Tuesday, 30 December 2008

A Golden Career

We note the recent news of Greg Child's retirement. An old boy of FDMC (mid 1970s) Greg did his apprenticeship in Taranaki before moving on to be a major figure in the ranks of jockeys, both in NZ and across the ditch. He is most famous for his association with the great Sunline but has ridden many great horses over the last 30 years.

It is always a pleasure to see an old boy make it at the highest level in his chosen career and we wish Greg well for what is sure to be a fairly active retirement.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Merry Christmas One And All

We have reached the end of another hectic year with the prospect of one at least as busy to come. May you and yours have a Christmas of peace and refreshment, in every sense.

We will continue to post a couple of times a week over the next month so don't forget to look us up from time to time.

Get some rest, we are all going to need it in the Jubilee Year 2009!

God bless.

Monday, 22 December 2008

A Page In History II

This page is from a mid 1990's magazine. We note Br Tim and Br Mark feature in some of the photos. Both brothers are currently based in the Sydney area doing what they do best - working with young people.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Full Circle

We posted a photo of Margaret Milne and son Jono a week or two ago. We recently came across this photo of Margaret which appeared in the 1990 magazine, her first full year at FDMC.

Things have come full circle for Margaret as she has resigned as AP of the college and will be a part time staff member in 2009. She will be working on literacy and extension programmes for individual students and groups, which is not dissimilar to the work she was undertaking back in 1990. The intervening years have seen Margaret contribute in many ways and many roles to FDMC, in and outside of the classroom. There will be very few students from her era who did not fully understand that Mrs Milne "said what she meant, and meant what she said" and that she always had their best interests at heart.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

'03 Reunion

Sunday saw the class of '03 get together for a BBQ, a look around the old school and some intensive games of handball and "kill the cone". Great to see plenty of old boys there and to hear how well they are doing in the big wide world.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Junior Prizegiving 2008 - The List

While young George Grainger took out a lot of prizes at this year's junior prizegiving he was not the only one to be rewarded for his efforts.

You can view the extended prize list by clicking on Junior Prizegiving.

This was Br Peter Ryan's last official task as Principal and we wish him all the best in his new appointment in Sydney.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Junior Prizegiving 2008

Yesterday's prize giving went very smoothly with a lot of parents and grand parents in attendance. Many people remarked on the quality of the musical items which, as some of the older old boys will recall, was not always the case.

Star of the show was Year 10 student George Grainger, seen here with some of the many awards he received. George also gave a solo cello performance as a musical item. He is very talented young man.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Last Day and a Reminder

Today is the last day of the year for students at FDMC. The Junior Prizegiving brings the curtain down on a very busy school year that has seen a great many successes and a few sad times. We will have some photos of the event in due course.

We have also been asked to remind recent old boys of the gathering on Sunday. To refresh peoples memories here is part of Sam Barrett's communique.

"14th of December 2008 almost 5 years to the day the class of '03 graduated from FDMC, we shall reunite on the College grounds for the first annual Five Years On Reunion, a tradition starting here that will surely continue for years to come. All College Old Boys who were in our year group at one time or another are welcome to attend. The day kicks off at 4.30pm and will include BBQ, beers, a College tour and the possibility of some favourites like rob the nest and kill the cones. The day will also serve as a chance to say goodbye to Brother Peter Ryan, the College's final De La Salle Brother to be Principal. Teachers are also invited and encouraged to attend if they can. Will be good to see some the Year 7 and 8 homeroom teachers 10 years on. Spread the word lads."

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

A Page In History

The first in a series of postings where we take a page of photos from an old college magazine.

This page is from 1979 and caught our eye as all our juniors have been out and about this week involved in lots of different activities.

As always you can get a better look at the image by clicking on it and having it enlarge.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Balgo Hills - A Description

We ran into Chas Carroll and Nick Siffleet on Saturday. They have returned from their year at Balgo Hills and are both off to University next year. We thought we would give our loyal readers a bit of background on what it means to be in a place like Balgo Hills. The following is taken from the De La Salle site.

Balgo Hills (Wirrimanu), is a remote Aboriginal community located in the Southeast Kimberely region of Western Australia, eleven hours by road from Alice Springs. The summers are very hot, often reaching forty-five degrees, and the winters cool right down to an icy five degrees. The population total is 490 people, and traditional Aboriginal Art is the major source of employment, besides working as a Teacher’s Aide at the local school.

The De La Salle Brothers, a Catholic religious order of men whose core mission is to provide
a human and Christian education to young people, especially the poor and the marginalized,
were asked to work in Balgo Hills because there were difficulties finding willing administrators and teachers for the school.

In Balgo Hills, education is vital in giving local youths’ employment opportunities and lifestyle
options. Here, the Brothers are highly valued members of the community providing hope and
guidance to young people. Most of the children are of non-English speaking backgrounds
with limited educational opportunities. The Brothers oversee the integration of traditional
indigenous values and customs with the education required to survive in the 21st century.

In many remote communities such as Balgo Hills in outback Australia, the quality of life for
Aboriginal people is limited by their access to education, health, employment and recreation

Since 1983, the Brothers have been working to improve the quality of education serving as
Principals or teachers at the local school Luurnpa Catholic, the Adult Education Centre or
the Language Centre.

There are currently four brothers along with a dozen teachers who run the school which
educates 100 students from pre-school to Year 10. The school is regularly chosen by
government authorities to pilot innovations in indigenous education such as the National
Acceleration Literacy Program.

