Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Change of Venue

Nothing ever stays the same. We have decided to try something new by shifting the blog site to the FDMC Foundation. The new format is somewhat limited but we want to encourage folks to visit and use the site, so we shall see how things develop.

How do you get there? Just click on this link;

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Technical Difficulties

We have not yet shut up shop for the summer if you were wondering why there has been no post this week. We are having difficulty uploading images so things may be a bit wordy until we get it sorted.

Yesterday was Junior Prizegiving Day and the last day for students in 2011. All went well and we will have some pics asap.

Friday, 2 December 2011

FDMC In Print

Mark Chamberlain, former student and teacher at FDC, now has six books published. The two recent ones should be of interest to old boys. One is a boys’ adventure book with the college as the setting. Called Eddie’s Big Fat Lies, it deals with the lying exploits of a student matching his wits against the staff. Old boys will recognize some of the teachers in the book though names have been changed. Set in present times, it also manages to include the former cadets core and that perennial favourite: the annual dance with Sacred Heart. Good for a laugh and a trip down memory lane.

The other book is Mark’s first work of adult fiction, Whenua. Former teacher, Lloyd Edwards, gives it the thumbs up. It follows the murder trail of a psychopath in the nineteenth century and is largely set in Taranaki. The dust cover has the following blurb:

Whenua brings to life the largely untold story of the dark struggle for land in nineteenth century Ireland and New Zealand.

This is the story of a family from the original inhabitants who lost their whenua. It is the story of poor Irish migrants who lost their land in Ireland and came looking for its replacement. It is the story of a young country’s beginnings and the theme that dominated and defined the history of its people: that ancient, destructive struggle for land.

Maharangi, grandson of a dispossessed chief, is determined to have land. His quest takes him south to Taranaki, the ancestral lands of his mother. There he joins in the bitter struggle to survive as his people’s lands are confiscated.
Ryan Kavanagh, son of a dispossessed tenant farmer in Ireland, migrates to New Zealand determined to have land with no qualms about killing to get what he wants.

Chamberlain has created a page turner of literary merit with unforgettable characters. His themes of unrequited love and the moral compromises of those fighting to survive will resonate with all who have suffered the painful loss of land.

You can find these books by Googling Amazon Books and writing in SHIHVILLAGEpublications in the search.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Well Done Blake

Good photo and article in today's Daily News on current student Blake Cameron and his top pass marks in the Trinity Music exams. Blake is a boarder who is activeley contributing to his own community back in Hawera - great to see.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Magazine

Our latest College Newsletter contained the following invitation to sponsor a page in the College Magazine. We thought we would share the invitation with the wider old boys community. If you are able to help please contact the College office or email us.

The College magazine – the “Cardinal, Blue and Gold” – is the official record of our College year. The magazine is a reflection of all the events and activities of the College year. So as to be able to include all the significant activities of the year, up to and including the Junior prizegiving held in early December, the
magazine is published in February of each year. It is made available to all current families and is mailed home to Year 13 and other students who finished at the College the previous year. 

You will be aware, the magazine is a costly production and in an attempt to subsidise the cost of and to produce a magazine of the highest possible quality, the College would like to offer families and businesses the opportunity to sponsor a page. 

We have 160 pages available for sponsorship at $25.00 per page for family sponsorship and $50.00 per page for business sponsorship. This would allow for your family name or business name and details to be typeset in the bottom margin as the sponsor of that page. Your support will be much appreciated.

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Building Never Stops

If our last post was about construction in the past this one concerns a current development.

Plant Manager Dan Keegan is seen here in one of the "middle hostel" rooms that are being upgraded.

By the time that Dan and his team are finished, the entire top floor will be new and sparkling and ready for another group of Year 10 boarders.

This project is just part of the on going maintenance and up grading that is always taking place. If you haven't been to the College for awhile, drop in and see how things have changed.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Any Ideas?

This photo from the archive has us a little puzzled. The top story is already on the main block so what was the big machinery for?

If you were one of those little fellas watching proceedings perhaps you can enlighten us.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

And About Time

We may be a little biased but Conrad Smith's elevation to the Hurricanes captaincy seems like a no-brainer, and long over due.

As a past FDMC Deputy Head Boy he has always possessed the leadership skills required. Now we will wait and see if he has a team that is prepared to be captained.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Well Done Grads

The following former students graduated from Victoria University in 2010.

Tomas Bridgeman BCA, DPACCY
Daniel Burkett BAHons
Daniel Coombes BSC
Lee Finnerty BBSC
Ryan Fleming GDTCPR
Scott Fuglistaller BCA
Paul Gibbins BSC
Caleb Gordon BA
Jacob Manning BCA
Adam Meek BA, LLB
Ryan O’Byrne BA Hons
Kevin O’Donnell PGHCLT
Joseph Parr BCA
Simon Reeve MA
Patrick Squire BCA
Huaxiang Su BCA
James Tamarapa DPACCY
Matthew Warner BSC, LLB
Reuben Berghan BCA

Well done to all. We will continue to post the Graduate lists as Universities make them available to us.

Friday, 18 November 2011


The week began with a sad event, saying farewell to Br Robert. The college was well represented at the burial service and we have been very encouraged by the number of old boys who have contacted us to leave thoughts and messages.

With the Brothers no longer in the college on a daily basis we think it is very important to keep alive their memory and recognise the huge part they have played in making FDMC what it is.

