Monday, 30 August 2010

From The Newsletter

Education is not just what happens in the classroom. The following report from the latest college newsletter is a good example of how students get out and about a lot more than they used to.

Francis Douglas Memorial College participated in the Brain Bee Challenge again this year. The focus of the quiz was neuroscience. Nine students from year 11 participated in the first round that was held online at the school, on 18March. They were Scott Alexander, Joshua Connolly, Syd Hutchins, Ken Imrie, Aaron Kuriger, Jonathan Ritchie, Andreas Thangam, Daniel Sanders and Martin Hales.

To prepare for the quiz, the students were required to study course material covering various aspects of neuroscience.
Four students scored highly enough in the first round to take part in the second round of the competition as individual competitors and as members of a four person team from the College. They were Joshua Connolly, Jonathan Ritchie, Andreas Thangam and Daniel Sanders.

The students and Mrs Marshall flew up to Auckland on the day of the quiz. The second round was held at the University of Auckland on 21 July, at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. The Francis Douglas students did not get through to the final rounds of the team or the individual competitions but enjoyed the day tremendously. The quiz activities were fun, yet
challenging and stimulating.

Besides the quiz, the students observed nerve cells with an electron microscope, visited a neuroscience laboratory, the anatomy museum and met with scientists. They were also able to interact with students from schools across the North Island.

Jeanne Marshall

Friday, 27 August 2010

A Sporting Week

Lots of FDMC input in the sporting news this week. The following people have been noticed in the news.

  • Staff member Peter Ingram isn't getting much batting time but is getting to talk to some great cricketers - Shewag and Pingers pictured.
  • Beaudan Barrett scored the first try for Taranaki last night and all of the FDMC boys are contributing well to the resurgent team.
  • Also noticed at the Taranaki/Otago game where a large contingent of recent old boys who were supporting the 'naki lads.
  • Edward Rawles has won his most recent event in Europe and is building well for the big events to come.
  • Old boy and current staff member Mike Ingram was the featured Weekend Warrior in Tuesday's Daily News, proving you don't have to be young, just fit and keen.
  • Well done to James Fastier, Nick Dravitzki and Ciaren King for their part in winning the Taranaki Senior Hockey competition with Northern.
  • Well done to our 1st XI hockey team who won the Taranaki Sec. Schools competition final.
We know this is only the tip of the sporting 'berg so keep up the good work next week fellas.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

A Rock Icon

Amazing how music can conjure up a place and time so strongly. Nick Sampson sent us this video link which we are sure will stimulate memories for those partying in the early eighties.

I chanced upon this...and the early summer weeks as we left the 7th form and drank and smoked heavily before splitting for different lives came to mind. Sceats was there. You might appreciate it... Nx

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Catching Up With The Brothers

The following is from a recent email from Br Michael McCabe - always good to see the brothers getting out and about and that Br Anthony is still having an impact.

Currently in Mentone Victoria. Brov Anthony was mentioned last week on the Racing TV show as telling one of the former jockeys-a presenter- when he was discussing a horse by the name of Sayahailmary was what told him in class at St Bede's Mentone. The horse came seconded that day at Caulifield. As for me I leave this Friday the 20th of August to study-Gerontology- in Canada at St Thomas University New Bruinswick for a year.

All the best to you all.

Br Michael McCabe

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Catch Up

We have not been able to access our email for the last couple of weeks so apologies to those of you who have been awaiting replies. All is set now so we start the catch up with a report on the Auckland gathering from Bill Kilkolly.

At Chris Coleman's "Brooklyn bar and Lounge" @ 322 Queen Street, Auckland on Wednesday night the 12th of August, 15 Francis Douglas old boys and Brother Declan gathered together to catch up and reminisce. A number of the old boys (and we mean old) who were there had not seen their old school mates since the mid 60's.

Everyone liked the idea of a local reunion so the next one is planned for Wednesday 24th November 2010 at the same venue. We would like to see more old boys there especially from further afield, like Hamilton & Tauranga so pencil in the date and see if you can make it. Maybe a business trip!! Please pass the word around.

