Monday, 30 June 2008


Following on from yesterdays theme about visitors to our site we received an email today from old boy Kieran White;

From the classes of 1980 to 1986... Left NZ 21 years ago and spend many years living in South East Asia, United Kingdom and Australia. Now residing in Sydney for the past 4 years, happily married with two great children. Recently bumped into another FDMC old boy on a flight from Sydney to Auckland and he thankfully send me the FDMC link. I am looking for to the reunion next year.. Would be great to hear from any old school mates... Great to see the school continues to go from strength to strength... I am proud to be an old FDMC old boy.

Keep talking to each other fellas.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Keep Coming Back!

The last 12 months has seen a lot of growth in the use of the old boys site. The graph above shows numbers of visits per week for the last year. Some of you might be interested in the following stats.
  • 3,264 individual visitors to the blog in the last 12 months generating 13, 811 total visits.
  • Of the 13,811 visits 11,091 came from New Zealand with many visitors from other countries including 3 from the Ivory Coast!
  • 72% of visitors use Internet Explorer as their web browser - we suspect a lot of quick visits occur from work.
  • The average length of time someone is at the blog is 1 minute 34 seconds - you are all quick readers.
  • The most common key words used to search for our blog is fdmc blog, the most interesting keyword so far is grrrrrrr which has been used 3 times.
  • 23% of all visitors have only visited once but 34% have visited 50 or mor times - keep coming back guys!

Friday, 27 June 2008

Big Time Wrestling

Many of you may not have been aware that we have a professional wrestler amongst our illustrious old boys.

Matthew Wilson left FDMC in 2004 to attend university in Wellington. He has successfully completed his BCA, majoring in Management. At the same time as he has been studying Matt has been pursuing his other passion, professional wrestling.

Matt wrestles under the name Max 'The Axe" Damage on the Kiwi Pro Wrestling (KPW) circuit. He loves what he is doing and a real highlight this year was to wrestle in the WWE trials in Auckland in front of many of his heroes.

We will keep an eye out for The Axe.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

A Tough Race

The national sec. school cross country has been and gone, and a lovely Taranaki day it was. Our boys ran hard but found the competition fairly hot. Highest placed FDMC runner was Daniel Morris who finished 16th in the Year 9 boys race. Daniel lead our Y9 runners to 5th place in their teams event. Thanks to Br Peter Smyth for this great shot of the front paddock, minus horses.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Face Time

This image arrived at the college last week and we couldn't resist publishing it for you. On reflection, if Murray Mexted can be a commentator and Scott Waldrom can be a media personality, why shouldn't Conrad eventually read the news?

Monday, 23 June 2008


The grape vine has been busy and we would like to congratulate the following old boys
  • Ruka Te Moana on his recent engagement.
  • Michael Lawn on the birth of his first child, a daughter who we are sure will take after her mother.
  • Kevin Curtis for surviving his 21st birthday celebrations supported by many other old boys.
  • Simon Gillum, and family, for the success of the NZ Sec. Cross Country at FDMC - a great show case for us and Taranaki.
Don't forget to keep us informed so we can tell every one else.

Friday, 20 June 2008

St Bernard's Exchange

Wednesday saw us host the second annual St Bernard's College, Lower Hutt exchange. St Bernard's are a similar sized Y7-13 college who are looking to expand their sporting contacts.

The exchange went well with our 1st XI soccer winning 5-2, the 1st XV putting 60 points on their opponents and the 1st XI hockey dominating their game by more than 10 goals. The Senior A basketball went down narrowly as did the badminton team.

Seen kicking for goal in the photo above is Beauden Barrett second son of old boy Kevin "Smiley" Barrett. We don't believe Beaudy got his kicking skills from the old man. Refereeing the soccer game is Campbell Waugh a recent old boy of the college and a very impartial person.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

A Question of Captaincy

Another in our series of old photos. This one is of the 1970 1st XI cricket team. We see that it was captained by Br Petronius Healy who was in community at FDMC from 1967 to 1970. We are not sure whether Brother's strengths where in batting or bowling but suspect he must have been a strong captain with the likes of Messrs Quin and Fleming in the team.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Running Men

Well done to old boy Scott McGregor seen in the photo running in the Triathlon World Champs in Vancouver. Scott finished 23rd of 109 in his 25 - 29 age group and reckons his first taste of the really big time has only wet his appetite for the future.

Also on a running theme, this Saturday sees the National Secondary Schools Cross Country Champs run at FDMC. There will be a cast of thousands with a lot of the organisation being done by another old boy, Simon Gillum. Come along if you want to be reminded of what it was like to be really fit.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Old Photos

A fine body of young men in this one, although we note their results are not included with the photo.

Captain David Novak now has a son in Year 11 at FDMC.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Spreading The Word

We have run into a lot of old boys in recent weeks as we start to spread the Jubilee word more widely. Some recent meetings include ...
  • Richard Sevicke-Jones is back in New Zealand and teaching in the Hawkes Bay. He made himself known at the recent St John's exchange in Hastings.
  • James Cookson came back from Wales for Robert Hignett's funeral. He tells us he has one more year of rugby in him.
  • Scott Ireland is also back from the UK and hoping that he can get his leg back into shape(?) for the AirNZ Cup programme.
  • We hear reports of a number of old boys gathering over last weekend for Tim Barrett's wedding including Gavin "the Spoon" Kearns who is currently living in the South Island.

Friday, 13 June 2008

B Ball

To quote Graham Blanks on seeing this photo

" there were some bloody good players in that team".