Aboriginal communities often face instability in so many areas of their lives because of
changing Government policies. The Brothers provide stability in teaching staff and
education, and a stable curriculum that goes beyond the short term.

There are numerous challenges to education faced daily at Balgo Hills:

School attendance is an issue due to a variety of reasons. With a nomadic tradition, this
often means that the population is transient. Family issues and attitudes towards education
can also present obstacles to school attendance, often depending on whether the parents want their children to come to school and if the children are interested in what they are

Secondary School attendance rate is lower than Primary, as students tend to drop out after
Year Eight. Over the years, the Brothers have improved attendance levels significantly,
which is now at 67%.

Health care, particularly hearing loss, is a major problem for Aboriginal children, often
caused by chronic infections and runny noses which affect their eardrums. The De La Salle
Brothers have improved the acoustics in the classrooms, assisting greatly with concentration
and comfort levels.

Nutrition can be lacking with many children coming to school having had no breakfast or
very little to eat. The Brothers have offered practical assistance, providing breakfast and
lunch to help sustain them throughout the school day. Children sometimes leave school
directly after lunch and Brothers continue to work with their families to ensure that they
return to their education for a full day.

Boredom is a major community problem. Being remotely situated, there is little to do in the
community. To help eradicate this, the Brothers run activity programs for children and an
Adult Education Program throughout the whole year. Volunteers come from metro areas to
keep children occupied so that they don’t resort to mischief in order to entertain themselves.

Obtaining the right staff who can work effectively with the Aboriginal Teacher’s Aides, is
also quite challenging. Although many wonderful volunteers come to assist, often they don’t
stay for an extended period. Teachers who come to work at the community need an
induction program so they can understand and connect with Aboriginal culture. The Brothers
have managed to secure a number of high quality teachers who have now stayed for a few
years at a time.

A tremendous achievement and testament to the Brother’s hard work is the team of
Indigenous Teacher’s Aides who have overcome adversity to become dedicated and highly
reliable members of staff, who assist daily in developing a brighter future for the settlement.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

A Bit Spooky

In all of the awards bustle over the last few weeks we forgot to mention that Year 12 student Dylan Dunlop-Barrett was named Taranaki Junior Sportsman of the Year. Dylan and his sister Ayla, pictured here, are the subject of an article in today's Daily News.

Having talked about Miles Benton on Thursday who should turn up for a visit to FDMC on Friday but the man himself. Miles had not seen the blog, it was just one of those coincidences. He tells us he is working on his Masters thesis at present looking at genetic links in type 2 diabetes. We sense a PhD in the future there somewhere.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

We Are Watching!

We are always on the look out for information on our old boys and have developed a fairly efficient network of spotters. This image of recent old boy Miles Benton was spotted in the latest Victoria University Science Faculty publication. Miles is studying hard at Vic and following in the illustrious footsteps of many past FDMC scientists.

If you spot an old boy you think warrants a mention don't be shy about letting us know.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Apprentice Of The Year

Congratulations to old boy Reece Stieller (pictured) who recently won the Apprentice of the Year award at the Engineering Taranaki Apprenticeship Award Evening.

Reece, who works for Greaves, had won the Senior Excellence Award in Electrical before taking out the main prize.

Other old boys honoured on the night were
  • Gareth Tai - finalist, senior electrical
  • Jacob Dent - finalist, junior electrical
  • Tony Stewert - finalist, senior fabrication & welding
  • James Morwood - winner, junior excellence in fabrication & welding
  • Dion Breur - finalist, junior maintenance & diagnostic
It is great to see so many of our old boys making a mark in their chosen careers.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Keeping A Straight Bat

Congratulations to Ryan Fleming on being named as the captain of the Taranaki cricket team. It has been a big couple of weeks for Ryan as he has just been appointed to his first teaching position at Frankley School.

Other members of the cricket team with FDMC connections are Daniel Bolstad (old boy), Mark Wales (current teacher) and Debu Banik (current FDMC player and coach).

Click on the Daily News for the full article.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Support Your Local Magazine

As regular vsitors to this blog will know the school magazine is an invaluble source of information and historical data. The 2008 edition of the magazine is now being produced and we noticed the following piece in the latest college newsletter.

The College magazine – the “Cardinal, Blue and Gold” – is the official record of our College year. The magazine is a reflection of all the events and activities of the College year. So as to be able to include all the significant activities of the year, up to and including the Junior prizegiving held in early December, the magazine is published in February of each year. It is made available to all current families and is mailed home to Year 13 and other students who finished at the College the previous year.

As I am sure you are aware, the magazine is a costly production and in an attempt to subsidise the cost of and to produce a magazine of the highest possible quality, the College would like to offer families and businesses the opportunity to sponsor a page.

We have 140 pages available for sponsorship at $25.00 per page for family sponsorship and $50.00 per page for business sponsorship. This would allow for your family name or business name and details to be typeset in the bottom margin as the sponsor of that page.

Your support will be much appreciated.

Should you be interested in supporting the magazine you can contact Jane Connolly the editor at jac@fdmc.school.nz .

Friday, 28 November 2008

A Shower of Babies

It is great to see so many old boys adding to the population in recent times. We are always looking for more students and it is good to know that guys are out there playing their part.

