Tuesday, 30 June 2009

A Bit Of History

The college was recently given a number of copies of Patricia Brooks book on Father Francis Douglas. It is well written and a great chronicle of his life and sacrifice. You can obtain a copy of the book from the college office for a $5 donation which will go to the Missionary Society of St Columban.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Boarders - We Know Where You Live!

Google Maps is a great new Web 2.0 tool which we have used to map our current Boarder population. The Coastal/South Taranaki axis is very clear.

View FDMC Boarders in a larger map

The hostel itself is running very well at present and our recent ERO visit spoke very highly of what they saw happening. Next year's intake of Year 9 boarders is already full, so we can expect to see lots more characters from south and west of the mountain.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The Bottom Line

A number of old boys and other interested parties have been asking how we did financially at the Jubilee. We are pleased to say that we achieved our goal of making a small four figure profit. It was a specific aim to not make the occasion about money and we have had some very positive feedback about that approach.

As always happens with these occasions, there is some surplus stock which would be much better in your hands than on our balance sheet. To this end we are offering the surplus bottles of Jubilee Port and Polo shirts for a very reasonable $20 per item. You can call in to FDMC or email the Jubilee Girl to arrange your purchase.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

A Farewell To Dillon

The funeral for Dillon was, as you would expect, a very sad occasion, especially given his youth and vitality. What can be said however, was that he was given a very good send off.

It was very comforting to see the large numbers of people from throughout our community who were able to be there to support Dillon's family and say their own farewells. We were very aware of the large number of FDMC old boys there, a mark of respect that speaks volumes for the quality of the young man and the friendships forged at the College.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Sports Colours

Our recent Sports Colours assembly recognised a number of senior students who have shown outstanding ability and dedication to their chosen sport. And very serious they are about things if their photo is to be used as a guide.

The keynote speaker at the assembly was current TRFU CEO and past All Black Mark Robinson who gave some clear messages and examples of how sport can enrich students lives.

The students pictured are from back left, Julian Beardman, Jacob Blanks, Thornton Davies, Dylan Dunlop-Barrett, Shane Garner, Jaden Hareb, Lance Molyneaux, Sean Mooney, Finlay Neeson, Edward Rawles, Chad Williams, Thomas Smith, Ryan Warner and Sam Wells.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Changing Times

While we knew this was coming, the reality of no longer having a brother's community at FDMC is still something we will need to work through over the coming months.

The letter can be enlarged for easier reading by clicking on it.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Dillon Walsh RIP

The sad news this week of the passing of recent old boy Dillon Walsh. Dillon is the son of old boy Mike Walsh and long time teacher aide at FDMC Brenda Walsh. Dillon's older brother Matty was also a student at FDMC.

Dillon had fought a brave battle against illness for the last two years. It was a battle he finally lost but he was an inspiration to many others in the way he approached his situation. He was 18 years old.

We are sure that the wider FDMC community will continue to support and comfort Dillon's family and friends, now and into the future. Dillon's funeral will be 1.30 Monday at St Joseph's in NP.

May perpetual light shine upon Dillon, and may he rest in peace.

Happy Faces, Happy People

The following slide show presents just a few images from the Jubilee Meet and Greet night. We were struck by how many smiling faces there were - even a few smiling teachers!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

My Card, Sir

A recent email from Brad Roebuck reminded us of a service we tried to get up and running last year. If you click on the Old Boys Business link on this blog's sidebar it will take you to a list of Old Boys businesses who have left their card with us.

We believe there is a lot to be said for supporting one another and we would encourage you to send us a copy of your business card ( email to mdr@fdmc.school.nz or post to Old Boys Card, FDMC, PO Box 5124, New Plymouth). There is no charge for this service, we just want you to support one another.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The Scarlet Jersey

One of our promotions during the Jubilee was for these replica 1st XV jerseys. The bonus is you can nominate the name (up to 12 characters) and number to personalise you own jersey.

The jerseys retail for $100 (postage not included) and we will continue to take orders for the next two weeks.

If you would like to place an order please visit the College office or email k.gray@fdmc.school.nz with your size, number and nickname.

Monday, 15 June 2009

From Russia With Thanks

We received the following email from Ken Tocker in the last couple of days. It is good to know the Jubilee had an international impact.

Hello again from Russia. Just a note of thanks and to send a couple of photos that were taken. Simply put it was a 'cracka' event, despite the cool weather. ( that was not cold by my recent experiences ).

As you know I came to the school as boarder in Form 1 and stayed through to Form 5 as boarder. I thought I was pretty well in tune with all that went on over the years, at least in my circle of fellow year students thereabouts. But couple of stories that I heard at the Meet and Greet on Friday night were worth the trip from Russia.... think I said at the time 'worth the price of admittance alone'. It was certainly a remarkable event. I think that my wife, almost caught up with more people than I did. She is related to Karalus family so was very pleased to catch up with John and his wife.

