Friday, 30 November 2007

Our Lady

The latest addition to the college environment is a statue of our lady sited at the top of the college entrance drive way. This means she is the first thing people see on arriving and the last on departing.

Dan Keegan and Miles Blair have done a great job of constructing a "modern grotto" for the statue, which integrates well into its surroundings.

The background to the statue comes from Br Dec who tells us ...

"Under the title of ‘Our Lady of the Missions', this statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was venerated at the Columban Seminary in North Turramurra, Sydney from 1981. In 2003 the seminary was closed.

Through the generosity of Leon and Shirley Schollum the statue was restored, and in 2007 donated to this College named after a Columban Priest Fr Francis Douglas."

Our thanks go to the Schollum family for their part in adding to the catholic nature of our campus.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Well Done FDMC

Check out the Taranaki Cricket Junior page for a great breakdown on FDMC's recent success.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Statistically Speaking

We have just been reviewing some of our blog site data and thought you might be interested in a few figures.

In the last 6 months we have had
  • 1068 distinct visitors
  • who spend on average 1.38 minutes a visit
  • there were 168 visits from the USA, 260 from Australia and 350 from the UK
  • the largest proportion of NZ visits come from Auckland
  • 70% of all visitors use internet explorer as their browser
A recent email from old boy Michael Ryan wonders why more visitors don't leave comments. It may be that we are all shy and retiring, although I would have to say that has not been my teaching experience! If you do feel like having a say about something just click on the word comment at the bottom of the post, the rest is easy.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Hard Labour

Here are three hard working old boys; Nathan Hill, Cameron Walsh and Morgan Davies. The guys have been beavering away in the Year 13 hostel as it undergoes a major refit, a change of pace from their university studies.

There is another old boy connection to the job with a kind donation from the Vavasour Charitable Trust making much of the work possible. The Vavasour boys, Charles, Francis and Rollo, where students of the college in the 1960's and part of the Blenheim Boarders contingent. Their support will ensure next years senior boarders have a great environment to live and hopefully study in.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Another Lecturer

A week or so ago we asked if anyone knew of any other university lecturers who were old boys. We are happy to say that Cyril Schafer was prepared to dob himself in;
" I am presently an anthropology lecturer at the University of Otago. I've been working here for a couple of years after finishing my PhD in 2005. I've worked in a number of places but really appreciate this part of the world and am very much enjoying my current position. I teach a number of courses including research methods, ritual and globalization. I am also involved in a few research projects.

My brother (Andy) now works in Sydney as a computer specialist after his adventures in the Middle East a few years ago."

Always good to hear from old boys. Now can anyone add another name to the lecturer list?

Saturday, 24 November 2007

How Things Have Changed #3

By now you know the drill.

Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Heather. Heather hugs him to comfort him.

1967 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2007 - Heather is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Time Marches On Again

Lots of interest in yesterday's 40th Jubilee photo so here is an even older group of old boys. You can enlarge the photo simply by clicking on it.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Time Marches On

Br Declan has been going through the archives and has come up with a number of group photos taken at the 40th Jubilee in 1999. We intend to share some of those photos with you over the next few weeks. None are marked by their year group but a little detective work suggests that this fine body of men graced the corridors in the second half of the 1960's. Can any one confirm this?

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

How Things Have Changed #2

A continuation of the politically incorrect observations.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from Guy Fawkes, puts them in a model aeroplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

1967 - Ants die.

2007 - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Homeland Security and SIS called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, SIS investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Senior Prizegiving

Last week saw our Senior Prizegiving for the year. It was well attended and as always showcased the academic talent in the college.

Pictured is Amrit Singh who was the 2007 Dux with Proxime Accesit going to Simon Velvin.

The leaders for 2008 were also announced with Caleb Mawson named Head Boy and David Hills Deputy Head Boy. we will give some more background on our next generation of leaders in a later post.

You can access the full list of students receiving prizes by clicking on 2007 Prize List. Find out who now holds your old cup!

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Ball Photos

A slideshow of photos from the Graduation Ball. What a nice looking bunch, with the occasional exception

Saturday, 17 November 2007

How Things Have Changed #1

This is not very politically correct but then neither are we.

1967 vs. 2007

Scenario: Jack goes duck hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.