If you would like your name to be added to the Old Boys contact list please e-mail your name and e-mail address to

Those who attended were:

Brother Declan
Colin Armstrong
Carey Pearce
Chris Coleman
Craig Reilly
Bill Kilkolly
Gerard Shortall
John Willoughby
Kevin Reilly
Mick Ahern
Paddy Clement
Kevin Radich
Greg Dwyer
John Pryor
Jim Martin
John Watson.

In an e-mail from Michael Ryan in Singapore he suggested that Old Boys make more use of the FDMC Old Boys page on Facebook.


Bill Kilkolly

Friday, 20 August 2010

Sign Of The Times III

The third of our out takes from the College newsletter. "Wollies" has always played a part in the FDMC experience, especially for boarders, but in these health conscious times we do try to encourage students to "eat well". Not always with success.

The Supermarket
We still have a lot boys heading to the supermarket to buy lunch in the morning. Whist there are
some obvious economic advantages to this, the quality of the goods the boys are buying is concerning. Often fizzy drinks, sweets and chocolates are being purchased. Please check what your son is buying for lunch. A couple of sandwiches from home is always the best option.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Sign Of The Times II

Keeping track of student attendance has never been easier, or more technical. The following notice from the college newsletter may give some old boys pause for thought over some of their unscheduled days off.

The Ministry of Education has funded a texting and e-mail service to notify you if your son is not in class. Every morning at approximately 9:15 an attendance check is done. With this system the office will instruct our student management programme to contact all parents by text or e-mail that their son is not at the College. If you receive a text and know where your son is please notify us at the office so we can code his absence appropriately. Could you please notify
the office if your cell phone number has changed so that we can update our records.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Another Sad Loss

News this morning of the sudden death of old boy Te Miringa (Milton) Hohaia at the age of 58. The Daily News has a feature article on Te Miringa. He is another example of how our old boys contribute to their own communities in such a wide range of ways.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Signs Of The Times

Over the next couple of days we will post some information articles from the latest college newsletter. It may be of interest to "older" old boys how new developments have impacted on the way we do things at FDMC. Personal cell phones are a far cry from asking the ladies at the office if they could ring your mum.

Cellphone Use

There has been some confusion over the use of cell phones lately. Please read the section on Cell
Phones in the front of the student diary for a full explanation of the system we use. Briefly, we
have no problem with cell phones in the College as long as the boys abide by some common sense rules. Mainly, have them switched off during class times and put away. They may use them before school at interval, lunch time and after school. If the phones are seen during class time or in the library they will be put in the College safe and re- turned the following day if a parent has contacted us by phone or note. There are phones available at the College office if the boys need to use them.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Wet In The Sudan!

Br Bill's latest post on the DLS blog is well worth a read. It seems that it does rain in the Sudan, something that adds a little variety to the Sudanese experience.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Gateway Works!

Students from the last decade will well remember the Careers Pathway Programme (CPP) which has helped transition so many students into the work force. The last year or so we have also been operating the government Gateway Programme and this is now starting to help place students as well. The following is a brief article that appeared in the college newsletter.

Our first Gateway student has been successful in gaining an engineering apprenticeship. Congratulations to Lloyd Keegan who did his engineering work experience component at Croucher & Crowder and was offered the apprenticeship by them. All the best Lloyd. Two other boys are also working towards achieving units in their Engineering Gateway packages - Hayden Murray who does his work experience component at Taranaki Engineering, and Casey Reihana-Dombroski who is at Murray Engineering (owned by two ex FDMC students - Joshua and Hamish Murray).

Lauren O’Reilly - Gateway Co-Ordinator

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

1st XI Soccer Success

This year's 1st XI soccer team have been doing very well and we have manged to get a report from coach and staff member Ian McGrath on how things shape for the rest of the season.

We finished second in the Regional Qualifying Tournament as follows:

3. NPBHS (Wild card)

We were hoping that by finishing second in the qualification process we would gain entry into the Top 16 at National Tournament. Unfortunately we have been placed in the second tier of 16 to begin with. It is disappointing because NPBHS have always gained entry into
the Top 16 when they have finished in the same position.

