Thursday, 31 July 2008

It Was 40 Years Ago Today

This week the staff at FDMC have been reflecting on "the old days" and how what we are is shaped by what we were. 1969 seems to have become a focus year for this reflection.

The staff photo certainly highlights the change that has taken place in staff numbers and composition.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The Old Grounds

It is easy to forget how the school grounds have shrunk over the years. The image above is from 1969 before the development of Julian Place and La Salle Drive, and the expansion of the sports fields. However you look at it FDMC remains very well of space. As always you can enlarge the image by clicking on it.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Share The Mission


A unique opportunity for young adults in their 20’s wanting to give something back, take a break, explore new horizons. It offers a year or half-year Placement, allowing you to:

** Participate in some exciting work / ministries in one of three countries
** Explore further personal values, spirituality and direction in life
** Experience faith-based community living

Several Kiwis – from Francis Douglas, Mangere DLS, from Rotorua and Wanganui have joined this Program and gained from it.

Speak to Andrew Ulugia at the College 06 753 6149, and see image below for website, phone or email contacts

Monday, 28 July 2008

More Winter Wonders

Congratulations to the 1st XV on winning the TRFU Under 20 final against Inglewood. On what could only be described as horrendous conditions the boys dominated large parts of the game to come out 44 to 14 victors. Great to see so many old boys either playing or supporting teams on the day and of course old boy Peter McDonald's Real Estate company was sponsor of the whole event.

Also in today's Daily News is a shot of old boy Nathan Hill playing soccer for Team Taranaki. Although they had a narrow loss the team has been going well this season and Nathan is a key part of that success.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Pre Register Now!

Sorry to go all school teacher on you but come on people fill out the form. So far we have 23 people attending the Jubilee. Now I know you are all busy, and I am probably preaching to the converted, but help us in our planning by filling in the form in the side bar.

Cheers, and enjoy the weather bomb!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Some Things Never Change

In almost 50 years the school vans have always been important to the smooth running of the college and the hostel. Pictured here are the very first school vans, being watched over by our first College Chaplin Father Uhlenberg and two of the original Brothers.

The present day vans are made by Toyota not Morris but they still get a lot of use.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

First Day Boys

We are currently going through the archives and digitizing most of the old photos so that there are back ups of everything. We also hope to make many of these available next year for those who might want a copy. The photo above (click to enlarge) is an historic one of the first day boarders and the first brothers at FDMC. It is encouraging that so many of those early students are still in contact with the college.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Recent Contacts

We always enjoy emails from old boys telling us some of their story. Here are a couple of recent examples.
  • Brent Thomson - "I am 36 now and have been away from NZ nearly 19 years yet still FDMC and the staff have a very special place in my heart. I was saddened to hear about Trent Keegan's passing and have been in touch with his sister Nikki, to offer support at this time. I am living in England (for the second time) and was wondering about Mr Lindsay McMorran, who taught me Elizabethan European history. I live in Covent Garden and work at Bank and every day I see great building and places and almost always think of what he taught me. He was a fantastic teacher, and probably due to him I have always lived abroad."
  • Allan Watt - "I have just completed a Master of Science in Forensic Science, with the University of Auckland and the topic of my Thesis was Cyber Terrorism. Indications are that I will be presenting a paper from it, internationally next year in Europe, so I am hoping this won't clash with the reunion. I actually left FDMC in the 4th form and became a farm hand. Just shows what a little motivation does."
Keep those emails coming and don't forget to fill out the pre registration form in the sidebar. It will be a great help to our Jubilee planning.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Rugby and Winter March On

The winter continues but we are cheered up by some by the performance of our sports teams.

Rugby has had a few good weeks with;
  • The U15 team (pictured) finishing 3rd in the national catholic schools tournament. The boys beat Silverstream twice and finished just behind St. Peter's and Sacred Heart from Auckland.
  • The 1st XV has made the final of the the Taranaki U20 championship for the 5th year in a row and will play Inglewood this Saturday.
  • Kane Barrett was selected as captain of the Hurricanes sec. school side which then went on to win the NZ tournament. We have high hopes fro Kane to make the NZ side again this year.
  • The Taranaki AirNZ Cup team has just been announced and we note that three of the four front rowers are FDMC men, Tony Penn (capt.), Shane Cleaver and Carl Carmichael. Joining these three as old boys reps is Leon Power, with Scott Ireland unavailable through injury.
We know there is more rain and cold to come but we are sure there is more success as well.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Father Dave

With the Pope's call to service from the world's youth it seems appropriate to publish a photo of Father Dave Monaghan. It is almost a decade since Father passed away but the impact his service had on the FDMC community is still very real. As a role model for understated service and commitment there could have been few better.

We also hear that a recent old boy Patrick Barrett has had a starring role in the Papal cavalcade. Patrick is now living in Lismore, Australia and was chosen to be confirmed by the Pope at the final Youth Day Mass.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Knowledge is Power

We are very encouraged by the number of past students and staff who are making enquires about next years 50th celebrations. We will be publishing a confirmed schedule of events in the near future. You can be of great help to us by filling in the form in the sidebar which will allow us to make decisions based on peoples actual intentions. If you have any ideas please feel free to mention them in response to the last question.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Where More Than Two Gather ..

Thanks to James Rowland for providing this photo and description.

