Thursday, 28 January 2010

High Standards

As we said last week, the NCEA results are in for 2009. We have begun the analysis, and while we would always want more, we can confirm that last years senior students maintained the high standards set over the last decade.

The graph below outlines some broad comparative statistics - just click to enlarge it.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Peter Ingram - Black Cap

Great news yesterday of Peter Ingram's elevation to the ranks of the Black Caps. Peter has been teaching at the college for the last 5 years and has put a lot into the college and the cricket here during that time. Peter is on leave at the moment but remains a member of the FDMC staff.

Today's Daily News has all of the details, but the best part of Peter's selection is that it has rewarded his dedication and commitment over the course of his career.

We will be watching the series against Bangladesh with a great deal of interest over the next few weeks.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Facing The New Year

So far into the New Year I have had no power failures and all three phases working. Not that it is perfect. If I turn the big fan on or the electric jug, the added drain on the supply turns the fridge off. But it is manageable. I cooked a New Year’s lunch for the Sisters next door, to repay some of their hospitality, and am now enjoying ‘left-overs’ from the fridge. Likewise the Sisters!

Sharing is a very commendable way of life in Sudan. Many people see in the New Year in big crowds. So did I but with a difference. Yes, I attended another midnight mass with about four thousand people inside the Church compound and more outside in the street! Actually we started at 11:50 so that New Year came in at the Gloria when all bells rang and one hymn went for 10 minutes – with bells ringing. A long energetic, political homily was delivered by a young priest, Fr Onesimo, partly in English and partly in Arabic, about the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and declaring 2010 a year of peace. It seemed to be well received by the people but I regretted all the humorous parts were in Arabic.

The Sudanese clergy generally seem to be well-practiced orators with homilies delivered forcefully, emphatically and with some humour. One of the communion hymns seemed to me to go to the tune of ‘Old MacDonald had a Farm’ - I couldn't understand the words but I presume they were changed! Mass finished at 2:00am but it took at least 10 minutes to get out one of the two double gates. The traffic outside was chaotic on the dusty, unsealed road, but we live close enough to have walked.

I was invited by the Salesian Priests for the evening meal on New Year’s Day but declined - too
hot, after a big lunch with the Sisters, and too far on a dreadful road (about 8 kms), especially
after the short sleep of New Year's eve. As we all face another New Year, I thought I might
attach some of the faces of the people here – the Sudanese themselves and some of our team
from around the globe. The group photo of our Health Training team in Wau shows two doctors
and three nurses from four different countries united to help the people of Southern Sudan.
Each face in the photos reveals very little of a unique, personal story. What will the New Year bring to each? The gift of a continuing peace would certainly be welcomed by all of us here.

A peaceful and happy New Year to all.

Br Bill

Friday, 22 January 2010

Community Support

Be it 1960 or 2010 schools can not get by without the support of their community. The names and dress sense may have changed but the willingness of parents and friends of the college to give their time to fund raising and support activities is still a key to a great school.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Old Style Devotion

The first ever college magazine contains a few things that seem a little odd 50 years on. We know there are still people who pray the Novena but, as this article from the 1960 magazine shows, it was a lot more common back in the day.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Summer Sponsors

As we finally get a bit of warmth in our current summer we thought we should share a sponsors advert from the 1960 college magazine.

Frosty Jack might be gone, and the prices have certainly changed, but the support of sponsors in publishing the magazine remains an important factor.

This year's edition has had the support of over 20 local businesses, many of whom have a strong connection with the College.

Monday, 18 January 2010

The First Magazine

As we prepare for the 50th FDMC magazine to be published and distributed we thought it appropriate to look through the pages of the first college magazine, published in 1960.

Today's page is of the college prefects, and a fine, clean cut and upstanding group they look.

It would be interesting to know where these guys are now - just leave a comment if you have any ideas.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Rising Star

Nice photo and article in today's Daily News on our rising star Beauden Barrett. We also note that he did very well in his Level 3 NCEA exams as well so he is capable of more than just kicking a ball!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Old Photos

One of our goals for 2010 is to get as many of the old school photos as possible digitised so that they can be accessed by old boys and archived for future use and reference.

Here is one from the 1980's showing that i tis not just the recent 1st XI's that have been competitive within Taranaki.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Results Time

Today is a big day in the life of our senior students. The NZQA results are out and the waiting is over.

The school has access to the overall results and we can report that things look pretty good. Pass rates are up across all three year levels and there has been an improvement in the number of merit and excellence grades that students have achieved. There are very few students who not obtained a NCEA pass at the level they were attempting.

We now just wait for the Scholarship results in early February to see how well the "big guns" have done.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Better Than Predicted

Congratulations to Beauden Barrett on being named in the 16 man NZ Rugby Sevens training squad after Taranaki's great showing at the national tournament. Both Beauden and his brother Kane have now made national sides and there are a few more brothers to come through the system yet! It is now a possibility that Beauden could make the Commonwealth Games side and there is an Olympics down the line as well.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Go The Barrett Boys

Good article in today's Daily News on recent old boys Kane and Beauden Barrett, sons of old boy Kevin Smiley Barrett. Both sons are playing for Taranaki in this weekends Rugby Sevens competition in Queenstown, so if you are down that way or watching on TV look for the FDMC boys to have an impact.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Welcome To 2010

If 2009 was a year of Jubilee and a time to celebrate 50 years of FDMC, then 2010 should prove to be a year where we look ahead to the future and what it may hold. You can expect to see a number of new developments on our humble blog in the course of 2010 including
  • a link to our own Facebook page
  • regular use of Twitter to get those important messages out
  • a greater range of regular contributors to our blog
  • access to the photo archives for those who want to see themselves as they once were
The accompanying image is scary reminder of what you might see if you look back a little too often!