Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Gala Is A Goer

This year was the first time in many years that there hasn't been a FDMC Gala Day. We are pleased to announce that the tradition will begin anew in 2010 with the most likely date being March 20th.

The PTA has a great mix of new blood and past experience and they are looking to plan things well in advance. If you are able to help or contribute to next year's Gala Day come out swinging and send us an email at office@fdmc.school.nz.

Monday, 28 September 2009

The Good Word

One of our recent internet discoveries has been the word cloud site at www.wordle.net. Above is a word cloud generated from the "background to the brothers" page on the college web site. Something to play with for those of us on school holidays!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Well Done Peter Mac !

Congratulations to old boy Peter McDonald on his appointment as the national president of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

The Daily News has more details in today's edition.

Peter has been a great supporter of FDMC and the wider Taranaki community so it is great to see him taking those same ideals and skills to a national and international stage.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Administration - The Constant

A great photo from the archives today.

It just goes to show that Imperial Typewriter or wizz bang laptop the paperwork still has to be done, and that it always requires concentration.

Brother Benignus is the one performing the clerical duties. Brother was at FDMC for it's first 4 years so got to use the typewriter quite a lot.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The Blenheim Boys

Thanks to Br Declan for the background information to this photo which we recently put up on the FDMC web site.

In the early years of FDMC, it was not uncommon for a small number of boarders to come from Blenheim as the Brothers had been at St Mary's in Blenheim since 1953.

This photo was taken in 1962 during the brief visit of the Superior from Rome.

Within the group are the three Brothers from the Blenheim community with boarders who were former students at St Mary's.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Saturday Smile

A young executive was leaving the office at 6 pm when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.

"Listen," said the CEO, "this is a very sensitive and important document, and my secretary has left. Can you make this thing work?"

"Certainly," said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

"Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine, "I just need one copy."

Lesson: Never, ever assume that your boss knows what he's doing.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Last Men Standing

For the benefit of those who do not get the Daily News on a regular basis today's edition has an excellent article on the imminent departure of the Brother's community. You can visit the article by clicking on Daily News.

We also would like to remind old boys of the farewell function for the Brothers to be held Friday 23 October 2009 at 12.30pm. You can RSVP to the College at 06 753 6149 or office@fdmc.school.nz before 12 October to reserve your place.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Boarding Life

Taken from the recent update on our college web site is this page on the day in the life of a current boarder. We thought it might be of interest to some of you who may have experienced a slightly different regime.

A Day in The Life of a Boarder at La Salle House

Monday to Thursday

7:10am Rising – shower – beds made – dorm tidied
Breakfast – available until 8:00am
Organise daily requirements / uniform check
8:00am Optional study time in the library
8:30am Out of dormitory
8:45am School begins
12:45pm Lunch in dining room
3:10pm School ends
3:15pm Change out of school uniform
Afternoon tea
Free time – for outside play / supervised swim / practices etc
Optional study time in library
Town van runs - Monday : Year 9
- Tuesday : Year 10
- Wednesday : Year 11
6:00pm Dinner
7:00pm Study starts for all year levels. A fifteen-minute break is included half way through study time
8:45pm Study ends for Years 9 and 10 students
9:15pm Study ends for years 11, 12 and 13 students
9:00pm Year 9 in dorm – Lights out at 9:30pm
9:30pm Years 10 and 11 in dorm – Lights out at 10pm
10:00pm Year 12 to dorm
10:30pm Year 13 to dorm
Note: Seniors wanting late study or to watch television are to ask permission of their Boarding Master.

As per Monday to Thursday timetable, but from 3:15pm on wards the buses depart for Hawera and Coastal routes. Boarders travelling home privately are free to leave.
4:00pm Hostel locked for the weekend.

Saturday (Terms 2 & 3)
8:00am Rising
8:30am Breakfast
The Hostel will be locked at 9:30am.

Students may return to the Hostel from 7:00pm onwards.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Mystery Jumper

The latest contribution...