Recent additions that have come to our attention include
  • Marcus and Lisa Smith welcomed Pieta Jennifer Rose
  • Leighton and Michelle Butler welcomed Oliver Joseph
  • Tony and Lynne Williams welcomed Ewan Jon
  • Matthew and Lisa Stuck are the proud parents of Alexandra Marie
  • not to be out done Tim and Helen Stuck are learning the ropes with young Harry Thomas
  • Nathan and Crystal Smith have "kept up with the Stucks" welcoming Saskia Rose
Well done to all you sleepless souls and we are happy to report any other additions that old boys might want to announce.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Well Done Pingers

Great excitement amongst the staff yesterday with the news that our fellow teacher Peter Ingram (pictured) had scored 247 batting for Central Districts. The mammoth score set a new record for a single innings by any CD batsman.

Peter is currently our Year 7 Dean and if he keeps making those sort of runs we might have to make plans to take the students to a Black Caps test.

Congratulations also go to Y12 Edward Rawles who has been named in the NZ Junior Triathlon Team.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Another Old Boy Approaches The Bar

Congratulations to 2002 Head Boy Jono Milne on his admission to the Bar.

"did the business" last week in Auckland and is pictured with his proud mum Margaret, no stranger to any old boy from the last 17 years. He is currently working at Russell McVeagh in Auckland where he is well known for his organisational skills - especially office sporting events.

Jono informs us that the facial hair is a Movember thing and unlikely to remain through summer.

We have noted before the increasing number of old boys who are becoming lawyers. This is a great comfort to their old teachers who remain in an increasingly litigious school environment.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Keep Those Contacts Coming

We have had a lot of emails in recent weeks and a few visits, both of which we enjoy and encourage. Some recent contacts include

  • Father (formally Brother) Kevin Neal called in last week to say hello. He is in good spirits and currently based in the Hawkes Bay.
  • A number of old boys are now living across the ditch with Rob Frew (Perth) and Chris Nogaj (Happy Valley, SA) both in touch recently, while first day pupil John Bourke has been a recent visitor.
  • Bernard Philpott and John Kliensman are both old boys who are currently living in Wellington and looking forward to the Jubilee.
  • As signs go up around the town we are getting more locals making contact as well with Colin Comber, Peter Uhlenberg, John Demchy and Paul Thompson all recent examples.
  • We even had a phone call this week from Murial Downes who tells us she was the original hostel cook when the school opened. Murial is now living in Stratford but interested in next year's Jubilee.
As always if you are out there we would love to hear from you.

Monday, 24 November 2008

A Suave Affair

Pictured above are some snaps from the 2008 Graduation Ball. It was a very dignified occasion with students, partners, parents and staff "scrubbing up" very well. A good time was had by all and there was no need for an "after match" with the band playing until 2 am.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Old Boy Flys In

Yesterday we had a visit from the NZ Navy
with one of their helicopters landing on the sports fields. The visit was part of the Careers week that is taking place in New Plymouth this week and was aimed at highlighting careers in the Navy.

Helping organise the visit was FDMC old boy Scot McGregor who was able to make an entrance that few other old boys could match - at least for noise.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Our New Principal

The appointment of our next Principal, Mr Martin Chamberlain, was announced this week.

Martin will be the first permanent lay Principal at FDMC . He comes to us from St Peter's College in Gore where he has been the Principal for the last 7 years.

Martin will begin his tenure at the start of term 1 2009 and is keen to get involved with the college and wider community as soon as possible.

We wish him well in guiding FDMC into it's next era.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Undercover Music

Many people who were able to attend our recent prizegivings and assemblies have commented on the high quality of the musical items that were performed. This has been a real area of development in the college in recent years.

Highlighting this growth we would like to congratulate Nick Price (sort of pictured) on achieving a pass with distinction in Grade 8 classical guitar - a very high standard for a very talented musician.

Now if we could just get the student body to sing the national anthem with a bit more gusto!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The Next Shift

Last week was so busy we have not yet caught up with all the news it generated. Pictured with Peter Tennent and Br Peter are our leadership group for 2009.

The 2009 leaders are ( * denotes the son of an old boy)

Head Boy - Mathieu Stevenson *
Deputy Head Boy - Kale Joines
Head Boarder - Brendan Bevins *
Deputy Head Boarder - Jacob Gopperth*

Sports Captain - Beauden Barrett *
Cultural Captain - Callum Tanner
Benildus Captain - Jacob Blanks
La Salle Captain - Jaden Hareb*
Loreto Captain - Jared Crowley
Solomon Captain - Troy Collier

Prefects - Shane Rooyakers, Dylan Dunlop-Barrett*, Andrew Buhler, Josef Butler, Paul Hawkes, Matthew Westbury

Monday, 17 November 2008

Another Set Of Awards

It is that time of year where awards ceremonies seem to break out almost spontaneously. Saturday night saw the College Graduation Ball, a glittering affair held at the Plymouth Hotel. The attached video shows some of the those who received "key awards".

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Always Thinking Ahead

Many of you will have been wondering how it is possible to declare award winners 12 months in advance - all we can say is that it was a very busy week!