Next thing is that there are a group of us in 1965-1970 era, that are intending to maintain a contact group and a figure on another get together ( unofficially at this point in time) in 5 yrs time, being 2014. We all figure that we will be of an age that, this would be another meaningful get to gather. Meanwhile enjoy the photos. I am sure there are hundreds. People in photo left to right are Trixie Tocker, Mrs. and Mr. John Karalus, John Willoughby, Paul Bacon, and Bob Watt.

Friday, 12 June 2009

The DVD is in Development

Some of us are still recovering from the Jubilee weekend but we are slowly finding our feet and pulling together a lot of loose ends.

It is our intention to produce a DVD which will contain archival material from the last 50 years along with images and video of the Jubilee celebration itself.

Stay tuned and keep happy.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Invisible Children!

There are times when the thought of invisible children sounds very attractive, especially to ageing school teachers, but that is not what this is all about. The senior students at FDMC are supporting the Invisible Children charity which is concerned with the well being of children in the war torn areas of East Africa. As part of their support they are holding a quiz evening on June 23, at the College, to raise both money and awareness. If you fancy yourself quiz wise why not get a team together - you can get tickets from the college office.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Dr John Riddle, RIP

This week has seen the passing of another past FDMC staff member. Dr John Riddle was Head of Science and teacher of senior physics and chemistry from the late 1970's to the late 1980's.

Known to all as Doc, John brought an enthusiasm and sense of humour to all that he did. He was not one to be bound by rules and procedures too tightly and there will be many students who can still describe the explosions he was able to generate for the edification of all. He had continued to teach at both NPBHS and NPGHS until very recently and was something of a legend to several generations of science students.

Doc's funeral is today and we assure his family and friends that he will be well remembered in our thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The College Crest

The following comment from old boy Grant McLean deserves some elaboration.

"Is it just me or has the college crest undergone a makeover. I noticed this while at the jubilee and have just noticed this again. It seems a bit curvier around the ferns. Not a bad change i'll add."

The crest is indeed a little curvier around the ferns and there have been some colour adjustments as well. A review last year found that over time we had generated over ten different versions of the college crest. In order to standardise things we have modernised the crest and made an undertaking to stick to it. This is harder than you might think as those of you alert to detail will have noticed the jubilee tie has gold leaves not green!

Monday, 8 June 2009

The Jubilee Tree

Pictured to the right are Brother Julian Watson (our oldest Principal) and Issac Brophy ( our youngest student). They are in the process of planting the Jubilee tree, a ceremony that took place in the wet in front of a very select crowd.

Not only is Issac the youngest student currently at FDMC but he is also the son of an old boy, Gerard Brophy.

The tree is a Rimu and is reported to be bedding in nicely.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Where More Than Two Gather

Whether Old Boys remember us here, or in their own place, in their own way, it is always good to see. This photo and description of Founders Day in Wellington was sent to us by William Rowlands.

Thought you may like this wee snap for the blogspot, we had our own little Founder's Day celebration last Thursday at our hostel (Te Puni Village) in Wellington.

Back Row: Jacob Bourke, Chas Carroll, Thomas Land-dragon, Caleb Mawson
Front Row: Scott Corboy, William Rowland (c), David Hills, Thomas Gray

Was a very enjoyable night!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Jubilee Photos

A number of old boys have enquired about ordering one or more of the group photos taken on the Saturday morning. The photos were taken by Roger French and you can place an order, if you had not already done so on the day, by emailing Roger at frenchphoto@xtra.co.nz . If you are in New Plymouth you are welcome to visit French Photographics and view the photo proofs.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Absent, But With Us

We received a number of messages from old boys and supporters who would have liked to make it to the Jubilee but couldn't get there. This photo of the Secker family was one of those messages that really took our eye. Great to see one family celebrating their success in such a way.

Thanks also to NPBHS and Sacred Heart College who both sent best wishes and accompanying flora.

Some of the other communications included

  • Michael Kelly - "Greetings to all at the Reunion."
  • Mick Parsons - " I am very sorry I cannot pop up to any part of the reunion over the weekend. It was my intention to fit some time in either today or tomorrow (despite not having registered). My very best wishes to you and those organizing the event."
  • Bryan Corlett/David Secker - "Here in Malta,there will be two ex-Francis Douglas pupils, from two different eras, raising a toast, to wish you all well and to congratulate the College on achieving greatness, in it's many endeavours, over the last fifty years. Enjoy the magic of the moment. May God Bless you all."
  • Mark Power - "I only found out about the Jubilee on Wednesday after reading the article in the Taranaki Daily News online. Such a shame, I would’ve loved to be there to catch up with old friends and teachers and be part of a significant milestone in the history of our wonderful college. Anyway I’m sure everyone will have a terrific time in my absence."

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The Next 50 Years

You will notice that we have changed a few things on the blog as we now look forward beyond our recent celebration. It is our intention to keep things gong as they have done for the last 2 years.
It is your blog and we would welcome your input into the things you would like to see appear here.

Monday, 1 June 2009

A Glittering Affair

A great weekend.

The Lasallian spirit proved more than a match for the elements despite all that was thrown at us. It was wonderful to catch up with so many old boys and as this week progresses we will be highlighting some of the events and many of the people who played a part in our Jubilee.

Get some rest, we certainly will.