Thanks to all of you who continue to help keep those memories alive.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Under New Management

2012 will see the college hostel under new management. The following information has been taken from the latest College newsletter.

Following an extremely successful four-year term as Dean of Boarding, assisted by her husband Steve, Mrs Sjaane Simpson has resigned effective from the
end of this year to continue in the role of Director of Religious Studies and return to a full time teaching position at the College. The Board of La Salle House Ltd is pleased to announce that Mrs Simpson’s replacement will be Mr Heta Smith.

A baptised Catholic, aged 51 and secondary educated in Waitara, Mr Smith originally trained in the construction industry, served in the New Zealand Army, and following his training as a teacher, has taught Technology subjects in
two Hamilton secondary schools since 1996. In addition to his role as Assistant Head of Technology at St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton, Mr Smith currently serves as Housemaster of Williams House in the school’s hostel. This sees him responsible for the welfare of 75 Year 9 to 13 boarders on a seven day
boarding basis.He has been involved with boarding for eight years. 

Mr Smith will be joined by his wife Margie. She is a qualified librarian and secondary teacher specialising in Social Sciences and English. She has also served St Paul’s in the capacity of Director of International Students. Mr Smith will take
up his duties on 20 January and will be joined by Mrs Smith once she has rounded off her international student commitments at St Paul’s.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A New Challenge

Last Saturday saw our 1st XI cricket team get their name on a new trophy. The Challenge Trophy, sponsored by TIMBERCO, is to be played for every time FDMC and NPBHS 1st XI's meet in a one day match.

Our team batted very well to score 261, with Ricky Riccitelli (4th from right in the back row) making 115. They were then able to restrict NPBHS to 242 and so be the first name on the new trophy. The win also saw the team gain valuable points in the Taranaki Premier one day competition so we hope they can carry their form forward into the rest of their games.

Monday, 14 November 2011

A Farewell To Bob

Br Robert McLaughlin is being buried at 11am today at the Mangere Lawn Cemetery. The FDMC staff will be represented in Mangere today and we ask that you keep Bob, his family and the Brothers in your prayers.

Thanks to those old boys who have left messages or reflections on Br Robert.  Brendan Rae sent us these following thoughts which seem to sum things up well.

As a day boy during the 80's, the news of Brother Roberts passing is as unexpected as it is sad.  I will always remember Brother Robert as the one who taught the first classes on the subject of those new-fangled "computers" at a time when they held most interest for the games like "Chucky Egg", played from 5 1/4" discs that truly were floppy. While that technology is unrecognisable now, he will always have a legacy through the school magazines of the period. His keen interest in photography was almost single-handily responsible for the photo archives we have of life at Francis Douglas over that period - whether that was candid shots of classroom activities, snapshots of hostel life or students participating in sporting events over the weekend. Brother Robert has left a very tangible impact on the history of FDMC beyond his spiritual contribution and his warm and gentle nature.

Friday, 11 November 2011

A Big Award

We have been celebrating our Year 13 award winners during this week so it was appropriate that we heard the news that Old Boy Dr Tim Sullivan has recently been awarded the Plinius Medal by the European Geosciences Union.

Tim is currently based at the University of Pavia in Italy. The medal is reserved for excellent young scientists who have (a) outstanding research achievements in a field related with natural hazards, (b) important interdisciplinary activity in two or more fields related with this topic and (c) whose research has focused on the mitigation of natural risks.

Well done to Tim. It is always great to see old boys making a big impact in their chosen fields.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Special Awards

We know there are lots of old boys who want to know who won "their cup" so we are happy to post this years Special Awards list.

The Leo Walsh Award for Economics Ang, Aaron
Cultural Captain Cup Bakker, Jarrod
The Senior Cup For Mathematics With Statistics Bakker, Jarrod
Margaret Fleming Trophy Barrett, Scott
Kelly Endowment for Physics Bracegirdle, Joe
The Senior Cup for Chemistry Bracegirdle, Joe
Senior Cup for Mathematics with Calculus Bracegirdle, Joe
Senior Award for Accounting Bracegirdle, Joe
Shell Todd Oil Services Trophy for Senior Science Bracegirdle, Joe
Dux Award Bracegirdle, Joe
Medicross Award for Biology Bracegirdle, Joe
The Senior Cup for Classical Studies Carey, Jonathan
Proxime Accessit Carey, Jonathan
Senior Cup for Business Technology Churchman, Ryan
Moriarty Cup Clarke, Joe
Medal for Academic Excellence Fastier, Samuel
Michael Finnigan Award Fleming, Tyler
Peter Costello Trophy Fleming, Tyler
Daily News Award for Literary Excellence Forsythe, Patrick
The Smith Family Award for History Grainger, George
Gaines Award for the Study of Law Grainger, George
The Smith/Drinkwater Shield Grainger, George
Wayne Kibby Memorial Cup Hobbs, David
The Butterworth Cup for Culture Latap, Paul
Moana Clothing Senior Cup for Graphics Macdonald, Joshua
The Senior Cup for Physical Education McCallum, Luke
Lasallian Student Captain Monk, Benjamin
The Hills Family Award for English Murray, Alistair
Br Anthony Hawkins Memorial Trophy Neal, Shaun
First in Media Studies O'Donnell, Kieran
The Senior Cup for Geography O'Donnell, Kieran
Sports Captain Cup O'Donnell, Kieran
Medals for Academic Excellence Poole, Matthew
Medal for Academic Excellence Ritchie, Jonathan
The Roger French Cup for Visual Art Thomson, Samuel
The Margaret Wright Music Award Thomson, Samuel
Taama TuuTama Ora Award Walden, Teihorangi
Butler Family Trophy Walden, Teihorangi

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Sad News

Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of

Brother Robert McLaughlin
(Robert James)
Aged 63 years

Today at approximately 3:10 p.m. Sydney time Bob passed peacefully from this life. Following the notice last Thursday, plans had been made to transfer Bob to the Sacred Heart Hospice Darlinghurst. Around 5:00 a.m. on Friday morning his condition took a turn for the worst so that the plans to transfer him were abandoned and the Prince of Wales Hospital continued palliative care nursing. This entailed pain relief and other measures to ensure his comfort.