We start in a group including:

Westlake Boys
Otago Boys
St Pauls (Hamilton)

The Tournament format will involve two sets of 16 teams (upper and lower tier) - four groups of four teams in each tier. The top 8 teams from the upper tier, break away after the group stages and compete for rankings 1-8. The bottom two teams from each group in the upper tier join up with the top two teams from each group in the lower tier to compete for rankings 9-24 and the bottom two teams from each group in the lower tier break away to compete for rankings between 25-36. Each section competing for the Cup, Bowl and plate respectively.

We will look to qualify out of our group, to enable us to compete for the Bowl and rankings 9-24, similar to two years ago when we finished 11th in NZ. NPBHS are also in the lower tier to begin with.


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Reunion Fever

It must be the time of year as we have had notification of another group of old boys getting together to talk over "old times". This one has already taken place but thanks to Jamie Barrett for the following review of events.

"On Sunday there was a FDMC reunion held in Wellington. There were around thirty five old boys present and the festivities were held in very high spirits. There were various events through the day to distinguish a number of unanswered questions, however, i am under an oath not too divulge too many details. Appearances worth noting were Dr. Thomas Hills, Shane Rooyakkers and Joseph Bradley. The main event for the day (which was a race of some kind) was won by Solomon who was represented by Caleb Mawson (Head Boy of 2008). MVP was William Rowlands and Shaun Butler won the title of 'Head Boy of the Entire World'. All in all, it was excellent day and it was perfectly summed up by Matthieu Stevenson (Head Boy of '09) in saying "I don't want this thing to ever end". See you all again next year."

Hope all is well in the beautiful Taranaki.


Monday, 9 August 2010

Late Notice

Our apologies for the late notice but the details of Br Paul Kent's funeral are as follows.

The Mass of Thanksgiving for the life of Br Paul Kent will be celebrated at St Anthony's Parish, 20 Kirkbride Road, Mangere Bridge (Auckland) at 10.30am on Monday 9 August. The cremation will follow the Mass at the Mangere Lawn Cemetery and Crematorium. A function will take place following the cremation at a nearby venue.

We know you will keep Br Paul in your prayers.

Old Boys Gathering II

Last week we blogged about the gathering of Old Boys this Wednesday in Auckland. Thanks to Craig Reilly for providing some more background to this event. We are very keen to see old boys create their own groups as experience has shown that they tend to be more effective and longer lasting than one centralised association. All the best for Wednesday and if you can get there please do so.

At the re-union last year a number of us learned that we lived in Auckland and wanted to keep in touch. Bill Kilkolly and I kept in touch and, mainly due to my travel schedule, have had to defer a get together of AKL based Old Boys until now.

The objective is really to provide and opportunity for FDMC Old Boys to meet in AKL and see where it takes us. From my perspective I would like to see an ongoing network being formed where various activities are held where Old Boys can meet and participate. We will seek guidance from those that are to meet with us next week and understand what they would like to see going forward. My sons are or have been at St Kentigern College here in Auckland and they have an active Old Boys Assn. While we not aspire to their degree of organisation particularly at this stage there might be aspects of theirs that we might adopt for the future. Initial response from those we have contacted here has been very positive for getting together.

Some of the old boys who are likely to be in attendance:

Kevin Reilly
Mick Ahearn
Gerard Shortall
Carey Pearce
Paddy Clement
Chris Coleman
Tony and Jim Martin
Patrick Learmonth
John Willoughby
John Pryor
Richard Burns

Saturday, 7 August 2010

In The News

Good article, and photo, in today's Daily News of recent past student Edward Rawles. Edward is off to Europe to climb the multi sport rankings. We have witnessed his determination and have no doubts he will prove himself at the highest level.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Some Sad News

Br Declan has contacted us with the sad news of the passing of Br Paul Kent. His message is as follows...

Bro Paul Kent, one who had been on the staff at FDMC in 1970 and 1971, passed away here in Auckland early this morning aged 64. He had arrived here from Adelaide in late January to teach here in Mangere East. But, the very next day he was diagnozed to have leukaemia.... and so the months here for him have been centred on hospitals. He was able during that time to get back to New Plymouth for the funeral of the late Mrs Claire Powell.