Here is another image from our 2008 prizegiving showing Scott Corboy (grandson of Leo Walsh) making a presentation of a banner to Solomon house. Pictured with him is the Mayor of the "best little city in the world"

Click on Special Awards for a full breakdown of the main prizes at this year's prizegiving.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Senior Prizegiving 2009

Yesterday saw another chapter in the annuals of the college with the 2009 Senior Prizegiving going off very well. The Mayor Mr Peter Tennent was in attendance along with a very large number of parents, old boys and supporters. Some of the key awards went to
  • Dux - Andrew Crowe
  • Proxime Accessit - David Hills
  • Butterworth Cup For Culture - Shehan Guntaunga
  • Finnigan Award For Service - Thomas Dravitzki
The big winners were the entire graduating class of 2008 (pictured) who scrubbed up well and did themselves proud.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

A Big Day

You may have noticed that this weeks postings have been a little briefer than usual. This is the last week for senior students at the college so there have been a lot of things happening. Today is our Senior Prizegiving so check in tomorrow for photos and details.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

5 Year Reunion

Recently received from Sam Barrett ...

I was hoping that you could please post a notice about an upcoming event a couple of us have planned. We have been extending invitations online and amongst the boys- but hopefully the old boys website will also help. "14th of December 2008 almost 5 years to the day the class of '03 graduated from FDMC, we shall reunite on the College grounds for the first annual Five Years On Reunion, a tradition starting here that will surely continue for years to come. All College Old Boys who were in our year group at one time or another are welcome to attend. The day kicks off at 4.30pm and will include BBQ, beers, a College tour and the possibility of some favourites like rob the nest and kill the cones. The day will also serve as a chance to say goodbye to Brother Peter Ryan, the College's final De La Salle Brother to be Principal. Teachers are also invited and encouraged to attend if they can. Will be good to see some the Year 7 and 8 homeroom teachers 10 years on. Spread the word lads."

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Chas and Nick's incredible 'Share the Mission' adventure

This year, Chas Carroll and Nick Siffleet (from the class of 2007) embarked on an incredible adventure when they volunteered to go to Balgo Hills in Western Australia to live and work with the De La Salle Brothers’ to assist the Wirrimanu indigenous community. There Chas and Nick worked with the Brothers in the local school. Balgo Hills is an isolated desert settlement which offers a stark contrast to life in New Plymouth! View a 3 minute video clip of their incredible experience at www.delasallebrothers.com (click on New Video Blog)

Monday, 10 November 2008

A Numbers Game

The Jubilee organising group will meet this week to put the finishing touches on the full registration process for next year's jubilee. Thank you to all of you who have filled out the pre-registration form. It has been a very useful exercise in helping to decide what we are going to do.

A number of old boys have asked about who from the year group is planning to attend. The whole privacy issue is a bit of a problem but we can give you the following pre-registration breakdown of year group levels.
  • 1959-65 35% of pre-registrations
  • 1966-70 5% of pre-registrations
  • 1971-75 9% of pre-registrations
  • 1976-80 14% of pre-registrations
  • 1981-85 7% of pre-registrations
  • 1986-95 5% of pre-registrations
  • 1991-95 8% of pre-registrations
  • 1996-2000 12% of pre-registrations
  • 2001-2005 7% of pre-registrations
It is a good spread of year levels and of course it is only early days.

We also note that last week saw the old boys blog pass 30,000 visits. Thanks to all those who have supported us and keep spreading the word.

Thursday, 6 November 2008


All things US are in the news this week so we thought we would post a couple of photos from the early days. The visit of the US Ambassador was a highlight for the college in the early sixties, although we have a suspicion the students were at least as impressed by the car he was being driven in.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

News and Congratulations

Some info which may be of interest.

We hear that Br Bill Firman, past Principal of FDMC, has answered a call from Rome and is to relocate from Melbourne to the Southern Sudan. That is one big change, and not just in climate, but knowing Br Bill we feel confident he will make an impact on his new community.

Congratulations to Jeremy Webling who was recently named as Taranaki's most promising Chef. Jeremy has been working and learning overseas and has now returned to NP where he is making an impact on the food scene.

Congratulations to old boy Anthony McCarten whose film Show Of Hands had it's premier in NP last night. The movie was filmed locally so many of us can play spot the local feature (or identity) when we go along to watch it.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

A Farewell to Johnny George

Saturday night's sports awards dinner saw us say farewell to Mr John George. John has worked at FDMC since 1982 and has played a huge part in the development of sport within the college. He retired from teaching in 2002 and has been our sports coordinator since that time.

John acted as our keynote speaker for the evening giving us all some insight into what had motivated him over the years and providing those assembled with some of his accumulated wisdom. The video clip is of sports captain Ethan Bolstad making a presentation to John on behalf of the college and all those students John has influenced over the last 27 years.

Monday, 3 November 2008

The Sports Awards

Saturday night was our third annual Sports Awards Dinner, held at the New Plymouth club. A great night was had by all with many top sportsman honoured for their achievements. The video above is of the presentation of the top three awards; Team of the Year, Contribution to Sport at FDMC and Sportsman of the Year.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Fast Boys

Last Saturday a group of students took part in the Taranaki Sec Schools Motocross Championships. We did very well with the three guys pictured finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the senior competition. They are, left to right, Nick Joyce (2nd), Callan Neeson (1st) and Daniel Holdt (3rd).

Thursday, 30 October 2008


Last Friday was our annual Mission Action Day (MAD). The day followed a tried and true format with a college liturgy followed by the great sponsored walk around Westown. Students, as usual, proved very generous with an anticipated final total raised of around $18000. The money goes to the Lasallian Foundation for their many missionary works in Asia and the Pacific.