His brother Neil has been a constant companion over the past days and Ian was to travel to Sydney again to arrive on Tuesday. Joe Bufalo of the Kensington community, a number of brothers of the community and Mark McKeon have all visited him in the past days.

The family and the New Zealand brothers wish Bob to be buried in Mangere. This apparently was the subject of discussion when some of them met with Bob a couple of years ago. He was in support of this.

Preliminary indications are that there will be a requiem Mass, perhaps at Kensington given the association of the Diocese of Bereina with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. Final details will be confirmed. The present thinking is for Thursday 10 November. A Mass on that day will permit transfer of Robert’s remains to Auckland for a funeral ceremony on Monday 11 November.

Br Ambrose Payne 


Let perpetual light shine upon him and may he rest in peace.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Talk About Timing

Today's Daily News ran a great article on our future Head Boy and Deputy getting their team work sorted out early.

Sam Fastier (left) and GJ Pike (right) together put on over 150 runs for the 1st XI in their win over Stratford in the Premier Men's cricket grade on Saturday.

The team work displayed by both students suggests good things are in store in 2012, on and off the field.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Changing Of The Guard

Today's Senior Prizegiving was a heart warming affair in the tradition of many that have gone before it. We will post the details in the course of next week.

One of the big questions is always who are the new leaders and we can announce that Sam Fastier (second from the left) is the Head Boy For 2012 while GJ Pike (left) is the Deputy Head Boy.  They will benefit greatly from the example of this year's leaders, Head Boy Teihorangi Walden (third from left) and his Deputy Tyler Fleming (right).

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Prayers Please

Very sad news today that Br Robert McLaughlin is very ill. He was initially hospitalized in Papua New Guinea, where he has been working for some years, and he is now in Sydney hospital.

Br Robert is an FDMC old boy. He was a boarder from Wellington, and he attended the College from about 1961-1964. Robert also taught for many years at FDMC in the 1970s and 1980s before going as a missionary Brother to Bolivia for quite a few years. His most recent appointment has been as Principal of Mainohana High School in Papua New Guinea.

We will provide more information as it becomes available but we ask that your keep Br Robert in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A Warm, If Fearsome, Welcome

The College was visited today by the Mayor of Mishima, New Plymouth's sister city in Japan. The delegation also included the Japanese Ambassador to New Zealand and a range of dignitaries.

The visitors where greeted with a formal challenge and a few speeches in the College Chapel and were then given a tour of the school. They seemed well pleased with the experience and it was a good chance for our students of Japanese to get in a little extra practice.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Sportsman Of The Year

The annual FDMC Sportsman's Dinner took place at The Plymouth Hotel last Saturday night. It was a glittering occasion and a great chance to recognise the outstanding range of quality sportsman at the College.

Guest speaker was old boy, and past Head Boy, Nathan Smith, who spoke very well about his experiences on and off the sports field.

Kyle Van Der Merwe (pictured right) was the Sportsman of the Year in recognition of his national and international achievements in Athletics.

Team of the Year went to the 1st XV who did so well in maintaining their high standards through out the rugby season.

The Overall Contribution to Sport Award went to Teihorangi Walden, while the Outstanding Sportsmanship Award was presented to Nick Arnold.

Every year it gets harder to decide on the top awards as the quality and range of sports activity at FDMC just keeps developing. Long may that last.

Monday, 31 October 2011

All Feedback Welcome

Always good to have contact and info from old boys. Thanks to Ken Tocker for the following:

The members that I can recognize are
Back row: Jeff Gibb,John Kissick, Paddy C, Colin Mac, Denis Moynihan, Brian Ross.
Front row, Robert Watt(RIP), A, McAlpine, Vaughan Chapman, John Bourke (John Ross--maybe ?) Robert Watt.

Point of interest, a player in the the photo, Brian Ross in year prior to this team had performed a bowling feat that I am sure is still a school record. Must have been about 1966 or 1967, Brian Ross took 8 wickets with 8 consecutive balls. This was in days of 6 ball over's so, he bowled first 6 balls, then if I recall, Michael Weallens bowl from other end for couple of wickets, then Brian returned and took next 2 wickets with consecutive balls, Brother Justinian was the team coach from memory.

Ken Tocker, Khabarovsk, Russia.

Friday, 28 October 2011

In The Mix And In The Pix

It comes as no surprise that our old boys were right behind the All Blacks over the last 7 weeks and heavily involved in celebrating their World Cup victory. Three  such old boys, Campbell Fleming, Tim O'Dowd and Chris Charteris were good cases in point.