May the Good Lord welcome him home.

We are sure that FDMC students from Br Paul's time at FDMC will remember him in their thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Old Boys Gathering

Fantastic to hear of a a group of Auckland based old boys having a get together next week. We would love to see more of these informal networks develop and would be happy to post any details that you may have. The details of next weeks gathering are as follows.

We would like to invite you to an informal get together of all Francis Douglas College old boys on Wednesday 11th August 2010, 6:30pm at the Brooklyn Bar and Lounge at 332 Queen Street, Auckland. This is opposite Borders bookstore and I-Max theatre. If you know of other old boys could I ask that you pass on this invitation. It would be great to see as many as possible.

Bill Kilkolly (1961-65)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Staying In Line

As we all know FDMC excels at a wide range of sports. In line hockey has been strong in the college in the last decade.

Pictured are some of the FDMC In-Line Hockey team who were placed 3rd in the National Tournament held in the July holidays.

Absent is Julian Beardman who had traveled to America with the New Zealand team.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

YES Programme 2010

Old boys from the last 20 years will recall the Young Enterprise Scheme and it's many projects, often lead by those dynamos of commerce Mr Kibby and Mr Maistry. They are now gone but the YES programme remains, with two companies operating in 2010.

Moulded Metals
A tripod fire brazier used for outdoor entertainment has been created and built by the Young Enterprise Tech Team. The Braziers are made out of high quality reinforcing steel rod, plate, chain and an iron wok. Price for 1 brazier is $80.00
For more information or to order contact:
Ethan - 0272887169
Email -

Rakau Creations
We design and craft hardwood cheeseboards with paua inlay. The paua shell is designed
to be used as a dipping bowl. The board is finished with a polished oil
finish. Our product ranges in size and shape, and are made in a variation of wood types.

We also have optional cheese knifes to go with the board for those who want to pay a
little extra. Our cheeseboards can be specific to the buyer by making it to their desired
measurements, shape, paua and detail.
Check us out on TradeMe, search Rakau-Creations

Monday, 2 August 2010

End of A Season

Well done to the 1st XV on another very successful season and thanks to Coach Steve Simpson for providing the following report on their last game of the season.


FDMC 1ST XV travelled to Feilding to play their annual fixture on Wednesday 28 July. This was the colleges last game of the season and it was going to be interesting to see if they could produce the performance needed to win so soon after their TRFU Under 20 final the Saturday before. The college started by playing into a strong wind and competed for everything at the breakdown, with Jade Fleming matching his Hurricanes schools opposite number, and he was very well supported by No 8 Thomas Nagel and blindside Seth Marshall. Andrew Trolove playing his best game of the season made some big tackles and the midfield of Patrick Forsythe and Teihorangi Walden were letting nothing through. Feilding had only one penalty opportunity in the first half which they failed to convert and the college finished the half camped on the opposition goal line. Half time score nil all.

The second half continued much the same as the first with both teams finding it hard to create opportunities due to good defence. With fifteen minutes gone first five Nick Childs put in a clever chip which lock Scott Barrett chased and gathered just inside the 22m line, he ran hard and was driven over by supporting players to open the scoring. Barrett failed with his conversion attempt. He was also unsuccessful with a later penalty attempt. The college team continued to exert pressure, but Feilding began to work their way up field. With two minutes to go and after several phases Feilding finally crossed the line to level the score, the conversion also unsuccessful. The college team responded immediately and after some good forward driving play were awarded a penalty just outside the 22m line. Up stepped Barrett for the last kick of the game, the kick flew high hit the right post and bounced over to win the game 8 -5. A fine win against a team with ten Hurricanes Schools triallists!

The FDMC Under 15 team also beat their Feilding counterparts 41 – 7. Players to stand out were: Cameron Keech, Blake Barrett, Liam Doherty and Michael Blanks.
Scorers: Tries - Liam Doherty 3, Michael Blanks, Taani Uhila, Cameron Keech, Dylan Schuler. Conversions – Michael Blanks 3