Friday, 30 July 2010

A Brother (And Sister) College

For many older old boys there were only two De La Salle Colleges in NZ, ourselves and DLS Mangere. In more recent times the brothers have had a presence at and input to John Paul College in Rotorua who now form a third corner to our Lasallian triangle. The following is a report from Y13 student Jan Coetzee on his recent visit to John Paul College.

Last week, on Wednesday 21st July, a team of three Francis Douglas students, Alejandro Barrientos, Tane Butler and myself accompanied by our Principal, Mr Martin Chamberlain and Leodrina, set forth to our fellow Lasaillian school, John Paul College. We were chosen to represent our College for the opening of The Edmund Rice Centre, followed by an amazing Founder’s day.

The trip started with a
long drive to Rotorua, but upon arrival we were immediately welcomed with a dinner and taken on board by various billets - most being familiar faces due to past experiences. We all gathered the next day in what seemed like a very “institutionalised”
school with many new buildings and equipment.

The day followed a programme that started with
Mass, celebrated by the Most Reverend Bishop Denis Brown. The Mass marked the official opening of JPC's new gym, known as the “Edmund Rice Centre”. There were a diverse number of representatives from across the region including the Josephite Sisters, Christian Brothers and the De La Salle Brothers. Continuing on, there was a fluoro dance party, Zumba classes and even a talent show where
the school teachers featured.

Overall it turned out to be a very eventful and
memorable Founder’s Day with Year 13 students
coordinating the day’s activities. I greatly appreciate the hospitality of John Paul College and would like to see more interaction between our schools.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

ITM Cup - Here We Are

Today sees the start of the "real" season for most rugby heads. The following are the FDMC old boys involved in playing in this year's ITM Cup. Every year a few more!

Beauden Barrett
Kane Barrett
Carl Carmichael
Shane Cleaver
Scott Ireland
Leon Power

Scott Fugistaller
Conrad Smith

Liam Coltman

If we have missed any one just let us know.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A Recent Visitor

Back in town over the last few weeks was Andy Sorenson. Andy taught and supervised in the Hostel in the mid 1990's.

Since being at FDMC Andy has been living in, first Vanuatu, and then the Solomon Islands, where he has been involved in teaching and educational management. He is currently Principal of a school on one of the outlying islands in the Solomons.

Andy was in fine fettle but the pipe that so many old boys will remember was no longer in evidence.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Notice Board

Although it is difficult to give out personal information over the internet we can act as an info broker for past students. The following is a good example. It is a request from old boy Tim Gisler...

Joe Riordan was at FDMC from 1973 -1977. I went to uni with Joe and want to get back in contact with him. Does anyone have a contact for Joe. If so, this would be greatly appreciated.

If you have an answer to Tim's question email us and we will pass it on.

Friday, 23 July 2010

"Pingers" Gets The Call

Congratulations to staff member Peter Ingram who has been called into the Black Caps tour to replace an injured Jesse Ryder. While we know Pete would have been happier to be selected straight off we also know that he will bring everything he has to the team. Peter remains an excellent sporting role model to the students at the college an we wish him well in sunny Sri Lanka.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

What We Are After!

This is the sort of thing we would love to post more often on this blog. A bit of history from an old boy, in this case Jamie Turner. Thanks to Jamie and we hope it will inspire a few more "bio's" - just email us at FDMC Old Boys.

A little bio from Jamie Turner :
  • Went to AUS straight after school - hooked up with Daniel Zimmerman and Michael Clay and then found my own way
  • Competed as an athlete (cyclist) for 7 years - all over the place and spent a bit of time in NZ
  • Started Uni in 96 - Did a Bach Education and also did Ex Science - completed 1999
  • Starting coaching in 1996 - working with Triathlon
  • Did some teaching in 2000-2002 - Highlight was coaching the girls Rugby Teams at Bomaderry High School in 2002
  • Began full time coaching position with NSW Institute of Sport in 2003
  • Was Australian Institute of Sport Coach in 2004/2005
  • Beijing Olympics - Coach
  • Head Coach NSW Institute of Sport 2008-present
  • Based in Wollongong - NSW - AUS from Oct - April and then in Vitoria, Basque Country ,Spain from May - September
  • Partner Carina (she is Sth African so watch out when the game is on!) - have 4 Huskies - no children as yet ...
  • 40 next year .....
Great to be in touch
Best wishes to all

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Hostel Staff

The hostel has always been the heart of the college. One of the real strengths of the hostel in recent years has been the quality and consistency of the people staffing it. We have included a staff list which will have many familiar names to those ex hostel members of the last decade.

It is also great to see old boys like Kevin Barrett and Steven Poole putting their time and energy back into work on the Board.