This image is taken from the All Blacks web site and we are sure there are plenty more images out there- if you have a good pic send it to us so that we can share.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

That Time Of Year

With the World Cup in the trophy cabinet it is time for us to be thinking about our own awards and trophies. Next Friday is the Senior Prize Giving Ceremony which also marks the last day of the senior's school year - something we are all looking forward to!

Pictured above is last year's graduating class - we will have photos and prize lists from the 2011 event in a week or so.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

From Southern Sudan

This month, we were pleased to welcome the Superior General of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Br Alvaro, and General Counsellor, Br Jorge, to South Sudan – one day before the town lights went out! The chairperson of SSS and Superior General of the FCJ (Faithful Companions of Jesus) Sisters, Sr Kathryn O’Flynn is here at present. Although she has still to experience the comfort of a reliable power supply, her visit, as did Alvaro’s, brings great encouragement and support to those of us in South Sudan. Also visiting again are Brothers Craig and Amilcare who have done so much to fundraise and develop our buildings. It is gratifying for all who come to see so much has been achieved.

Unfortunately, our internet supplier has run into a major technical problem installing an upgrade. So all of our locations have been struggling for internet connectivity for ten days or more and have been totally off-line the past few days. So we are in the dark in more than one sense!

This report comes via ‘borrowed facilities’ but, otherwise, all goes well. My personal apologies to those whose emails I have appreciated but to whom I have been mostly unable to respond. The sudden death in PNG of inspiring, long-time friend, Brother Leo Scollen, a man who always treated the most needy with profound care and respect, reminds me to be grateful for my own good health and my wonderful companions on the journey.

Best wishes to all,
 Br Bill

Worrying Times

South Sudan has negotiated elections and the referendum, and achieved independence, with remarkable clam and stability. The fears of outbreaks of violence and lawlessness have been largely unfounded and the country has moved smoothly to becoming the world’s newest nation. There has been some inflation in prices and some shortages, especially in northern regions, but one can only say we have been well led to this point. Peace and stability have been preserved.

One cannot fail to notice there is a ‘liberation’ among the women in the style of western clothing they are now choosing to wear. People seem to be more relaxed and confident that they are indeed able to choose their own destiny rather than suffer the imposition from others; but there are some emerging concerns. The mood of optimism and confidence continues but slowly the awareness is dawning that independence does not bring instant rewards for the general population.

There has been no town power in Malakal since August 25th. The people of that city formerly received the benefits of a power supply every night. I was there for the independence celebrations on July 9th and we enjoyed power all that day. Before independence, a power grid operating during daylight hours in Wau. That has now ceased. Wau and Malakal, after Juba, are the two largest towns in South Sudan.

In Juba, however, twenty-four hours of power had continued. After all, it is the capital of the new country. But the last ‘town power’ in Juba was supplied on October 5th and it has now been almost two weeks with no sign of town electricity. ‘We have no fuel’ for the generators, we have been told. Fuel has been in short supply in Juba but new supplies became available a few days ago – but still no town power. Maybe it is a case of not having the money to buy the fuel.

Leading up to independence a huge amount of hurried work took place upgrading Malakal airport. Construction of a new international terminal was moving quickly. One could not help but be impressed that the modern new terminal was taking shape – especially since it had been partly constructed for several years - after two previous construction firms, at considerable intervals apart, walked off the job when they were not paid. This time it will be finished, we thought. Two weeks ago, the pace of construction had noticeably slowed but there was still a little work going on. Yesterday, although it was a normal working day, I noted the site gates were locked and there was no construction activity.

No doubt there is money flowing into Juba. Large, new, premium model, four-wheel drives are proliferating on the roads. Congested traffic is rapidly becoming the norm even with the improvement made to the roads since the war ended. Obviously, some people are prospering. I find myself surmising that money is reaching the pockets of the leaders but not much is getting through to support basic infrastructure. That is not good for the normal people of South Sudan.

Sudan, in the north, has made it more difficult by not allowing goods to flow over the border. There are rumours that the President, Al Bashir, is no longer in effective control. There are still agreements to be negotiated over revenue-sharing from oil – and debt sharing. How much of the present difficulties will turn out to be only the consequence of short term posturing is simply not known. I think general optimism still prevails; but it is clear that even in a climate of good-will, it will take time – and integrity – for a sound new infrastructure to be developed in South Sudan.                                   

- Br Bill

In the interim between my writing the above and having access to the internet to send it out, Juba town power returned.     Al hamdu lilah! ....  But it only lasted three hours!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Postive Thoughts (And Images)

As we hold our breath for the big final on Sunday night we offer this image as a bit of positive visualisation. Conrad Smith is seen celebrating a famous try in the first victory over NPBHS. Time has moved on and Conrad has filled out some, but we all hope he has plenty to jump up and down about Sunday night.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Not Gone, Just Away

Those of you who loyally follow our humble posts will have noted an absence of info in the last week. That is because we, like the students, are on holiday in far off places and sadly hotel internet can not be relied on for uploading images.

Rest assured we will be back by the end of this week and normal service will be resumed.

Friday, 7 October 2011

A Colourful Occasion

Yesterday we had the last Colours Assembly of the year. A record 38 students received their colours with past Head Boy Jason Stevenson giving a speech and making the presentations. A great occasion for parents and students.

The List of Colours Awarded.

