Monday, 31 May 2010

From The Newsletter

The latest college newsletter is out and contains a little more information on this Friday's Founder's Day celebrations.

On Friday 4 June we celebrate Founder’s Day. All members of our community are welcome to the Mass at 9:30am. This year it will be held in St Joseph’s parish church. Students will then return to the school for cultural items and that traditional pie!

Francis Douglas Memorial College, as a Lasallian Catholic institution, traces its origins to a priest and educational innovator of 17th century France, Saint John Baptist De La Salle. Born in 1651, De La Salle began a new system of Christian Schools in which the teachers assist parents in the educational, ethical and religious formation of their children. To continue his vision, John Baptist De La Salle founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (De La Salle Brothers). The spiritual and educational insights of Saint John Baptist De La Salle are the foundations of our Lasallian Community. Over 4,000 De La Salle Brothers, along
with 56,000 Lasallian lay colleagues, serve over three quarters of a million students and their families worldwide. In Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea there are 30 Lasallian educational institutions. Francis Douglas Memorial College, New Plymouth is one of the three Lasallian colleges in New Zealand.

4 June 2010 is the day that we come together as a community to celebrate the life and vision of this great man, our Founder.

The programme for Founder's Day is:

8:45am Vertical Form
9:30am Mass at St Joseph’s
11.00am Interval at the College
11:15am O’Shea Shield Performance
11.30am House singing
12:30pm Pie Distribution

Friday, 28 May 2010

Br Bill Diaries

Br Bill continues to give of himself in the Sudan and to keep us informed of his varied experiences. The following is a posting he has entitled Rich and Poor and is certainly worth reflecting on.

It was mid-afternoon and overcast. Now that some rain has come, so have many new birds with a very diverse range of calls and chirps, some unlike any I have heard before. Suddenly, there was something quite different, the repeated sounds of distant gunshots. ‘Can you hear the shooting?’ I heard one sister call out. ‘Where is it coming from?’ ‘Across the river’, I replied. It didn’t last long. Someone said, ’I wonder if there are many dead’. Two, we found out later.

The elections were peaceful but there was another incident a few days ago, reportedly near Malakal but actually quite some distance away, where one group of soldiers attacked another. Eight were reported as killed on one side and ‘probably some’ on the other.

This is the stark reality of Southern Sudan. One day there can be a huge crowd for a joyful celebration of some event, be it religious or otherwise, and the next day some ‘puffed up’ leader sends his troops into action. You see the very best of people enjoying life together with an admirable simplicity and gratitude. There are many, very many happy, smiling kids roaming unconcerned and innocent in the neighbourhoods of their simple homes. Yet there is also the chilling reality of the presence of many soldiers in varied uniforms – there are three separate armies in Malakal - and one is never surprised to see men carrying guns.

Life here can be very rich, not in material goods but in times shared and enjoyed; but it can also be lacking in what many think are the basic necessities. If I remember correctly, in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs’, there were originally four levels. The lowest level is that of physical needs - the need for food and clothing. The second level is that of security needs - we need to feel safe and out of danger. The third level is the need for love and belongingness - we want to be cared about and to be accepted by others. The fourth level is that of self-actualisation - to feel we are doing something worthwhile, achieving by our own efforts. Maslow suggested something to the effect of satisfying lower levels of need in order to be able to aspire to higher levels. Somehow it doesn’t quite work like that here – but perhaps I am misinterpreting Maslow!

People here cannot take levels one and two for granted, as many do in first world societies. Many people struggle to get potable water. The food they eat is very basic. Good health care – medical, dental, optical – is not available to many, or is beyond their means. The children are among the most uneducated people on this earth. There is the terrible insecurity of a possible return to war. Many Sudanese people would be labelled by others as ‘poor’.

Yet the Sudanese people are ‘rich’ - at levels three and four. Here there is far more caring and sharing than I have witnessed in most first world societies. I surmise that every man putting a new roof on his own house and providing for his family feels more ‘self-actualised’ than do many in ‘richer’ countries for whom the pursuit of wealth and material goods has become the dominant goal. The people of Sudan are rich in family life and friendships. I see some of them happily working long hours, in very hot conditions and being content with a month’s salary lower than what an Australian tradesman demands for an hour’s work. I see women cheerfully carrying huge burdens for no pay at all! They do not expect an easy life but they create a happy life.