One change to the day's programme was the introduction of an inter house haka competition. Each house gave a rendition of the college haka which proved to be both stirring and impressive. The inaugural winner of the competition was Loreto house.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Br Peter Bray On His Way

There was a very good article in yesterday's Dominion on past Principal Br Peter Bray and his new job in the Middle East.

We wish Br Peter well in what will be a great new challenge, and perhaps some nicer weather than he currently experiences.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

A New Season

The weather may still be a little dodgy but the cricket season has definitely started with a bang. Yesterday saw the FDMC 1st XI defeat the NPBHS 1st XI in their one day Gillette Cup fixture at Webster Field. FDMC batted first, and batted well, putting on 230 in their 50 overs. NPBHS were struggling at 6 down for 100 or so and managed to get through to 202. The FDMC side now represents Taranaki at the next level of this national knock out competition, probably against Wanganui Collegiate.

Staying on the cricket theme the Taranaki senior squad has been announced and it contains a number of players with FDMC connections;

Danile Bolstad (old boy)
Ethan Bolstad (current Year13)
Ryan Fleming (old boy)
Joe Dravitzki (old boy)
Peter Ingram (teacher)
Mark Wales (teacher)
Tim Weston (past teacher)

Well done to those players and we will be watching closely.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Never Trust A Photo

We are not a political organisation but Br Dec passed on this image and we thought you all might get a smile. As occasional users of Photoshop we have to say you can no longer believe what you see. St Thomas would have struggled in this era.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Keeping Track

Brother Declan has been working hard over the holidays and has added several new features to our on going record keeping. Clicking on the following will take you to lists of our past Head Boy's and Duxes (?). Any additions, corrections or comments are as always most welcome.


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

More Contacts

As a continuation from yesterday the following old boys have been in touch in recent weeks.
  • Rob Frew - "It's great to see the College doing so well, looks like it has doubled in size since my days. I have been travelling the globe for a few years now, and currently reside in Perth WA, but still call the 'Naki home."
  • Chris Nogaj - currently living in Happy Valley, South Australia and hoping to be able to attend the Jubilee.
  • Peter Johnston - working as the personnel manager for the Addington Events centre and is keen to attend the Jubilee.
  • Bryan Symes - "I attended FDMC as a boarder from 1984-87. living in Auckland, working in construction industry, married with two children."
  • Craig Novak - keen to be at the Jubilee, hopefully along with his three brothers.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Back On Line

Hi everyone, thank you for your patience over the last few weeks as we went off exploring the big wide world. It is now time to get our heads down and do the detailed work leading into next year's Jubilee. We are encouraged by the emails we have had lately and will be reproducing some of those this week. This one is from John Willoughby and is representative of many we are receiving. The details of full registration will be available next month and we would encourage more of you to pre register so that we can let others know who they may meet up with at the Jubilee.

I was at the College as a boarder from 1961 - 1966 and unfortunately virtually have seen nobody from my years after I returned to my home town of Wellington at the end of 1966. I used to see some of the guys below me after I came up to Auckland in 1976 but I may not recognize them these days in the street - and them me !!

I was in New Plymouth early this year for a family reunion and went up to the College and had a brief chat to Jack Ironmonger and since then have gone to the Old Boys` Blog site from time to time this year but nobody from my 6 years is ever mentioned !

I know that everyone is spread far and wide now and sadly I note some familiar names at school with me have passed away.

I know that your job getting to all these old boys - especially our era - is not easy but the success of the reunion will revolve around getting as many back to NP from each era..........for a chin wag.

As a boarder I became close to these boys who came from around Taranaki and Hawkes Bay and Blenheim / Wellington area and really would hope to see as many as of those boarders who started in 1961 back at the Jubilee next year.

Monday, 6 October 2008

On Holiday

Regular visitors will have noted that there has been no postings over the last week. Don't despair, we have not abandoned the blog but are away from the office. With the holidays on our contributors are all overseas or away from their desks but you can expect normal service to resume in a week or so.

Friday, 26 September 2008

The Usual Suspects

Not content to photograph the sons of old boys we also recorded the staff of 2008 for posterity. While there are more teachers than many of you will recall, and like policemen they do look younger as you get older, there are still a fair few familiar (if aging) faces. As always, click to enlarge, if you dare.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Sons Of Old Boys

At last weeks winter photos we gathered together all of the sons of FDMC old boys and took this photo. There are 75 students in the photograph and we know of a number who were missing for various reasons. We won't name everyone as the sins of the fathers should not always be attributed to their sons.

Click on the image to enlarge the photo.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Old Boys Contact

Always good to receive contacts from past students, whether they were here for 2 terms or seven years. We received this email earlier in the week.

Hi there, my name is Clemens Hisch and I attended two terms at FDMC in the 7th grade of 1999 as an exchange student coming from Vienna, Austria. I found out about FDMC's old boys organisation via the internet and it would be a pleasure to be able to catch up with some of my former classmates via this platform. I am very much looking forward to hearing from you. For any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at clemens.hisch@gmx.net. Best regards, Clemens Hisch

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

StarGate At FDMC

We are looking to add to our careers and transition programme at FDMC by creating a new subject line entitled StarGate, a name that represents the STAR and Gateway programmes. Peter Smith, our IT man on the ground, has put together this little promotional animation. More recent old boys may well recognize the StarGate Ladies.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Iron Man Quentin

Quentin Maclean, pictured left, looking just a bit tired and shagged out after a long run. Well a swim, a six hour bike ride and a marathon, actually.