Nick Arnold --  Service 
Jarrod Bakker --  Culture and Service
Scott Barrett --  Sport
Dion Beer  --  Sport
Ryan Bishop  --  Sport
Sam Brailsford --  Sport
Tane Butler  --  Culture and Service
Joshua Connolly  --  Culture and Service
Jack De Luca  --  Service
Samuel Fastier  --  Sport
Jade Fleming --  Sport
Tyler Fleming  --  Service
Patrick Forsythe --  Sport
Chris Gawler  --  Service
George Grainger --  Culture and Service
David Hobbs  --  Service
Andrew Jane  --  Service
Oliver Klups  --  Sport
Jordan Lampe  --  Sport
Paul Latap  --  Culture and Service
Kurt Leuthart  --  Sport and Service
Tobias Looker  --  Sport
Luke McCallum  --  Sport and Service
Seth Marshall  --  Sport and Service
BJ Monk  --  Culture and Service
Alistair Murray  --  Culture
Shaun Neal  --  Service
Sam Notman  --  Culture
Kieran O’Donnell  --  Service
Daniel Phipps  --  Culture
Gerald-John Pike  --  Sport
Casey Reihana-Dombroski  --  Sport
Ricky Riccitelli  --  Sport
Shaun Sullivan  --  Sport
Samuel Thomson  --  Culture
Andrew Trolove  --  Sport
Teihorangi Walden  -- Sport and Service

Thursday, 6 October 2011

FDMC On Tour

There are several overseas tours being planned for 2012. This will mean a good deal of fundraising so you can expect a few events to be advertised over the next few months.

Canada & Japan Trip Fundraising

We have two current projects. The Japan fundraising group parents are selling a selection of Sileni and Red Metal Vineyards wines. Orders for single bottles or cases need to be in by 31 October. Delivery by mid-November. Great for
Christmas! Contact Jenny Murray phone 7534367

Our second project is selling tickets for a great end of year play “Silent Night”.
TSB Showplace presents;

“Silent Night”
4th ; 5th November 7.30pm
Adults $25 (seniors $20 Groups 6+ $20)

In this solo show, Irene (Yvette Parsons) entertains with her unusual and innovative cooking, craft tips and festive decorating techniques, which she interweaves with funny and emotive stories of her life so far. Plenty of laughs and bitter-sweet humour promise to entertain audiences in this story of loss, loneliness and survival set against a remarkable backdrop of kitsch memorabilia.

Written and performed by Yvette Parsons and Directed by Stephen Papps
Every ticket sold, $10 goes towards the students. 

Contact Louise
757 4535 (evenings), Catherine 027 349 0944
(for Canada trip support) or Jenny Murray on
753 4367 (for Japan trip support)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Even More Cricket Photos

This one we do have some information on. It was taken in 1965, we presume of the 1st XI. The following players have been identified;

Colin McEldowney - 4th from left  (back)
Vaughan Chapman - 3rd from left (front)
Paddy Clement - 3rd from left (back)
Alistair McAlpine - 2nd from left (front)
John Bourke - 4th from left (front)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

More Cricket Photos

Here is a group of likely lads. To our knowledge none ended up playing for the Black Caps, but then we don't know who they are. If you do, please leave a comment and let us know.

Monday, 3 October 2011

A Week Of Cricket

You are in for a week of sports photos as we are currently scanning photos from the archives to put on to the Foundation website.

We don't know who is in this photo but we can tell you it was from 1961 - early days indeed for FDMC sport.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Another Change Of Season

This weekend marks the beginning of the cricket season for the senior players at school. In celebration of the summer game we offer this photo of a junior cricket team from the 1960's. We know nothing about who is in the photo or exactly when it was taken so would be happy if some one can wise us up.

We do not that the quad is wet in the photo - perhaps an omen for spring cricket in Taranaki.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

MAD Day Review

MAD Day last Friday followed a tried and true formula with the usual encouraging results. We began the day with a liturgy and followed that up with the inter house haka competition. This year's haka champions being Loreto. Students and staff then undertook the sponsored walk which was topped off with the traditional sausage lunch.

Under the guidance and encouragement of the college leaders the students have managed to raise well over $20,000. This will be going to support the work of the Lasallian Foundation as well as Br Bill and Sister Rosa's work in the Southern Sudan.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Time For A New Cap

Congratulations to the following students who have recently graduated from Otago University. One of our next projects on the FDMC Foundation is to identify all of our Graduands over the years.

David Freeman  --  BSc Geology
Kishan Gunatunga --  BBiomedSc Drugs & Human Health
Kenneth Hau --  BCom Management
Levi Rona --  BSc, BA Maori Studies
Matthew Walsh -- BPhEd Prof Studies

Friday, 23 September 2011

Fun And Games Names

Thanks to Peter Costello for coming up with some suggestions as to who might be starring in these photos.

Is this Phillip or Greg Dickson leading the tug o' war?

Ieuan Willaims and Grant Kennard carrying Mark Lile on the horse? Perhaps Ewan McCafferey looking on?

We think it might be Craig Costello in the barrow but the guy doing the pushing remains a mystery. As does the exact time and nature of the event - but it must have been early to mid 1980's.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

From The Newsletter

Another example of the Lasallian spirit alive and well in the current generation.

Nick Hopkins in Yr 13 received an award from Volunteering New Plymouth at a Volunteer Recognition
Awards Evening Monday 12 September.