Maybe ‘rich or poor’ is the wrong notion: we too glibly tend to think rich is good and poor is bad. Maybe a ‘hierarchy of needs’ is not the best model: we too easily think there are steps to climb. It seems to me that the real questions are more along the lines of ‘Who, or what, do I really value?’ or ‘Do I have the right attitude to the gift of life?’

It is evident in Sudan that one can have a very happy and joyful life, a meaningful life, without many of the goods often viewed as essential. The people appreciate what little they have, even a glass of clean water. They thank God for the gift of living and of being Sudanese.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Founder's Day

Founder's Day Mass will be held at St Josephs Parish New Plymouth on Friday 4 June at 9.30am. Any old boys or friends of the college who would like to attend are more than welcome.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Player Of The Year

Well done to staff member Peter Ingram on being named Central Districts Player of the Year. We have spoken before about what a great example Peter is to students past and present when it comes to performing on the sports field.

While disappointed not to have had a crack at the T20 in the West Indies, Peter is back in front of his classes at FDMC and preparing for the next challenge.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A New Board

The recent BOT elections saw a good number of people put their names forward and a solid turn out of voters. There has been a considerable change in board members with only Alan Johnston, Janet Fleming and Ross MacNicol carrying over from the last board.

Board of Trustees Election Results

Declaration of Parent and Staff Representative Election Results

Parent Representative Votes
Kieran Browne 242
Garth Clarricoats 102
Janet Fleming 270
Alan Johnston 236
David Leuthart 241
Solveig Schuster 138
Jacquie Taylor 38
Anthony Vincent 276

I hereby declare the following duly elected
Kieran Browne
Janet Fleming
Alan Johnston
David Leuthart
Anthony Vincent

Staff Representative Votes
Ross MacNicol 38
Richard Marris 14

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

London 2012?

Good article (and photo) on old boy Dylan Dunlop-Barrett in today's Daily News. Talent plus character may yet be the formula that gets him to the Olympics.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Mass In Slow Motion

Bishop Peter Cullinane and team will be in attendance at four evenings to deepen our
love of the Mass leading to ‘full and active participation’ on the following dates:
Wednesday 19 May, 9 June, 30 June and 4 August at 5.30 pm - 9.00 pm.
Everyone is welcome (NB shared finger tea)
Enquiries please phone 06 350 3823 or

Monday, 17 May 2010

La Salle House Information Evenings

La Salle House is the boarding hostel for Francis Douglas Memorial College.

An invitation is extended to all families whose sons have recently been accepted in Year 9 in La Salle House Hostel for 2011 and to those who are interested in sending their sons boarding in Year 9 in 2011 and beyond.

You are welcome to attend a Hostel Information evening in one of the following locations at 7.30pm:

Tuesday 18 May Hawera St Joseph's Parish Hall

Monday 24 May Opunake Stephen & Janet Fleming's home

334 Watino Rd, RD 32, Opunake

Monday 31 May Stratford Peter & Min McDonald's home

248 Warwick Rd, Stratford

Friday, 14 May 2010

From The Daily News

Congratulations to Beauden Barrett on being named in the NZ Sevens rugby team to play the last two tournaments at Twickers and Murrayfield. He turns 19 while away and we are convinced we will see a lot more of him on the playing field over the next decade.

Also in today's paper was a short article on Br Ollie's roses. We have spoken about this before but if you would like to purchase on or more of these famous plants give the college a ring at 06 7536149. We do not deliver overseas!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Andrew Harris Assembly

Just a reminder that tomorrow sees a whole school assembly for Andrew Harris, old boy and alpine hero. The picture opposite shows Andrew on top of a mountain (not Everest) but more importantly he is wearing the FDMC tie!

We include the notice from the Principal for all those who are interested in tomorrow's assembly.

Fri 14 May we are hosting the parents (Ron and Mary) and the brother (David) of the late Andrew Harris at a whole school assembly at 10:30. This will be a way of remembering a great FDMC hero and a fitting way for us to mark Catholic Schools Day which is on the following Wednesday. All members of the public are welcome.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

O'Shea Report

Thanks to Richard Marris for the following report on the O'Shea Shield. Richard and his team where key in organising a very successful first hosting of this event.

