Friday, 28 August 2009

A Spring Time Tradition

For many years now the parents of FDMC students and a number of supporters of the college have been donating weaner calves to the college. The calves have been raised and on sold as an important part of the FDMC farm activities.

This photo of a rather young looking Brother Will dates from the 1980's. Br. Will was famous for his "calf visits" at this time of the year.

The tradition continues, without the Br Will visits, with a significant number of calves already pledged this year.

If you would like to be involved in the programme email Diana Blair for more details.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

That's The Stuff We Were Talking About

Thanks to Mike Fitzgibbons (FDMC 1987 - 1993) for the following email and images. A great response after yesterday's plea.

I thought I would drop you a line to let you know that I got married a couple of months ago, in London. The big day was 27 June 2009, and was well attended by FDMC old boys: my brother Jonathan did a great job as best man, and Damon Newman and my uncle Andrew were there in great form as well. Sacred Heart was also ably represented by my sister Sarah.

I attach some photos of all FDMC and SHGHS reps, and of course one or two of me and my lovely wife Emma.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

We Know You Are Out There!

The marvels of modern technology mean that when you visit you leave your calling card. Not by name but by place.

The map shows the number of visits we have had from the UK in the last 12 months - well over a thousand visits from 78 different cities and towns.

It is great to have you visit but we would like you to leave more than just an electronic blip. How about leaving a comment, emailing a message or giving us your thoughts on life (abridged of course). If you are shy you can always tell us about other old boys and what they are up to.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing your blip on the map!

Monday, 24 August 2009

The Last Hurrah

A beautiful sunny Taranaki day on Saturday saw the last of the college rugby games for the season. The secondary schools rugby finals day was held at Sanders Park with three FDMC teams making finals. We are pleased to report that both Under 15 teams came out on top with the 3rd XV narrowly going down to NPBHS in the last few minutes of the game. It was a great day for all the teams involved with a standard of rugby that was more committed and entertaining than that currently being played at a higher level.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Enterprise Is It's Own Reward

Students from the 80's, 90's and 2000's will recall the various Young Enterprise Programmes where students got together to come up with a product they could flog to their friends and family. Both Wayne Kibby and Poobalan Maistry hand a hand in organising these "businesses".

This photo is of one of the companies from the 1990's and looking around the table we asked ourselves how many are now business men at large?

Any ideas, just leave a comment.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Br Bill On A Mission

Thanks to Br Declan for sourcing the following article for us.


De La Salle Brother Bill Firman from the District of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea has been appointed head of a new Teacher Training College in
Malakal, Southern Sudan.

Brother Firman will officially commence the role in mid September. The move has come after responding to a request of the De La Salle Brothers' Head Office in Rome
for two volunteers to assist the Solidarity with Southern Sudan (SSS) initiative. SSS has been developed through the combined efforts of leaders of more than 20 religious orders to help the Sudanese people rebuild their lives after the devastation of Africa’s longest running civil war. The De La Salle Brothers are taking the lead role in the development of teacher education.

After more than 21 years of war in Sudan, what’s left is a region where the infrastructure has been utterly devastated – roads, telecommunications, schools and hospitals have been completely destroyed. The rebuilding is now in progress following a peace Agreement reached in 2005. “To rebuild a society and a country the most important element is competent
personnel,” said Brother Bill. Brother Bill was serving as Principal of De La Salle College Malvern in Melbourne when the call came for volunteers in Sudan. At 66, he is a four time Principal and former CEO of BoysTown. He departs Australia on August 30.

“I will assist with the development of a four year teacher training programme based on a distance learning model. It will be a new challenge for me but it is one that I am
ready for,” said Brother Bill.

Brother Bill expects this new position will keep him busy for the next 5 – 10 years. “I believe it is important to stand with the Sudanese people in solidarity over a longer term and not just for a year or two,” said Brother Bill.

When news first broke about Br Bill’s decision to volunteer for Sudan, many people questioned him about how he reached such a life altering decision. “There was no earth shattering decision to leap in the dark – just fidelity to the vow I made when I joined the Brothers ‘to go wherever I may be sent and to do whatever may be required of me’,” Brother Bill said.

The Australian Government website bluntly advises people not to go to Sudan but this hasn’t deterred Brother Bill from accepting this next important challenge in his life. “I remain quite at ease about going to Sudan. People have warned me about the potential danger but there is something about getting older that liberates you from fear of the future. I’m going to Sudan because I have something to offer there. I can use my talents and acquired skills to assist the Sudanese people in their efforts to build a new future,” Brother Bill said.

“There is so much in life that is really a test of our inner strength, of the determination of our minds, of the resolution of our wills, of the faith and hope in our hearts. It’s time for me to put my hand up and be counted,” he added.

For more information about the De La Salle Brothers visit

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

A New Look

The mildly observant reader will have noticed a change to our masthead. We like to keep things fresh so that you are never too sure what you are going to get when you click that bookmark.