Nick was nominated by the NZ Red Cross Volunteer
Centre. Their nomination was as follows:

ʻNick is one of our talented young volunteers and has been solely responsible over the past 2 years for adding an innovative level to our very successful ʻno
limitsʼ youth programme. Nick designed the logo for the programme, designed the website, supervised and lead a team who videoed and photographed the
programme then he edited all of the footage and sound tracks, uploaded to You Tube, Face Book and the Website during the programme so that participants
and caregivers could relive the experience almost immediately. Nick spent hundreds of hours producing DVDs for participants and all of this whilst
undertaking study and exams during his Year 12 and 13 at Francis Douglas Memorial College. 

His professionalism, leadership and attention to detail belies his age. Nick also volunteers huge amounts of time with the NP Little Theatre. During the “No Limits 2011” Nick was spending the day with the group and then rushing to the theatre to do sound and lighting for a show.ʼ 

Karen Lawson – the manager of Red Cross Taranaki finished her nomination by saying – “I believe the voluntary work that Nick does probably goes unrewarded as he is such a quiet achiever. A truly deserving young recipient of this award”.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Crack Shots

No need to ask for help in identifying these characters. They are the FDMC Shooting Champions of 1966, Gerald Watt and Dennis Moynihan.

A couple of likely lads who seem to know their way around a rifle.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

MAD Day Cometh

The year progresses at pace with the next annual event the Mission Action Day (MAD) this Friday. We include the details from the latest college newsletter. Some of you may be nostalgic for the event (or the sausage afterwards) and some of you might have the chance to sponsor a walker.

In recent years our focus for MAD day has been on the needs of fellow Lasallians in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea. While that focus remains,
this year we are also including Southern Sudan. Former Principal Br Bill Firman is working there training locals to be teachers. The lack of resources make his job much harder, so we can support him by raising funds to pay for chairs, desks, tables, shelving, printers and other such items. 

A significant sum of what we raise this year will go towards helping fellow Lasallians in Southern Sudan. The Lasallian student leaders have raised the target this year and set $30,000.00 as our goal. This compares with last year's record total of $24,800.00. They have certainly shown the way by raising about
$1000 (with backing from By Arrangement thanks to Craig and Wendy Fleming) from an evening session at The Arthouse and by organising a very successful
hangi at school, raising another $1750. So there is already a strong foundation for reaching this year's target.

Due to the nature of the activity on the day, your son is to come to school dressed in mufti and prepared for adverse weather because the event will be
held regardless of conditions. Provided a student is able to prove with his documentation that sponsorship has been raised, he will be provided with a sausage lunch.

Once finished, senior students will be free to leave. Students in Years 7 to 10 however will not be permitted to leave the school grounds before noon.
Since buses will run as usual, students may remain
on the school grounds until the normal departure time if desired.

We look forward to a successful MAD Day and thank you for your support.

Peter Costello

Monday, 19 September 2011

Fun and Games III

Like the young man wheeling the barrow we remain in the dark. Can any one identify the people or event?

Leave a comment or email us.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Fun And Games II

Another archive photo from must be the same event or occasion - but what event and who is the big fella in front?

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Fun And Games

This one is from the archives but we don't know who they are or what the occasion was.

Can any one enlighten us?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Staff Development

Last Thursday and Friday were teacher only days at the College. This year the whole staff went to Parihaka for the two days and spent the time being immersed in the local history, traditions and culture. Presenters such as Wharehoka Wano, seen in the photo, gave an in depth background to Parihaka and it's significance to the peoples of Taranaki and the wider community.

Staff enjoyed their time on the Marae and felt they got a great deal from the experience. We also learned a bit more about each other.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Solid Leadership

Well the World Cup is under way, and while the All Blacks saw fit to "rest" Conrad our other Old Boy Deacon Manu got his tournament under way with a good win to Fiji.

As a past Head Boy of FDMC it comes as no surprise that he leads Fiji with an intelligent and understated manner.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Super Coaches!

A big congratulations to Tim Stuck and Steve Simpson on being named the TRFU Coaches of the Year at Wednesday night's rugby awards. It was great recognition of the work they have both done with our 1st XV but also a pat on the back for the team itself and the whole rugby programme at FDMC. It was the first time this honour has been awarded to any one other than a senior club, or representative team, coach.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Let's Get This Party Started!

There has been a lot happening in our music world this term. The latest highlight is College band Living Lightly being asked to open for Shihad on Friday night in the the Big Top in NP.

Living Lightly is made up of year 13 Francis Douglas Memorial College students Sam Notman, Sam Thomson, BJ Monk, Jarrod Bakker and year 13 New Plymouth Boys' High School student Jake Church.

Great to see yet another way that FDMC will be part of the "Big Party" over the next 6 weeks.

The photo is taken from the Daily News - click here to read the article.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

From The Archives

We might be a boy's school but there is a long tradition of strong, capable women making a big contribution to the place. Here is a photo of some of those ladies taken some time in the 1990's.

They are seen relaxing after a long week (or term) of running the show.

Monday, 5 September 2011

From The Newsletter

With all the rugby that has, and will be, going on it is easy to forget that there is a lot of other good sporting stuff happening as well. The following is a report from Coach Ricky Green on the 1st XI's recent Tournament Week. We note that they are well supported by a number of old boys - well done all.

This year the 1st XI Football team took 16 students to the national tournament in Napier. With an inexperienced team we qualified 2nd in our region beating Wanganui High and drawing against New Plymouth Boys’. We were looking to qualify from our pool first or second to reach the Lotto Bowl tournament
for the first time in 3 years. 