Quentin finished 55th out of 1200 in the London Iron Man, in a time of 10 hours and 32 minutes. We always admire those of you who get out there and do stuff - just don't ask us to run with you.

Friday, 19 September 2008

The Tournament Experience

Last week we mentioned how well our teams had done in various sports tournaments. While the results are great the actual team experience is just as important. We offer this slide show from the 1st XI Hockey's Mayhill Cup week as a reminder of the fun that team sport can bring.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Golf Guns

We have had some very talented golfers through the college over the years. Not surprising given that FDMC was built on an old golf course. The fab four above are the 1988 Golf Team consisting of Aaron Cole, John Bennett, Mark Lile (no relation to Sandy) and Michael Cull.

Last Friday saw our annual school golf champs with Beauden Barret coming from 8 shots back to take the senior title from his brother Scott and Mathew Glentworth. Names to look for in the future.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

A Matter Of Principals

As we look back over the last 50 years we have been fortunate in the quality of the people we have lead our college community. The following slide show is in chronological order and over time we will seek to attain some more flattering images.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

A Solid Line Up

We often celebrate how well we do as participants, both in sport and culture. We tend to overlook the fact that we have a history of being very good watchers as well.

This line up of interested spectators is taken from the 1989 college magazine. We are not sure what they are watching but it does seem to be holding their interest.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Catch Ups

The weekend came and went and the 1st XI soccer team did not win the Duff Rosebowl, going down 5 - 2 to a very experienced Waitara side. Given the difference in the level of experience it was a great effort and we look forward to what the team can achieve into the future.

Brendon Rae's email last week mentioned Jeremy Dombroski. By coincidence Jeremy was in town the week before representing MUSAC (educational software provider) at an AP/DP Conference. He was able to catch up with a few old(!) teachers and have a look around the college.

Also calling in last week was first day student John Bourke. John and his wife Raewyn live in Australia ( Ballarat we think) and they were able to have a quick look around - noting that things have changed a bit over the last 40 odd years.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Well Done Those Lads

Last week was tournament week through out the country with many sports holding their national ranking tournaments. Our guys did very well with the following results.
  • The 1st XV soccer played in the top ranking tournament finishing 11th, which rates them in that same position for all of NZ. (NPBHS were 20th). This is the highest ranking we have ever held and to top that off the team is playing in the final of the Duff Rosebowl this weekend - not bad for their first year in premier men's grade!
  • The 1st XV hockey team played in the Mayhill Cup Tournament finishing 9th. They would have been higher but were unlucky to strike the eventual finalists as their partners in pool play. Like the soccer team this is their highest ranking ever and makes them the highest ranked catholic schools team in the country.
  • The Senior A basketball team played in their regional tournament. They have had a fairly quiet year but showed outstanding spirit to play above their tournament ranking and gain a place in the national tournament to be played in a few weeks time.
  • On a rugby note we congratulate our brother school De La Salle College who drew with Hamilton BHS in the top four final and have been declared the top 1st XV in the country.

Great to see all that hard work and dedication rewarded in so many areas.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Wanted - Youth Ministers

The brothers are currently building up their Youth Ministry programme within NZ. As a consequence the following positions are available.


Two positions available for committed, self motivated persons to co-ordinate youth ministry at Francis Douglas Memorial College, New Plymouth, and campus ministry at De La Salle College, Mangere East, Auckland. Duties: to facilitate a range of ministry activities for the schools and to help promote the growth of the Lasallian network in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

These are full-time positions, with a three year contract. Salaries guided by current professional scales. The positions are sponsored by the De La Salle Brothers. Commencement date: January 28th, 2009. An application pack is available. Further information available at the website www.delasalle.org.nz Closing date for applications Friday 3 October, 2008.

For further information or to apply:
Mr Andrew Ulugia
Lasallian Youth Ministry
PO Box 5124
New Plymouth 4310
Tel: (06) 753 6149
Email: andrew@delasalle.org.nz

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Well Done Team

Great article in today's Daily News about the local IRB team who recently won the Ninety Mile Beach Classic IRB challenge. The team consists of Andrew Cronin, James Morwood and Campbell Begg who are all old boys of FDMC.

Well done guys, it is nice to think that beach activities are not too far away for the rest of us.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

And What Have You Been Up To?

The following is the sort of thing we encourage from old boys - an email from Brendon Rae keeping us up to date with what he is up to.

Since leaving FDMC I did a stint at Waikato Uni before finishing a B.Tech (Biotech) (Hons) from Massey. In the nearly 15 years since graduation I've had engineering roles in the food and dairy
industries within NZ, Australia, Asia and Europe. I am currently based in Melbourne and after my employer was recently bought out I've decided to get more involved in sustainable engineering. I get my regular FDMC reminder each time I see Alan Brough on TV (usually
Spicks and Specks).

Mum, Andrew and Chris still live in NP, Andrew is married and has two young daughters. I am engaged but will not get married until this time next year as Jill completes her post-grad studies. We met in Hamilton but the wedding will take place in her hometown Tianjin (China), so
I'm busy with my Mandarin studies with a view to maybe living there for a while. Looks like Br Adrian would agree that you never stop learning.

Good to see the soccer team continuing to do well, and the emergence of other sports and clubs too (hockey, chess, league, etc). Always nice to see the 1st XV having the wood over NPBHS too! The banner photo on the blog was of some newer building mods and it took me a while to orient myself - I like to think of it as the college continuing to develop rather than a sign of early-onset Alzheimer's. I get back to NZ on occasion, so will try and factor in the upcoming
reunion in my plans.