The cardinal, blue and gold stripes are taken from the cover of the 1971 magazine (as pictured). To counter the retro feel the poster image was taken from the school earlier in the year with the first fall of snow.

The next couple of weeks will see further changes to our format so if you have any ideas in that regard throw us an email with your cunning plan.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Different Decades, Different Haircuts

We had a visit last week from old boy Richard Schumacher - seen far right, second row in his 1972 magazine shot.

It is always great to have old boys back on campus and Richard was able to have a good look around. This was even more appropriate given that he is currently the Principal at Central Hawkes Bay College, a role he has had for the last 8 years. Prior to that Richard had been the boss at Flaxmere College in the Hawkes Bay.

We did not discuss the hair policy at his school but it does give us pause for thought as to how fashions have changed. We also note that there were 11 students in Year 13 in 1972 - a little bit less of a handful than the 70 odd we currently have.

Friday, 14 August 2009

A Busy Term

This time of year is always busy what with the winter sports coming to an end, farmers busy with new additions to their herd and students begining to think about those end of year exams.

We offer this entry from the 1971 magazine's diary of events. Interesting how some things have changed while others stay the same.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Almost Compulsory Military Training

We noted the recent discussion in the news media about the passing of compulsory military training and the "new" Boot Camps idea.

Seems to us it is not that new an idea and was perhaps most effective when all students were given a taste of military life. The discussion still stirs emotions from both sides of the political spectrum, all we know is that this group of FDMC cadets seems healthy, smart and well ordered.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


Why do teachers bother?
Well occasionally a student will grasp the concept and then find a completely novel way of applying it. The video illustrates the point. Either that or they get really good at doctoring movies.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The Age Of Caps

We have had exactly zero responses to last weeks photo question but we refuse to give in, and this week ask if you can identify the boys in the caps?

It seems unlikely that the cap will return as a fully fledged item of school uniform as it was hard to keep on ones head, especially with your mates around.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Great End To A Long season

Rugby club finals day on Saturday saw lots of winter sunshine and a great many current and past FDMC students in action.

Pictured in the Daily News is Teihorangi Walden about to make a tackle in the 1st XV's 24 to 14 win over Inglewood. This is the fifth year in a row that the 1st XV has taken out the Under 20 club title - well done to all concerned.

In what proved to be a great day for the Walden family, Teihorangi's father Kevin (an old boy from the 70's) coached the Coastal senior side to their first club title. There was a considerable FDMC presence in that team as well.

The winter sports season is drawing to a close and all old boys can rest assured that the sporting spirit at FDMC continues to grow and develop. It is a spirit that lives on as our students take their skills and enthusiasm to the wider world.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Newsletters and Websites

The latest college newsletter was published today and is accessible under newsletters on the FDMC website. If you are visiting the college website over the next week or so you will see that it is being redesigned and upgraded. You can expect the content to now be current but there might be some confusion as we add and remove features during this process.

For those who ordered Jubilee Rugby Jerseys we have submitted the orders and they are currently in production. We will sing out when they are delivered to FDMC. A reminder also that we have some Jubilee polo shirts and port which can still be purchased through the college office.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Friday Farmers

Last Friday saw the annual Sec. Schools Farm Safety and Practice Competition take place on the college farm.

For the third year in a row Hawera High School took out the honours but we have to say that FDMC has got the best venue, and there is alwaysa chance next year to take exploit the home farm advantage.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The FDMC Spirit

A great photo on the front page of today's Daily News showing that neither rain or result can dampen the spirits of the FDMC supporter. The painted crew were at the Gully to witness a close encounter between the two 1st XV sides which NPBHS narrowly won 14 to 9. It was a one mistake, one try difference sort of game with both sides showing that despite a very busy playing schedule this is always a match they will get up for.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Annual Fixture

Today sees the 14th annual 1st XV match between FDMC and NPBHS. This years fixture will take place on the Gully ground at 1 pm and promises to be another intense encounter between the two sides.

The photo opposite is from the very first match in 1996. Some may recognise a young, but ginger, Paul Tito being out jumped by an equally youthful Michael Sullivan.

Monday, 3 August 2009

News From The Brothers

While the news of the Brother's departure from FDMC is a sad one it is important that people realise that there is vitality still within the wider De La Salle Brother's community. The following are just a few examples.
  • This week three young men commenced their initial training for the Brothers in Melbourne in a programme known as "The Postulancy". Another young man recently began the same programme in Papua New Guinea.
  • Recently two groups of young men have been to experience the life and works of the Brothers in the Australian aboriginal community of Balgo Hills and the various works in PNG.
  • In an on going process young groups of La Sallian volunteers, both male and female, spend up to 12 months working among the more marginalised people in Australia, New Zealand and PNG.
  • Brothers Bill Firman and Denis Loft leave at the end of this month to establish a Teachers College in the Southern Sudan.
The Brothers continue to seek out and accept challenges the world over. You can keep track of their exploits and adventures by visiting the De La Salle web site.