First up we played Christchurch boys and were playing well until an unfortunate penalty decision was given against us. This disrupted our momentum, causing us to lose 2-0. The second game against Hutt International was a must win game. We made some strategical changes and played them off the park winning 3-0.
The third and final game was against Westlake Boys. This is the team that defeated us last year. We played extremely well and drew 1-1 after they
scored a late equalizer. This draw meant we qualified 2nd and had to play against St Peters (Cambridge) the 13th seeded team. 

The boys played well but ended up losing 2-0. Next up we played Kelston Boys. This was probably our hardest match. The boys played outstandingly in the second half but just couldn’t put the ball in the net, with the Kelston keeper making some outstanding saves and we lost 1-0. Next up we played St Andrews from Christchurch and dominated the match winning 4-1. The last game was against Marlborough Boys; unfortunately we lost 4-3. 

Overall the boys performed to the best of their ability throughout the week and I
was extremely proud of them finishing 22nd in New Zealand, our highest finish since 2008. I would like to thank Mary Reive, Steve Brailsford and Sandra
Smith for all the work they put in throughout the week. Thanks also to Mr Asi for his diligence with the fund raising and pre-tournament organisation. I would like to thank Greg Hareb and Central Finance for their generous contribution this year, and the past five years. I would also like to thank Peter Melody from Pak ‘N’ Save for supplying the drinks on tour and his generous contribution to our fund raising effort. Finally a big thanks to Budget Rental Car and Hareb/Deken Motors for supplying the transportation for the week. 

Next year’s tournament is in Nelson so we look forward to hopefully qualifying for
this tournament in 2012.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Horsing Around

Another somewhat blurry newspaper photo, but this one has come all the way from Kaikoura where Br William Harnett is still actively involved with horses and his local community.

Br Will tells us he was recently in Queensland and was inspired by the fact he could still go walking with Br Ollie (at 98 years of age).

Knowing Br Will he will probably still be riding at that age.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Boss Is Back

Our Principal, Martin Chamberlain, has returned to FDMC after a 10 week sabbatical that saw him attend a De La Salle course in the US and a Boy's Schools Conference in the UK.

As you can see from the photo he is fresh and keen and ready to lead us towards the end of another great year at FDMC.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

C'mon People!

You know us. We are normally not pushy. Happy to post things up and let you get on with your busy lives, but in this case we want some reaction.

We posted a request last week for some input into what the old boys tie should look like. To date we have no response. We know most old boys are not strong on fashion but we also know there will be lots of complaints if we get it wrong. Send us your ideas or leave a comment on what you would like to see around your neck.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Just A Matter Of Time

The photo right is a bit of a ropey scan from this mornings Daily News.

While there may have been other father/son shield winning combinations it is unlikely that the games took place only 15 years apart.

Beaudan and Kane are on the left of the photo and looking a bit more camera shy than either are now.

We believe Shane McDonald's boy is enrolled for FDMC in 2012 - so the story might not be over yet!

Friday, 26 August 2011


The Taranaki rugby team got a great welcome home yesterday.

The college was honoured to be asked by the TRFU to perform our haka as they got off the plane.It didn't make the final cut of most of the news bulletins but you can see a brief glimpse on the Daily News video of the arrival.

It could be an exciting week, and we hope, a summer with the shield. The FDMC boys will certainly be playing their part in that excitement.  

Thursday, 25 August 2011

A Golden Night

Congratulations and well done to Shane Cleaver, Carl Carmichael and Beaudy Barrett on winning the Ranfurly Shield. We know the other guys in the photo helped, but those FDMC boys were all key contributors - after all, Beaudy scored all the points.Bring on Hawkes Bay!

We did not have to look too hard at the game on TV to also see a number of old boys having a great time on the sidelines. We are sure Southland will know they have had a visit.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Tie Time

Blogging is essentially a passive exercise but this is one of those occasions when we would love you to do a bit more than just have a read. We are currently looking to create an FDMC Old Boys Tie and we want your input!

Have a go at designing an old boys tie using the tie template on this post. Email us your design ideas and we will see if together we can't create something with meaning, and of course a touch of class.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Among The People

The latest post from Br Bill Firman. Always a great reality check when we are moaning that the broadband is running slow.

The woman looked very worried. It was 6:30pm on a Saturday evening. I was in our outdoor kitchen – the only kitchen - of our Riimenze house preparing the evening meal when  a woman carrying her small child appeared before me. I called Sr Joana who went immediately to her ‘clinic’ to dress the wounds on the hands of this child who had fallen over. Every day, people with a wide variety of maladies come to Joana’s clinic. It is the wet season and many children are suffering the wretched illness of malaria. They seek help from Joana in the tukul that has served as her clinic. Sister Joana will soon be able to welcome patients into a new clinic funded, through the Lasallian Foundation, by a large secondary school and two private donors, in Australia.

A second section of this new building is an education centre for women where they can be assisted to have greater opportunity in a society that traditionally downplays their capabilities and stereotypes their roles. Sr Josephine has been away in Nairobi but will be back later this week. She will find the number of girls participating in the liturgical dancing she started has grown and the costumes she prepared are still in good order.  The girls have confidently continued to develop their performance in Josephine’s absence. It is a good sign. Under the guidance of Sr Josephine, practical  skills for living such as sewing and knitting can also be acquired.