"Here are a few snaps from the recent FDMC reunion in Otago, held Sunday 13th July. This is the third year they have been held, of which I hope there are many more in Dunedin.

They are always a good day of fun, and this year it was the same the weekend as the All Black test, so we had a special old boy pop in before he departed the city. They are a good chance for all the boys down south to get together as a group and just catch up. This year we had people down, and even up, from all over the country."

Great to see we don't have to wait for things like Jubilees to get together and celebrate the FDMC "spirit".

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Some Recent Contacts

The following old boys have checked in in the last few weeks;

  • Patrick Bennett, who is ensuring brother John and sister Susan are up with the play vis a vis the Jubilee. Susan was one of the Sacred Heart students who attended some senior classes at FDMC in the 1980's.
  • Shane Miles is working for Ballance as a fert. rep and reports that things are going very well.
  • Bryan Dobson is currently a research scientist with the Defence Technology Agency who are associated with the NZ Defence Force - which scares us just a little.
  • John Castelli was a student in the early days and tells us he has just retired from the ANZ Bank. John is living in Auckland
  • Grant Boniface has added his email address to the database. Grant is a Registered Architect.
  • Michael Ryan (71-77) has been a strong supporter of the blog and is looking to bring his wife along to the Jubilee - we will certainly be encouraging wives and partners.
  • The three Bills, Bill Kilkolly, Bill Lynch and Bill Marsh have got their planning underway for Queen's Birthday 09 - we will have more details for you all in the next month.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Sullivan Boys Storm Italy!

We never cease to be amazed at how the FDMC boys get around. Pictured left is the Sullivan clan gathered at Tim's wedding in Italy.

Tim married Antonella in Noci, Southern Italy on the 27th of June. We offer our congratulations and note how well the old boys who were able to attend scrubbed up.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Staff At Ease

While trolling through the photo archives we came across a number of staff photos. Some are formal, some are at work, and just one or two involve staff at play. We are reliably informed that this was taken at a staff function in the late 1980's, and yes it was fancy dress!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Family Member Departs

The end of Term 2 saw Paul Coulton's time on the staff at FDMC come to an end. Paul has taken up a position at Highlands Intermediate where we are sure he will bring his unique talents to bear.

Paul is a great example of the FDMC family culture. As an old boy Paul attended the college in the early 1980's and after a time in the trades he decided to train as a teacher, including doing a section at FDMC. After several other positions Paul joined the staff at FDMC where he has been teaching maths, science, technology and any thing else we may have asked of him.

Not content just to be an old boy and a staff member, Paul has had two sons in the college, the youngest Nick is now in his last year at FDMC.

We wish Paul well in the future and know he will remain part of the larger family that is FDMC.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Recent Contacts

The message is getting out there as we are receiving more and more emails from past students. Some recent old boys checking in include ...

  • Frank Dunlop who was at FDMC between 1959 and 1965.
  • Paul Coleman
  • Peter Gleeson, boarder from 1972 to 1976
  • Pat Uhlenberg, currently living on Henwood Road, NP
  • Paul Davey who was a student from 1965 to 1971 as is currently living in Hamilton
  • Geoffrey Sole who is living in Mt Isa in Australia but thinking about returning home soon.
  • Daniel O'Connor, 1979 and 1985, and now living in the UK
We will review a few more contacts later in the week.

Monday, 7 July 2008

World Youth Day

Next week sees Sydney become a focus for global attention as hundreds of thousands gather to celebrate World Youth Day with His Holiness The Pope. There are 4000 people going from New Zealand of which 20 are Francis Douglas students.

The students and their "minders" will be staying on various floors in Sydney with a sleep out at Randwick racecourse one possibility. Still the whole point of Youth is that you can do such things and call them fun.

Friday, 4 July 2008

A Rough Bunch

Another photo from the archives, this one of we assume the Senior A basketball team, although they do look rather young.

We recognize some interesting characters including Brendan Attrill, Harry O'Brien, Paul Mitchell and of course Mr Toon.

Can any one shed any further light on this bunch of highly trained athletes?

Br Declan replies ...

The names of those in the 1981 photo are:
David Roberts, Tony McMahon, Brian Goodman, Kieran Stone, Peter Gibson.
Craig Hanover, Paul Gibbins, Paul Mitchell and Harry O'Brien.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Bloody Winter!

It is cold and miserable outside, for yet another day, so we decided to brighten ourselves up with a photo of a summer activity.

This is from one of John George's Tug of War on the Field competitions. Judging by some of the faces we recognise it must have been taken in the late 1990's.

We are past the shortest day now so it won't be long 'till it's shirts off again.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Well Done Dad!

Congratulations to Andrew and Benita Murray on the birth of their first child, Charlotte Josephine.

Andrew is a past Head Boy at the college who went on to teach at FDMC and run the boarding hostel. He is currently teaching at St Mary's in Wellington.

Best wishes to all and we love the hat Andrew!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Trent Keegan

We mentioned a few weeks ago the tragic death of Trent Keegan while working in Africa. It is but small consolation that several people have recently been arrested in connection with Trent's death.

Trent's funeral took place at St Joseph's in NP with Father Tom Lawn officiating. It was a sad but affirming occasion amongst family and friends.

Photography was one of Trent's great loves and we include a self portrait which is a tribute to the young mans skills.