I tend to agree with Brian Schicker that the photograph of the 'mystery
jumper' is probably of Anthony Schumacher.
The construction of the gymnasium, in the background, certainly brings
back fond memories of Brother Fintan and his willing? band of 'Boarder'
Kind regards to all.
Bernard R. Philpott.
Boarder, 1962-1964 inclusive.

Great to get more feedback on who the high jumper might be. After yesterday's suggestion from Fr Kevin Neal that it might be Vic Douba we have had two further suggestions.

I have just read the blog page and Fr Kev feels that it might be Vic Douba in the high jump photo. I personally don’t think so, as Vic was in my class and he was not as tall as the guy in this photo, nor was he as dark colouring as this person. My feeling is that it would appear to be Anthony Schumacher.

Brian Schicker
FDMC Boarder, 1962-64

And from Colin Armstrong

I think the guy is John Schumacher (not sure Ive spelt that surname correctly) Cheers Colin

As always we remain open to confirmation or further suggestions.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Early Days

We know you have seen this image before but we can't resist using it from time to time. It is included in an article called The Early History Of FDMC which is a new article on our school web site (click to visit). While it is a new article for the web site it is in fact an old piece of work, taken from the 25th Jubilee programme.

Thanks to Father Kevin Neal for his email concerning the high jumper we posted last week. Father Kev has a feeling the jumper is Vic Duoba - can any one confirm?

Monday, 14 September 2009

The Generation Game

Thanks to Alicja Dodunski for her photo and email concerning her families four generations of involvement with FDMC. Alicja had this to say.

Jordi Thompson in year 7 is a Grandchild of John Dodunski who attended FDMC. In fact Jordi's Great Grandfather Norman Dodunski (who is 93 and still alive) helped clear the land as a volunteer so FDMC could be built. Jodi's Great Uncles Ian and Robert Dodunski where first day pupils at FDMC. I think my Dad, John was a pupil in the second year of opening. Also Jodi's father Glenn Thompson was a pupil. His cousins Stefhan and Jesse Steer and David and Phillip Lepper also attended. So we have 4 generations affiliated with the school.

I also used to as a little girl come to church with my Grandad Norman in the chapel at FDMC when it was open to the public. Those were fond memories.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Well Done Fellas

Good pic and story in today's Daily News concerning Taranaki's victory over Wellington in last night's game. Good to see old boy Tony Penn being able to add the victory to his scrapbook of Taranaki memories.

Close followers of rugby will have noted that there were 5 Francis Douglas old boys involved in the game; TP, Shane Cleaver, Leon Power, Carl Carmichael and for Wellington Scott Fuglistaller. The even more reflective would note that they are all forwards, three of them front rowers!

We are sure that there are plenty more FDMC boys who will be capable of following in these guys footsteps in the future.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

On Close Inspection

The following is an extract from our recently released Education Review Office (ERO) report. We are very pleased with what they have to say and you can rest assured that your old school remains in good heart. The full report can be accessed at FDMC ERO Report.

“Francis Douglas Memorial College is an integrated Catholic boys’ college situated among pleasant and well cared for grounds in New Plymouth. The roll is 738 boys in Years 7 to 13, of whom 116 are boarders and 83 are Maori. The special character of the school is reflected in the emphasis on a holistic education based on Catholic principles and the Lasallian
tradition of faith, service and community. Together, leaders and staff encourage students to
become caring, honest citizens.

Students perform very well academically when compared to students from other boys’ schools and those of the same decile. Since the July 2005 ERO report, most students leaving school have attained a formal National Certificate of Education Achievement (NCEA) qualification. In 2008, 73% of Year 13 candidates achieved university entrance, which is well above the national average for similar schools. The principal, newly appointed at the beginning of
2009, articulates a vision for raising the levels and types of student achievement still further. He has begun inclusive staff, community and trustee consultation, and planned intensive professional development for teaching staff. Meaningful departmental reporting to the board, based on the collection and analysis of achievement data, should assist with realising this vision.

Students enjoy participating in a range of sporting, leadership and cultural opportunities within a supportive environment. High levels of care and concern for student welfare, as well as academic progress, are observable in the daily life of the College.

