether we are getting more mature in dealing with defeat or just more familiar. If you wonder why you haven't seen him on the TV we believe he is taking some time to show mum and dad around the UK and France.

Still on a rugby theme, Kane Barrett was last night awarded the Roger Urbhan Trophy for the most outstanding Under 19 player in Taranaki. Old boy Scott Ireland received the award for most points scored for the Taranaki A team. Scott is off to Cornwall to play on a short term contract and plans to be back next year - beware the scrumpy!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Well Done Stef!

Congratulations to Stefan Webling on his recent motor racing scholarship. The scholarship, worth $70,000 over the two years, will allow him to race in a top quality Stealth model Formula Ford prepared by Christchurch company MotorSport Solutions.

Stefan left school last year and is the youngest of three Webling brothers to go through FDMC.

The photo is courtesy of the Daily News.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Hostel News

Above is a fairly grainy photo of the "middle hostel" as it was being built in 1979. It is now nearly 30 years old and like many of us showing a bit of wear, fifth form boarders being what they are. The hostel is about to undergo an overhaul and refit which is being looked forward to by all concerned.

Mr Ian Russ, hostel manager for the past 18 months has moved on and is to replaced by Sjaane and Steve Simpson, who have recently returned from some time overseas. They will be living on site and it will be the first time we have had a husband and wife team overseeing the hostel, something we are sure will work well.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Keeping an Eye Out

Thanks to Kevin Breedveld for the following information on guys from his era (last year1980).

Of 6 RED 1980
  • Bruce Frecklington is still in Bulls, unless he is drinking all my beer and lying around the pool on a weekend visit. He is still involved in farming and property.
  • Spoke to Patrick Bennett's dad Brian at the NP Club a little while ago, but he said Patrick is still in Singapore
  • Seen Simon MacInnes around town, not sure what he does for a living
  • Terry Dodunski is in NP working for a telecom business
  • Think Dave Edwards is teaching.
  • Jonathan Koea you know about
  • Saw Michael Burrell at Physio last month, but not to talk to.
  • Peter Morgan is in Auckland area farming,
  • Mark Fleming and Ray Dolan are sadly gone.
  • Paul Watson is in communications and does work on oil rigs, was meant to play squash with him, but we keep missing each other
  • I saw Rod Young at Ray Dolan's funeral and hear a little through our mothers, believe he is in the Auckland area in manufacturing
  • Seen Brent Roebuck running the NP roads
  • Terry Hurley was farming, but has a manager on and is truck driving when I talked to him at squash, he remains a great sportsman and seems to be passing that onto is kids. Has picked up a new nickname since school - Tinsel. You can ask him about that.
Always good to get details from old boys - keep them coming.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Quarter-final Time

Apologies for the lack of contact.....I blame it on a combination of laziness and technical problems, the later of which Mr D has corrected for me. Computer Skills with Pete Smith in 4th Form didn't equip me with the ability to deal with Blog Spots.

Anyway, the last couple of weeks have been pretty busy with travel, trainings for our pool games and also preparing for the knockout stage. The pool games obviously weren't a major challenge but I still relished the chance to play a few games after missing so many over the last couple of years with injuries.

We arrived in Cardiff on Monday pretty excited that the serious stuff was finally upon us, even with a tougher than expected opposition for our Quarter. The team was named that afternoon and there were obviously a few disappointments, mine included. But I only needed to look at the quality of the other players that had missed out to make me realise that its not an easy team to get a spot in and opportunities are always around the corner. I think Richard Doherty had similar selection issues at the height of our 1st XV's form in '99.

The number of New Zealanders and College Old Boys following the team continues to grow. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with a few of them before and after the games, always a highlight of my travels.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Greg Childs

Greg is another famous old boy from the late 70's. He has had an outstanding career as a jockey, both in NZ and across the ditch. His partnership with Sunline was very special and we know of a good many staff and brothers who always have a little flutter if Greg is riding something in the big Cups.

Recent newspaper articles suggest Greg and a few other Aussie based jockeys may make an appearance in NZ soon so they can keep their hand in while racing is limited by the equine flu. We hope he makes it back to Taranaki but either way we will be watching the fields and jockeys for the Melbourne Cup very closely.