Good to see you and the others from the 80's going strong - time seems to have treated most very kindly (are you using file photo's?).

Keep up the good work!

P.S. Very old, second hand news of 1989 classmates (haven't caught up with any of them for years so don't treat it as gospel):
Gareth Mannings - completed a PhD in Economics at Waikato - he could be lecturing?
Grant Pease - could have completed a PhD in Physics at Waikato but his brother tells me he is back on the farm near Oakura
Eugene O'Sullivan - a pilot for Eagle Air?
Anthony Beet - farming in the Waikato
Looks like you'd know what Greg Phelan, Kent Mori, Jeremy Dombroski
(PhD?), Alastair Ross are up to.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Raise The Flag

The college flag, as seen in the photo, is raised and lowered every day by Brendan Bevins of Year 12. The flag itself has gone through a number of changes over the years but has now become a standard part of our culture.

We recall Br Geoff Kennewell had a lot to do with the first push for regular use of the college flag in the late 1980's. Br Geoff is currently in Adelaide and not very well, so we ask that you keep him in your prayers.

Friday, 5 September 2008

The All Blacks At FDMC

As promised earlier in the week, here is a slide show of the All Blacks and their visit to FDMC. Thanks to Br Peter Smyth for his photos.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Bon Voyage Brother Peter

Not our current Principal Br Peter Ryan, but our past Principal Br Peter Bray. We received the following email this week and are delighted to wish Brother all the best in the Holy Land.
"Peter Bray advised the Brothers in New Zealand last weekend that he will be taking up a position at Bethlehem University later this year. Peter has responded to a request from Br Bob Schieler General Councillor for the United States and Br David Hawke. Peter’s standing as a visiting lecturer in the Leadership Programs over a number of years has come to the attention of the American Districts. The U.S. Districts have assumed responsibility for Bethlehem University since we were first asked to conduct the University by the Vatican. Over the years Brothers from other Districts have also worked there. Archbishop John Dew of Wellington has graciously accepted the move by Peter and will release him from his contract in order for him to take up the position at the request of the Institute."

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

All Blacks On Site

Yesterday saw a great deal of excitement at the college with Conrad Smith bringing some of the boys in black to have a look round his old school. Present were Conrad, Captain McCaw, Peri Weepu, Sitivini Sivivatu, Tony Woodcock and Kevin Mealamu.

The All Blacks did a tour of classrooms and were able to say hello to almost everyone here which was very impressive given they only had an hour. The tour culminated in Conrad presenting his 2nd test jersey and saying a few words to an assembly.

There are more details in the Daily News and we shall have a range of photos in the next couple of days. We hope all the positive vibes will carry over into a great test match tonight.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

It's A Legal Thing

Congratulations to Daniel Bolstad and Ben Whittington on their admission to the Bar. The ceremony took place at the New Plymouth Court last week.

The guys appear very relaxed but then we suspect it is not the first time they have approached a bar with a smile on their face.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Is It For You?

The De La Salle Brothers might have been around for over 300 years but they have always been prepared to move with the times. The updated De La Salle Brothers web site has taken the initiative in telling the Lasallian story in a modern way. It is well worth a visit and a good place to catch up with what some of the brothers who have been at FDMC are up to now.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Jubilee Update

A short post to keep everyone up to date with progress towards the 50th Jubilee. The organising group is beavering away towards next Queen's Birthday Weekend. It looks very much like we will be able to host all the events on site at the college including the formal dinner. The current working format is:
  • Friday night get together
  • Saturday morning group photos and school tours
  • Saturday Lunch - BBQ
  • Saturday afternoon sports events
  • Saturday evening reunion dinner
  • Sunday morning mass
  • Sunday afternoon golf tournament
We are happy to receive suggestions for other events and would encourage you to fill out the pre-registration form in the side bar of this blog. To date we have had a good response with close to 100 old boys indicating they will be here. The largest groups to pre-register so far have come from the 1959-65 and 1976-80 year groups but all year levels are represented. About 50% of old boys are intending to bring their partners and it would seem the majority are planning on attending most or all of the events. It would help us greatly if you can pre-register so that we can make the best decisions possible when organising the events.

We anticipate the full registration process will begin in November.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Colours Awards

Having appeared in yesterday's rugby photo Mark "Butters" Butterworth gets another photo today, alongside Tim "Stucky" Stuck.

Mark was kind enough to be the key note speaker at our last Colours Assembly of the year where we recognized over 20 senior students for their contributions to culture, sport and community service.

Having travelled the world, and Australia, Mark is currently living in New Plymouth where he is heavily involved in rural finance for ASB, and doing very well we hear.

We are always on the look out for old boys who might want to share their experiences and insights so don't be afraid to say yes if we come looking for you.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

A Sad Week

No sooner had we commented yesterday on the funeral of Dave Armstrong than we get the sad news that Graeme "Blowers" Keinzley has passed away at the all too young age of 29.

Graeme (far right, back row) played prop for the 1st XV in the late 1990's. He was a gentle giant who became much slimmer on leaving school. Graeme got on with everyone in his own quiet way and will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Graeme's funeral is in New Plymouth on Friday afternoon.

While Br Declan does a great job of maintaining the Roll of Remembrance we pray he has no further entries in the near future.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

A Life of Service

The funeral yesterday of old boy Dave Armstrong was well covered by the Daily News. It was a sad occasion but also a celebration of a life lived in and dedicated to the local community.