Dean of Boarding - Mrs Sjaane Simpson
Year 13 Boarding Supervisor - Mr Steve Simpson
Year 12 Boarding Supervisor - Mr Andy Cowie
Year 11 Boarding Supervisor - Mr Mark Walsh
Year 10 Boarding Supervisor - Mrs Sjaane Simpson
Year 9 Boarding Supervisor - Mr Matthew Goodwin
Matron - Mrs Sandra Kelsen

Janet Fleming (Chairperson)
Kevin Barrett
Steven Poole
Craig Wisnewski
Brother Pat Lynch

Monday, 19 July 2010

Term 3 Begins

The year rolls on with today the first day of Term 3.

Various events mark the time of the year. End of season winter sports finals are some of those events and we will bring you details of how well our teams have done over the next few weeks.

One almost constant is our 1st XV playing in the final of the TRFU Under 20 competition on Finals Day at Yarrow Stadium. The team has qualified again and will play Southern who have proved their biggest challenge in this years competition. All the best fellas, there will be plenty of old boys watching on the day.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Faces From the Past

While we were flicking through the 1973 magazine we came across a number of staff photos that jogged a lot of memories. Pictured above are a young Br (now Father) Kevin Neal and Dan Keegan, and an ageless Mrs Eileen O'Neill. All great contributors to FDMC in their own ways.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Talk It Up

We haven't visited the old magazines for some time so thought we might take a trip down memory lane over the next few postings.

Today's offering is the debating team of 1973. We note a number of famous names and have no doubt they could all talk up a storm.In some cases we suspect they still are.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Trouble For The TAB

While the TAB has reportedly been making lots of money on the soccer world cup we suspect they are a little concerned about the heavy betting on our man Conrad to score a try.

Let us hope we continue to profit from his good form.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Br Mark In Rome

Br Bill is not the only blogging brother. Br Mark McKeon has also got the posting habit, with his most recent effort a description of his time in Rome.

Every two years newly appointed leaders from various Districts around the world are invited to Casa Generalizia (International Headquarters for the De La Salle Brothers) in Rome.

It’s a pretty incredible opportunity for those who are asked to go – I mean how many people are offered the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world?

But while being able to travel and do a bit of site-seeing is a great perk of the trip, it’s not the reason for getting us all to Rome. In fact, the purpose of the gathering comes back to one of the Brothers’ five vows – the one most people know nothing about – the vow of association.

I am convinced of the truth in the claim that a small group of committed people can change the world. The Brothers believe that working alone you’ll only ever be able to achieve so much. But working as a global group, through the extended support and resources that become available, the impact the Brothers are able to make on the lives of those in need is that much greater. It means that our service to the poor and marginalised has a global context which is critical because there are people living in desperate situations and in poverty stricken families and communities all over the world.

Last month 16 Brothers from throughout the world came together in Rome. There were Brothers from Madagascar, Brazil, Belgium, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Rwanda, France, Ireland, Chile, Poland, Congo, Cameroon, Canada, the USA, and of course myself from Australia.

Leaders from various regions were united so that stronger connections could be established amongst the Brothers who were present. As someone new to a leadership role, it also served as a good opportunity to chat with those who hold similar positions about how we are all tackling our responsibilities.

During the week-long gathering, I became very aware of the extent of the work being done by the Brothers and those who work alongside them in the Lasallian mission. Their stories were simply incredible.

Hearing firsthand about the situations in countries like Rwanda and Sri Lanka that have been ravaged by wars was particularly moving. It was amazing to learn about the resilience of people who have been traumatized by war. I felt fortunate to be carrying out the mission in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea – to be in relatively peaceful countries.

Living in a multicultural country like Australia, it is hard to comprehend situations where conflicts are ethnically or socially motivated. The race riots at Cronulla a couple of years ago only give a minor insight into sources of conflict.

After speaking with Br Denzil from Sri Lanka and Br Venant from Rwanda, it became clear that the recent wars in both countries came about as a result of experiences of injustice. Br Denzil identified the core problem in Sri Lanka as being one of identity with the Tamils seeking to establish an independent Tamil state. Living in Australia you can see the issue of identity being played out in our own history.

Despite the language barriers and cultural differences, there was a real sense of solidarity among the Brothers who were present. While we are engaged in such different work around the world, we are all part of the same mission: the human and Christian education of young people, especially the poor.


Br Mark

Thursday, 8 July 2010

In The News

Lots of FDMC content in today's Daily News.

  • We wish recent old boy Nick Sutton all the best as he heads of to represent NZ in Canada. Nick's cycling looks like it could take him many places in due course.
  • We note Neil Volzke is going to stand for Mayor of Stratford, a position that has a very long history of FDMC involvement given Brian Jeffares long term of office.
  • Good luck to all the ex FDMC players who begin the rep rugby season with a game against Hawkes Bay tomorrow. Beaudan and Kane Barrett will make their Taranaki debuts but also in the action will be Scott Ireland, Carl Carmichael, Leon Power and Shane Cleaver. Not that we keep count but we note only two NPBHS old boys in the same side!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Keeping Up With the Brothers

Our post last week on Br Bill Firman mentioned the De La Salle Brother's web site. This is a great source of up to date information on Brothers you may have known. We came across this posting concerning Br Dennis Loft who was a very memorable contributor to the FDMC community in the 1970's.