The 65th O'Shea Shield weekend has been held at Francis Douglas Memorial College. We have once again managed to win events but the O'Shea Shield itself still eludes us. On Saturday morning we won our debate with a team of Jason French, Rhys Williams and Anthony Finnerty outclassing the girls from St Catherine's College. George Grainger was successful in retaining the Impromptu Cup he won last year. Chaz Jones won the Junior Speech to continue the tradition of us having a pretty firm hold on this event over the years. Christian McSweeney-Novak climbed off a plane from Gallipoli and delivered a very polished oratory for which he was placed 1st equal. There was a good performance in the drama from the team of 5 - Alistair Murray, Tane Clement, Shane Garner, Scott Alexander and Nathan Seaver and these events had us placed near the top by the end of Saturday.

On Sunday we didn't go quite so well with our religious questions team coming last and our scripture reading being one of the lower marks. In the end we were 10= out of the 17 schools.

Overall it was a great weekend and other schools are very complimentary about our warm welcome, the way events ran, the students who ran events, the food and also the wonderful venue we provided for the drama which was held at West City Church.

It was also great to have some past students involved. Sam Barrett helped coach the debating team along with ex staff member Christine Alexander. Ross Williams was one of the adjudicators for the impromptu and Mark Leuthard adjudicated the drama. Chip McCabe was the MC for the drama night. Ex staff member, Margaret Wright coached the scripture reading.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

1st XV in Brisbane

A little bit after the fact but the following is a detailed report from the 1st XV's trip to Queensland.

FORWARDS: Mason Barnes, Scott Barrett, Paul Burrows, Shaun Burrows, Tim Glass, Callum Ireland, Taylor Jackson, Dylan Juffermans, Tom Lord, Seth Marshall, Scott Mellow, Thomas Nagel, Zac Power, Callum Schrader. BACKS: Dion Beer, Ryan Bishop, Dave Bryan, Nick Childs, Joe Clarke, Patrick Forsythe, Emmett Hurley, Jordan Lampe, Troy Stevenson, Teihorangi Walden, Dylon Walsh, Sam Wells MANAGEMENT: Steve Simpson, Tim Stuck, Mark Stevenson, Kevin Walden, Sjaane Simpson

The 1st XV rugby tour of Brisbane began on Thursday 8 April with two groups of 15 flying from New Plymouth to Auckland, the first group at 8.15am and the second at 10.40am. Check in with Qantas in Auckland went smoothly and the group waited patiently for the 3.50pm flight. McDonalds proving to be as popular as ever!

We arrived in Brisbane at 5.40pm and on clearing customs we were met by the Rolo Van Hire rep. Vans inspected we navigated in the dark to our home for the next five nights, Marist College, Ashgrove. Only one missed turn and a quick check of the maps and we managed to find our destination, dinner was ready and waiting, and well received by the group.

After breakfast on Friday was a tough training for two reasons, one because the coaches made it tough and two because the temperature was close to 30 degrees. The swimming pool at the school was a welcome relief and the bomb competition was eagerly contested, Dave “X” Bryan showing good form. That evening we drove down to Robina for the much anticipated league game at Skilled park between the Titans and the Storm. Parking near the ground being the only problem on the night. A great game and the boys as you would expect enjoyed the acrobatic cheerleaders.

Saturday was the start of our rugby games at the Brisbane Grammar School Festival, not at the school as we expected but twenty minutes north near Nudgee, fortunately we had found this out the day before. First up was St Laurence’s, we began well and were leading 12 to nil at half time. Unfortunately we went to sleep in the second half, possibly the heat, and ended up drawing 12 each. Tries to Tei Walden and Dave Bryan and one conversion to Nick Childs. Next we had a Nudgee team which we put away 36 to 7. Tries to Ryan Bishop, Emmett Hurley, Sam Wells, Dion Beer, Tei Walden and Jordan Lampe. A conversion each from Tom Lord, Tei Walden and Paddy Forsythe.