1967 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2007 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Graduation Ball

Last Saturday saw the beginning of a new tradition at FDMC, the Graduation Ball. This has replaced the mid year College Ball and could be described as a Leaver's Dinner on steroids. With Year 13 students, their parents and partners the ball took place at the Plymouth Hotel and went on well into the night. The general opinion seems to be that things went well for a first time event and parents appreciated sharing the night with their sons. We will include some more photos in a later post.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

The Chapel Windows

We mentioned the chapel windows in yesterday's post and today they appeared in the Daily News as part of an article on young Ken Imrie. Ken has made it to the national finals of a TV2 quiz show.

While the photo does not display the windows to their best effect we thought some of you older old boys might be interested to see them. We will do a post on them in more detail at a later date.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Sad News

We received news yesterday of the sad passing of Arthur Watson. Arthur was the father of Brother Adrian Watson, old boy and past teacher at FDMC.

Arthur had been a great supporter of the college from the early days where he was active in raising money for and physically establishing Francis Douglas Memorial College. Over the years Arthur has given many hours of his time to building and maintaining various parts of the college. It was Arthur who was entrusted with the fixing of the stained glass windows in the new college chapel.

Our thoughts are with the Watson family and our prayers are of thanks for the person that Arthur was.

May He Rest in Peace.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Look Out Bondi

Old Boy Paul Cracroft-Wilson featured in today's Daily News as one of the best hopes for the NZ surf lifesaving team in their international competition in Sydney this month.

Paul's specialty is the beach flags race being the current Australasian champ.

New Zealand Surf Lifesaving sport manager, Mark Weatherall, said he considered Cracroft-Wilson the "quiet achiever" of the Kiwi squad.

"He's very quick, very focused and very determined," he said.

We are sure that is the case as it aptly describes the Paul we new at school.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Face Off

A new view from the staff room (the old Library) as De La Salle looks towards our most recent addition, a statue of Our Lady.

We will have some more details on the new addition later in the week, which promises to be a very busy one as we build towards prizegiving on Thursday.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Even Sunnier Days

Not sure which year this was taken but it does portray the classic FDMC study technique whereby students get a tan along with a bit of information.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Sunny Days

The days are getting longer, the sun is out more often and the senior students are getting ready for exams and holidays. It is a scenario which is repeated every year, and this group of characters from the 1990's could just as easily be sitting in front of the hostel today.

Senior Prizegiving is 11 o'clock, 15th of November if you happen to be in the neighbourhood.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Back In Class

In the last couple of weeks we have had old boy Nick Bouterey in the college teaching a small group of students about animation and design. Nick's last year in the college was in 1995 and he has been off doing the "big wide world" thing and more recently tutoring at WellTech. He returned to NP in the last month and is looking to build on his career in motion graphics and animation design. Nick tells us he was surprised by the number of physical changes in the old school but was most blown away by the idea of teaching Peter Smith rather than the other way around.

Monday, 5 November 2007

The Gecko Kid

Old Boys from the 1990's may well recall Trent Bell. Trent was a profoundly deaf student with a wicked sense of humour and an abiding interest in lizards and geckos. Even while at school Trent was becoming the national expert in local gecko species and has since gone on to a university degree. He is now employed by DOC and is their lizard specialist with, we suspect, a still very sharp sense of fun.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Bits and Pieces

Aaron Cole's mum was at the college this week. She tells us Aaron, who was at FDMC in the 1990s, is a teaching golf professional who is currently living and working in Kuala Lumpur.

With the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday don't forget to have a little look at whatever Greg Childs is riding. With the sad passing of Tess Gaffeny the staff syndicate will be wide open this year. Tess always had a knack for winning or placing!

Enjoy your weekend fellas, wherever you might be spending it.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Jersey Swap

As mentioned the other day, Conrad Smith was kind enough to come and speak at the Sportsman's Awards and Dinner. He did an excellent job, talking about his life in sport so far and how it was important not to let it define who you are. It was a message that was very well received.

In the course of the evening Conrad presented the school with his All Black jersey from his second test match, the Armistice Test verses France. This was gratefully received and will be displayed at the college. Not to be outdone we presented Conrad with the latest version of the 1st XV playing jersey, a jersey which we hope will get a bit of use in some form or other.