Students work with high levels of enthusiasm and a good deal of productive endeavour in an environment of mutual respect. They are firmly focused on learning, are well behaved and appreciative of thoughtfully selected learning contexts that connect with adolescent boys. The school is a learning community distinguished by positive and respectful relationships between students and teachers and peers.

Managers and staff, of the well-run hostel, provide a high standard of academic, physical and emotional care in a nurturing and safe environment. They allow boarding students to take responsibility for themselves within a framework of College tradition and expectation.

The experienced board of trustees and the capable senior leadership team assist the principal to provide effective and innovative leadership, support his vision for the school and his sensitivity with relationships. Trustees, leaders and staff are considering the demands of, and opportunities offered by, the new curriculum. They are integrating the curriculum with their sound platform of traditional Lasallian values to provide an education that will enable students to face future challenges with confidence.

ERO is confident that the board of trustees can manage the school in the interests of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

For The High Jump

Thanks to Br Declan for finding this great old shot of the college. It is not one we have seen before.

The gym is under construction, with the help of many boarders, as they will readily tell you! The athlete must have been able to avoid work detail but we are unable to identify him. If you know who he is, leave a comment on this post or send us an email.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Sad News

The front page of today's Daily News has given us more details surrounding the sudden passing of old boy Paul Hartigan. We received the news of Paul's death on Friday and it now appears he has. at least in part, been a victim of the Swine Flu epidemic.

Paul was 41 years old and was a "character" from the classes of the 1980s. He had lived and worked locally since leaving school and was active and cheerful member of the community. Paul's son Brandon is currently a Year 11 student at FDMC - a fact we know Paul was quite proud of.

Paul, Brandon and all of their family can be assured of our prayers and support at this time.

Friday, 4 September 2009

A Farewell To The Brothers

The following notice appears in this weeks college newsletter and is as relevant to old boys as to current students and parents.

As the Founders and Proprietors of Francis Douglas Memorial College in New Plymouth, the De La Salle Brothers have given more than 50 years’ service to school, hostel and God.
As they prepare to leave this city later this year our school community wishes to farewell and salute the Brothers for their generosity and achievements. Accordingly, a gathering will be hosted at the College on Friday 23 October 2009 at 12.30pm. It will take the form of a buffet luncheon interspersed with speeches of tribute. All are welcome to attend this complimentary function.

RSVP to the College at 06 753 6149 or office@fdmc.school.nz before 12 October to reserve your place.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Bugsy Malone

The School Production is an aspect of college life that has been around for as long as the school itself. Today's photo is of an early production of what we suspect must be Huck Finn and friends. This year's production is Bugsy Malone and we can provide you with the following information.

Tickets are now available for this long awaited joint SGHC and FDMC Production.

Performances are at the Sacred Heart Events Centre on Tuesday 8th, Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th of September at 7.00pm.

Tickets available at the FDMC Office- Adults $15.00/ Children/students $10.00 You could even reserve a table for 10 and be close to the action!

If you like an ‘old school’ mafia boy meets girl slapstick comedy containing characters named Bugsy, Tallulah, Bronx Charlie, Roxy, Fizzy, Blousey, Fat Sam, Dandy Dan, Louella, Doodle, Loretta, Leroy, Knuckles, Snake Eyes, Louis, Angelo, Captain Smolsky and O’Dreary….this will definitely be for you!!!

Come along and support the students and staff who have worked hard to create this drama. See you there!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

More Than Just Sums

Great news today of success for some of our senior students in the NZ Senior Mathematics competition. 1250 of the best secondary school mathematicians entered this year's competition which is a test of high level mathematics knowledge and application. Two of our students, Shane Rooyakers and Issac Mischefski, were placed in the elite top 100 students. A further FDMC student Micheal Putt was awarded a merit certificate for placing in the next 100 candidates.

We were the only school in Taranaki to have students achieve in this competition which is a great pat on the back for the students and their teacher Mr Graeme Mustchin.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Group Photos

Speaking with Roger French last week he tells us that there has been a good up take of group photos from the Jubilee.

The photos will remain available for some time and can be accessed by visiting French Photography in New Plymouth or making contact through the link in the side bar of this blog.