Sunday saw us return to the Brisbane Grammar School Festival. Our first game was against another Nudgee squad, which we out played 48 to nil. Tries to Dion Beer 2, Shaun Burrows, Dylon Walsh, Nick Childs 2, Taylor Jackson and Joe Clarke. Conversions Nick 2, Tom Lord and Paddy Forsythe. Our final game of the festival was against Ormiston College. The coaches told the team that they could still play better and to cut out the individual stuff. They responded positively to this and really put it together winning 63 to nil. Tries to Dion Beer 3, Dave Bryan 2, Dylon Walsh 2 (all wingers), Seth Marshall 2, Tei Walden and Emmett Hurley. Conversions Tom Lord 2, Tei and Paddy.

On Monday and Tuesday we travelled south to the Gold Coast Theme Parks - Dreamworld and Whitewater World. The boys and management all enjoyed the thrills and adrenaline rush. At Dreamworld - The Big Drop, Tower of Terror and Wipeout were all very popular. The Claw had many takers with even Mark Stevenson having a go, the legs a bit wobbly at the end. Whitewater World had The Octopus race slides, The Wedgie and The Green Room (Stucky was not happy as we flew up the side wall!)

On Tuesday afternoon we headed to St Joseph’s, Nudgee for the boys to be billeted for two nights. Many travelling by bus or train for anything up to an hour and a half. We met at 8.30am on Wednesday and took the train into Brisbane CBD so the boys could do some shopping.

The game against Nudgee was at 3.45pm. The boys did a powerful rendition of the school haka, led by Teihorangi Walden, and this was received well. We started well and scored first when Thomas Nagel at No 8, put Ryan Bishop away, who fed Tim Glass for the first try. Tom Lord converting. Nudgee responded to draw level on the 20 minute mark. Two quick tries on the half hour pushed Nudgee ahead, then some poor tackling on half time meant we were down 24 to 7 at the break. The big Nudgee forwards started the second half with some tight driving play and they managed another three tries, two were converted. The college team never gave up and finished strongly. The backs gaining some good field position allowing the forwards to drive from a lineout to score the final try by Scott Mellow. Final score 12 - 43.

A very enjoyable and successful tour. Thanks to our supporters at all the games, the Mellows, the Childs and the Barretts.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Sons Of Old Boys

Do you have a son who is eligible to attend FDMC next year? The following notice from the college gives details on tomorrow night's open evening.

Our Open Evening is Tuesday 11 May at 6.30 pm in the college gymnasium.
Parents wishing to enrol their son at the College to commence in Year 7 or Year 9 in 2011 are requested to attend, with their son, an Open Evening at the College at 6.30 pm on Tuesday 11 May 2010 where enrolment procedures will be explained and the College may be inspected.

For more information or to enrol, please phone our Registrar Maree Fleming on 06 753 6149 or email

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Academic Colours 2010

This year's academic colours were awarded on the basis of a new set of criteria. A colours award was given to any student at Year 11 or 12 who was awarded 50 or more credits at an excellence level. The following students gained an academic colour award.

Level 2

Simon Gray -- 75 excellence credits
Tane Clement -- 74 excellence credits
Aniket Mehendale -- 72 excellence credits
Troy Stevenson -- 68 excellence credits
Lance Molyneaux -- 68 excellence credits
Luke Duthie -- 55 excellence credits
Tim Apps -- 53 excellence credits
Christian McSweeney-Novak -- 51 excellence credits

Level 1

Jonathan Carey -- 90 excellence credits
Joe Bracegirdle -- 70 excellence credits
Joshua Walsh -- 67 excellence credits
Hadley Northcott -- 65 excellence credits
Scott Busing -- 64 excellence credits
Kieran O'Donnell -- 54 excellence credits
Jarrod Bakker -- 54 excellence credits
Teihorangi Walden -- 52 excellence credits
George Grainger -- 50 excellence credits

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Old Boy's News

  • Yesterday saw the first annual Boof Fleming Memorial Bowls Tournament held at West End Bowling Club. The day brought together the bowling and racing fraternities along with Boof's extended family, three groups close to his heart. A great day was had by all and it was good to see so many FDMC old boys of different generations involved.
  • Congratulations to Nick Sutton and Dennay Cottam who have both been named in NZ junior cycling teams. Their ride towards greater honours continues.