Our Riimenze seminarian, Dominic, who has sometimes assisted Josephine departed for the seminary in Juba this week. Before departing, he sought some charcoal from us so that he could iron his clothes (see photos attached). I had never seen such an iron before – all part of the resilience and inventiveness of people living in a natural environment without access to electricity. Sr Joana told me they used such irons in her native Myanmar.

Regretably, in this period of post-independence adjustment,  some medicines in South Sudan are in short supply. Joana would like more liquid panadol for the children at present. Joana generally manages to keep her clinic well stocked and makes extensive use of well tested herbal remedies wherever she can. Like Sr Rosa, who is helping the people develop better crops in family gardens, Joana has learned to communicate with the people in the Azande language and teaches the people to utilise what is available in the local environment. It is a wonderful service to these people. The College leaders of a New Zealand school have raised funds for Sr Rosa, so that she is able to extend compassionate assistance and encouragement to people who will help  themselves - if only they are given some assistance in the beginning.

All of the people here in this rural community live in native tukuls – except us, for which circumstance I am grateful. We are not here to pretend we would make it better for the people by living the way they do. No, our attitude is to help where we can, using the resources we can bring to assist the people gradually to improve their lot. By western standards they may seem very poor but they regularly demonstrate human warmth and dignity, and an ability to enjoy special events as they celebrate life together.

Among these Azande people, the daily rhythm of living is established around water fetching, growing and preparing basic food and endeavouring to enjoy good health in the company of family and friends. Life is what it is, without pretense. If a child needs to be fed, even in Church, then a child is fed and there are many mothers with children in Church! No-one is concerned. It is the natural order of life. Small children help nurse even smaller children. Security and a sense of belonging abounds.

Rosa, Joana or Josephine often visit the sick or anyone needing help. Occasionally I have accompanied one of them. They know their way through the confusing, ever-changing bush tracks from family compound to family compound. They are warmly welcomed by these people. Rosa is currently in Vietnam visiting her own ailing mother but the people here continue to tend the gardens. It is a sign of hope that not all collapses when the mentors are absent. We move among a people of growing confidence that there a better future awaits their children.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Tournament Week

The winter season is coming to an end which will mean a change of pace for all those dedicated spectators out there. The image right is a classic shot from the archives of the intensity of the expert spectator.

Saturday's rugby finals saw great wins to the U15 A and U16 U63kg teams while the 2nd XV went down narrowly (15-13) to Stratford HS in the A grade final.

This week is Tournament Week with our 1st XI Hockey and Soccer teams playing in Napier and the U15 team playing in Wellington (St Pats Silverstream). Support and expert advice would be welcomed.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Well Done Lana!

Congratulations to FDMC staff member Lana Phipps who's NPOB netball team won the Taranaki premier netball final last night. Lana scored the winning goal in the last minute and we now hope she can keep her winning form tomorrow when her Under 63kg team takes on the might of Hawera in the secondary schools finals at Sanders Park.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Finals Time

This Saturday sees the end of the Secondary Schools rugby competition. They take place at Sanders Park in New Plymouth, and of course we would welcome any old boys to come along and support the 4 teams we have in the finals. The 1st XV have already won their grand final as part of the Men's Finals Day.

2011 Taranaki Secondary Schools Finals
20 August – Sanders park (Tukapa Club)

U15 U63KG B Final
FDMC Red v Hawera U15 U63 Field No.2 9.30am Kick off

U15 B Final
Waitara HS U15 v NPBHS U15 D Amber Field No.3 9.30am Kick off

B2 Division Final
NPBHS U15A v Coastal 2nd XV Field No.2 11.00am Kick off

U15 A Final
FDMC U15A v Central U15 A Field No.3

B Division Final
Waitara 1st XV v NPBHS 4th XV Field No.1 11.00am Kick off

U15 U63KG A Final
FDMC Gold v NPBHS Gold Field No.2 12.30pm Kick off

Premier Division
FDMC 2nd XV v Central 1st XV Field No.1 12.30 Kick off

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Winter Season

While many people are shivering over the winter blast we have just had the "snow bunnies" are walking around with big smiles on their faces. They inform us the new term is that it is "pukeing" snow!

Here is a shot of the 2000 FDMC Ski Team, no snow on the ground but everyone seems to be happy in the anticipation of a good run.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A Joyous Reunion

Thanks to Josh Hickford for this photo taken on Sunday 7th August in Wellington. The boys got together to wear their FDMC gear and have a quiet(?) beer. We believe there was a similar gathering in Dunedin on the same day.

Both gatherings got their timing right as a week later and they would not have been in shirt sleeves and jandals.

Monday, 15 August 2011

A Visitor From The East

It was great to have a visit last week from old boy and past staff member Mark Chamberlain.

Mark is currently traveling NZ on a book tour of schools. He has authored a number of books aimed at a teenage audience and was able to hold a big group of our students enthralled with excerpts from some of them. At least one of the books is set in a place inspired by FDMC and its characters, although names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Mark lives and works, both teaching and writing, in Saudi Arabia but he also has a home base in Northland and does a lot of traveling besides. He estimates he has visited at least 40 countries at various times.

As always it is great to have old boys come back and share their wider world experiences and we are hoping Mark may be a more regular visitor in the future.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

New Pathway

Not to anywhere special but just across the front of the main block.

After a number of years of talking about it we have got around to putting a pathway in front of the school. In the wet of a Taranaki winter it is already paying dividends in the reduction to carpet cleaning bills.

Sometimes little things make a big difference.