The Age (Melbourne) Magazine has Br Denis Loft nominated as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Melbourne because of his ‘Coolies’ programme.

Schoolies Week is synonymous with excited 17 and 18 year olds letting loose and having a good time. But, while the majority of school graduates may choose to celebrate doing nothing other than sun baking on a beach, Br Denis Loft offers graduates an opportunity mark their time after school as more than just a few weeks of self indulgence.

Since 2006, Br Denis Loft, a teacher at De La Salle College in Malvern has been taking a group of Year 12 graduates to India to work as “Coolies” (unskilled labourers) to assist the work of the Brothers in Tamil Nadu, India to build houses for poor families in rural villages.

This year 12 students from De La Salle College Malvern will head to India for the six week program.

In the last three years, Br Denis and his volunteers through Coolies have built 30 houses and 2 school block.

The Coolies program started by Br Denis has had a far and wide influence with a number of schools now offering volunteer programs as alternatives to the the Year 12 schoolies celebrations.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Br Bill - The Blog!

From time to time we have posted articles from past Principal Br Bill Firman on his life and times in the Sudan. We notice the De La Salle Brothers web site now carries a Br Bill Blog. Click on the link for more regular up dates on what he is up to.

Br Bill Blog

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The Geo Trip

Many old boys will recall the Year 13 Geography trip as time of learning and entertainment and what ever else you could get up to ( Brendon Hart, we still remember!). The following is the report from this year's expedition to Rotorua.

On the 16th to 18th of June, Year 13 Geography students undertook a fieldtrip to Rotorua to study tourism development in the city. The trip was led by Mr MacNicol and Mr Wales and served the purpose of giving the students a first hand experience of visiting the city and experiencing its attractions. This information is invaluable as it gives the students a better understanding of the theory behind tourism development when studying for the external
exams. Below is an account of the Field Trip from a student’s perspective, written by Mattheus
Van Der Lee.

“A blistering cold, 6.30am wake up was not the most inviting start to start the day. However, after getting up, packing, and having Mum chasing after me saying “having a pie and Lift Plus isn’t the best breakfast!” I was ready in eager anticipation about the trip ahead. Our Geography group of 25 left the College at 8am to brave the sights and smells of
Rotorua. The bus ride to Rotorua was interesting. Everyone was in high spirits, reluctantly missing out on 3 days of school to take lots of notes... and experience some of the tourist attractions as well.

but was welcomed by the infamous aroma with no time to adjust. We were guided through Te My first experience of Rotorua was not a pleasant one! I stepped off the bus to explore Te PuiaPuia (a Maori Carving and Weaving School situated next to a bubbling thermal valley) like any tourist, to experience and learn the ways of Maori cultural tourism, gathering valuable specific information at the same time. We wandered through all the sites and experienced a spectacular eruption from the Pohutu Geyser. We were then treated to a Maori show where ‘self elected’ Sam Wells represented us as our Chief.

We stayed at Keswick camp ground where after a hard day of gathering information it
was great to have a hot cooked meal waiting each night. However to much dismay of the campers McDonalds’ KFC or places selling Chicken and Chips were a 5 hr hike back into the CDB.

The next day we took notes from Rotorua’s Marketing Manager Gina George. She told us about Rotorua’s Tourism from an economic perspective. We learnt that Rotorua’s tourism industry is the second largest earner for the region and generates 1.5 million tourists per year. After hearing Gina speak we walked down down Fenton Street to map the main areas of accommodation and then explored the Rotorua lakefront. It was then time for some retail therapy along “Eat Street” - the main street for shopping and eating in the CBD.

The afternoon’s adventures were taken up at the Agrodome. Here we watched the world famous
“Sheep Show” and learnt about the history of the Agrodome. The most exciting part of the trip was taking part in the adventure attraction industry at “Agroventures”. Here the guys threw themselves off a 50 ft high crane in a sleeping bag, drifted in a jet boat and raced each other in the “shweeb”. The most entertaining part of the trip was when Emmett Hurley got a little too close to the rail of the jet boat course and got drenched for his troubles.

The last morning came with the campers packing up and regretfully leaving Keswick. We then explored Rotorua museum and learnt about the history of tourism development in the region. Then it was time for the Luge! Racing each other at speeds of 50 km/hr down the mountain was awesome! We finally hit the road back to the Naki after lunch and all made it home after an exhilarating trip.Thanks to Mr MacNicol and Mr Wales for organising a fun and informative Year 13 fieldtrip.”