We are excited when we hear of old boys doing well on the world stage but Dave's passing is a timely reminder of how many old boys remain within the Taranaki and serve it so well.

Monday, 25 August 2008

The Serious Bunch

Some things in education never change. One of those things is the need for a strong group of mothers and supporters to ensure things get done.

This photo is from our archive and shows the 1964 Ladies Committee, a well dressed and formidable group if ever we have seen one.

Today's PTA group might not be wearing pearls but they continue to be a vital part of what happens at the college. However, it is hard to get them to pose for a photo.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Any One Want An Argument?

Our debating team from the late 1980's. These gentlemen were a formidable bunch who I am sure continue to hold their own in an argument to this day.

Left to right: Tim Fitzgibbon, Andrew Murray, a very young looking Mr Richard Marris and Dominic Hollewand.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Rugby Genius

We noted last week that there were a number of our old boys running out for the Taranaki team in the AirNZ Cup. We spotted another old boy, Scott Fugistaller, coming off the bench for Wellington and wish him well for the rest of the competition.

The following quotes are doing the email rounds at the moment and we are pleased to say none are attributed to old boys of FDMC.

"Nobody in Rugby should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." - (Jono Gibbs - Chiefs)

"You guys line up alphabetically by height." and "You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle." -
(Colin Cooper -Hurricanes head coach)

Chris Masoe (Hurricanes) on whether he had visited the Pyramids during his visit to Egypt: "I can't really remember the names of the clubs that we went to."

Kevin Senio (Auckland), on Night Rugby vs Day Games "It's basically the same, just darker."

David Nucifora (Auckland) talking about Troy Flavell "I told him, 'Son, what is it with you. Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'David, I don't know and I don't care.'

David Holwell (Hurricanes) when asked about the upcoming season: "I want to reach for 150 or 200 points this season, whichever comes first."

"Andy Ellis - the 21 year old, who turned 22 a few weeks ago"(Murray Mexted)

"He scored that try after only 22 seconds - totally against the run of play." (Murray Mexted)

"We actually got the winning try three minutes from the end but then they scored." (Phil Waugh-Waratahs)

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body." (Jerry Collins)

"That kick was absolutely unique, except for the one before it which was identical." (Tony Brown)

"I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father." (Tana Umaga)

"Sure there have been injuries and deaths in rugby - but none of them serious." (Doc Mayhew)

"I never comment on referees and I'm not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat." (Ewan McKenzie)

Murray Deaker: "Have you ever thought of writing your autobiography?" Tana Umaga: "On what?"

"Strangely, in slow motion replay, the ball seemed to hang in the air for even longer."(Murray Mexted)

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Br Adrian Updated

The following article is from the De La Salle Brothers web site which highlights a brother every month. Now we have a better idea of what Br Adrian has been up to.


We have all pulled up at a set of lights at one time or another and had a motorbike pull up next to us. There’s something about the helmet and leather jacket which brings out the curiosity in all of us. “I wonder what he looks like…I wonder what he does for a living…” and the thoughts go on.

One thought which never would have crossed your mind before is, “I bet he’s a Brother”. On the road Br Adrian is just another motorcyclist, but within his De La Salle family he is a man highly respected and most admired for the work he has done and his motivation to continue growing as an individual and accept new challenges.

For the past 30 years, Br Adrian’s role as a De La Salle Brother, basketball coach and referee, teacher and student has taken him around the world on a number of occasions. He spent most of the 70s and 80s working in New Zealand as a teacher at New Pymouth and Mangere East. He also spent time in San Francisco where he taught for a year. In the 90s he headed to Australia. In 1991 he was appointed Principal of De La Salle College Bankstown In Sydney where he remained until 1996. In 1998 Br Adrian was the acting Principal of De La Salle College, Caringbah and then headed south to Victoria where he was Head of Senior Campus at De La Salle College Malvern for eight years.

He cites cycling across Cambodia as one of his most memorable life adventures and certainly has some interesting stories to tell from that trip! Br Adrian was a volunteer at the Sydney Olympics, Sydney Paralympics and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, events which he really enjoyed being involved in. He also attended World Youth Day in Toronto and Cologne with students from De La Salle College Malvern.

In 2007 and 2008, Br Adrian embarked on a challenge of a different kind – to assist Lasallians attend World Youth Day in Sydney AND to organise a four-day event in July 2008 in Melbourne known as the International Lasallian Youth Gathering. It involved organising speakers, workshops and other festivities not to mention the travel, meals and accommodation for more than 550 international De La Salle guests – an event which he will proudly say was extremely successful and thankfully over!

Br Adrian has been a life-long student and has acquired six degrees from five different universities in three countries (who hasn’t?!). In true Br Adrian style, now that his role of organising the Youth Gathering is done and dusted, he is preparing to again extend himself and complete his doctorate in Education in San Francisco giving him the opportunity to travel once again and grow as an academic individual. While he’s excited about his upcoming trip to the States, one thing he says he will definitely miss is refereeing the local basketball games.

“I love learning new things and exploring new challenges. Life is what you make it and being a De La Salle Brother has been such a fulfilling experience so far. With the Brothers I have been fortunate to work with young people in need and to really make a difference in their lives while still being true to myself. The Brothers really promote individuality by encouraging you to pursue your own interests and it’s something I’m very grateful and proud to be part of”, Br Adrian said