He was also heard to mutter something about their work in class but we couldn't quite catch it.

Andy Cowie is still keeping the faith and losing his voice on the sideline.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Today's News

Yesterday's announcement became today's news with a great photo and article on the front page of the Daily News. For those of you outside the circulation zone you can read the article on Br Peter's impending departure by clicking on Daily News.

Given that Lyal French-Wright, the principal of NPBHS, has also recently announced he is leaving there are going to be a few changes in boys education in New Plymouth.

Much bigger than the sad but normal change over of the principal at FDMC is the fact that Br Peter's replacement will not be a De La Salle Brother. It will be a new era for FDMC but we are confident that the Lasallian spirit will remain strong.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

An Important Announcement

Br Pat Lynch attended this morning's staff meeting and made the following announcement.

Dear Members of the Francis Douglas College Community,


1) Last evening, June 10th, our principal, Brother Peter Ryan, tendered his resignation from his principal role, effective from the end of 2008. Brother Peter has led the College very well and has actively enhanced its standing in the community. We are all very grateful to him for the expertise and professionalism he has demonstrated, from which we all have benefited.

2) The Provincial of the De La Salle Brothers, Brother Ambrose has indicated that when Brother Peter’s job is advertised no De La Salle Brother will be applying for the position. This means that for the first time since 1959 there will not be a Brother Principal leading the College.

3) The Brothers have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the people of Taranaki and take this opportunity to gratefully acknowledge this support and good will over many, many, years.

4) The Brothers’ community will stay in place at the College for the time being.

5) The Brothers Trust Board will continue to be the College’s Proprietor and will work closely with the Board of La Salle House which runs the hostel. The new principal will administer the hostel on behalf of the La Salle House Board, the governing body.

6) The Brothers wish the College community well knowing that the very beneficial partnership that exists between the students, their families, the staff and the Taranaki Catholic community will continue to flourish.

7) We are all proud of the Francis Douglas Memorial College and pray the Lord’s blessing on a continuing successful future.

With best wishes.

The Past Catches Up

One of the great things about the internet is it allows contacts to occur which just would not have happened in the past. We received this email a day or so ago ...

My name is Leon Handels and live in Holland.
I stayed in New Zealand for about 7 months in 1977, and was a member off your school for a few months. I often have a look at you school page on the internet and think back of that time.

This week I found a picture that I like to share with you. I don´t know lots off names on the picture. One I do know and his name was Jonathan Koea.
He was a friend in that time. I have seen on your sight, that he did well and is a well known doctor. If you are in the opportunity to send him my best regards that would be nice.
Hopefully I will be in the opportunity to come back one time, who knows.

On further inquiry we find that Leon is front row center, behind the sign. The Brother pictured is Br Matty who was tragically killed in an accident in the early 1980's.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Another Old Photo

We decided to stay with the theme today and give you an even older 8th Grade rugby team. Given the year 1959 these guys must qualify as "originals". We also note they won their competition which is not a bad way to start a tradition.

We also note many familiar surnames in the ranks. Some things don't change in nearly 50 years.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Old Photos

We are conscious that our recent posts have all been about what is happening now. This week we shall focus back into the past, and what better way than through old photos.

One of our tasks leading into the Jubilee is to scan and catalogue as many photos as possible so that they can be available for those who might want them. Our picture today is of the 1961 8th Grade rugby team, and a happy bunch they appear to be. Clicking on the image will give you more detail.

Who knows who we might show you tomorrow?

Friday, 6 June 2008

Well Done The Hockey Team

Last night saw our 1st XI Hockey team defeat NPBHS 1st XI 3 goals to 1. This is the first time our team has beaten NPBHS in the history of hockey at the college and they now lead the TSS competition.

Well done to players, coaches and supporters - photos as they come to hand.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Pretty Picture

The last rose of the season.

One of Br Oliver's finest still lingers outside the college chapel.

The College Haka

The haka is a relatively new addition to the college culture but has quickly become an important focus. We see it here at the start of the NPBHS game, but perhaps it's most powerful impact to date was at Leo Walsh's funeral. Another tradition in the making.

Thanks to Br Peter Smyth for his photos of the big game.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Open Meeting

Now that we are less than a year away from the Jubilee it is time to start putting the format of the occasion together. Next Monday 9th June at 7pm in the Theatrette (Drama Room) the organising committee is having an open meeting for any one interested in sharing their ideas about the Jubilee. We see this as a brain storming session and tasks will not be allotted to those brave enough to attend. If you are able to share your experience or brilliant ideas we would love to see you there. For those at too great a distance, you can always drop us an email.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Recent Contacts

Recent email form Trevor Hanover who is now living and working in Melbourne in the plumbing business. He is looking to make contact with Simon Creighton if any one has that address.

Brad Roebuck, who is selling real estate for REMAX in Auckland, has suggested the Jubilee could be done in fancy dress - says he is joking, but we are not so sure.

Brendan Hart and Conrad Smith called in after Founder's Day on Friday. They were looking for some FDMC ties and jackets to wear to Paul Tito's wedding at Pridham Hall. We are sure Fish would have appreciated the gesture!

Monday, 2 June 2008

One Year To Go

This time next year we will be breathing a sigh, of exhaustion not relief, after having just celebrated our 50th Jubilee.

The hard core planning is now beginning and we will keep every one up to date as things progress.

A recent email from Margaret Butterworth has also reminded us that next year Sacred Heart are having their 125th Jubilee over 2 days, 25th & 26th Sept. Any one wishing to contact SHGC about their celebration can email .