Monday, 28 February 2011

School Leaders 2011

This year's intrepid leaders have already made a bold start to the year and have impressed with their energy and enthusiasm.

Old Boy's will recognize a number of surnames in this roll call.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A Final Splash

An image that failed to make it on to the slideshow. Athletics sports are next - Friday March 11th.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Great Result For The 1st XI

Having won a close T20 encounter on Sunday afternoon the 1st XI completed a double defeating St Pat's Silverstream in the 50 over game on Monday.

FDMC scored 225, with good contributions from Shaun Sullivan (69) and Sam Fastier (42). They then restricted St Pat's to 135 with all the bowlers keeping things tight and accurate.

St Pat's players were billeted by the FDMC team and it was great to add another chapter to a growing relationship between the colleges.

Monday, 21 February 2011

A Late Notice

Just a late notice that the 1st XI cricket team is playing today at the college against St Pat's Silverstream. They are playing a one day game, starting at 10 am. Any one wanting to come and have a look is more than welcome.

St Pat's arrived on Sunday and the two teams played a 20/20 game in the afternoon. FDMC chased down 125, scoring the winning runs off the second last ball of the game. The 1st XI had lost early wickets but Ryan Watson and Michael Blanks (playing his first game for the 1st XI) set things in order and carried the team to a great victory.

Today's game promises to be just as close.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Big Day For Big Green

Yesterday's swimming sports saw Benildus triumphant for the first time since 1998!

It was a great day for the boys in green who combined high participation with keen aquatic skills to overpower Solomon.

We will have a pictorial record for you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Bits of News

Today, Wednesday 16th is swimming sports day. The weather is fine, the pool is full, house colours have been applied - pictures at a later date.

Speaking of photos, we hope to bring you some of old boy Vaughan McLean's wedding, which takes place locally this weekend.

Well done to Nathan and Kevin Coombes who won the Family Cup in last weekend's Coast to Coast multi-sport event.

We had a visit from Father (was Brother) Kevin Neal last week. He is in good spirits and currently based at The Cathedral in Palmerston North. Father Kev tells us he keeps a close eye on the blog.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Who Would Have Thought?

A great reflection from Br Bill.

Here I am, a 67 year-old man, who joined the Brothers 49 years ago and now find myself in North West Africa, a continent I had never visited before 2009, living in a religious community of four members. Having embraced a celibate lifestyle as an eighteen year old and having lived in all male religious communities for 47 years, now I am living with three women, all considerably younger than I am, and I’m feeling virtuous about it!

When I left home at that young age, my mother said to me: ‘Promise me that if you are not happy you will come home.’ Neither my mother, nor I, ever thought it would come to this! Hugh Hefner might never believe it but the remarkable thing is that this situation is totally comfortable - and wholly innocent! Mind you, I am confident that those of us in this community have very different values and motivation than that evidenced by the denizens of the Playboy mansion!

We mix and interact naturally and easily. Sexuality is simply not an issue. Each of us continues to be who she/he is and it is not greatly different from my years of living in all male communities where each treated the other with mutual respect. We pray together regularly, talk together easily, work together comfortably and we sleep securely – unless the LRA are reported to be in this area!

In most of our Solidarity with Southern Sudan communities, we have ensuite rooms but here we share a common bathroom in which there are three showers and three toilets. It is not a problem. We hand wash our clothing and, sometimes, my ‘undies’ hang on the line next to my religious sisters’ unmentionables. Again, it is simply not an issue. In fact, so far none of the religious sisters has confused her laundry with mine – which has not always been my previous experience in community life!

Our community is very cosmopolitan. The sisters come from Kenya, Vietnam and Myanmar and I come from Australia. Internationality is not really a difficulty, although sometimes we struggle a little to understand accents and inflections that are different from our own. The cross-cultural dimension is enriching. I am struck by how much unites us, what we have in common, and how little there is that divides us.

There are some differences. The female preference for movies is definitely on the non-violent side. When we screened ‘Master and Commander’ on a computer screen, prior to our new community beginning in Yambio, each of the sisters disappeared as the movie progressed and only one male remained to watch the swashbuckling heroics of Russel Crowe.

I enjoyed my community last year in Malakl and I am feeling very positive in my new community here in Riimenze. Life in Southern Sudan is not lonely but there is an aloneness in being a long way from family, friends and comfort zone. I am luckier than most to have another Australian De La Salle Brother, a life-time friend, here with me in Southern Sudan. The final journey Stan Carmody took last week was a journey alone, something each of us will one day face. So let us enjoy the precious people who are with us now and cherish the gift of this life, even as our faith calls us to hope for future reunion in, and with, our God.

Br Bill

Monday, 14 February 2011

A Busy Term

While Term 1 is now well underway we thought we would share the calendar of events for the rest of the term. These are only the extras that go with the normal daily routines of the college.


Sunday 13 TSS Beach Volleyball @ Ngamotu
Tuesday 15 Y 13 Biology trip to Marton
Wednesday 16 Swimming Sports
Thursday 17 Yr 8 Camp @ Vertical Horizons
Friday 18 Yr 8 Camp @ Vertical Horizons
Sunday 20 TSS Golf/Croquet @ West End
Monday 21 Swimming Sports Back Up Day
Tuesday 22 Senior boys Tennis finals
Wednesday 23 Primary Industry Careers Visit 9.30 am
Thursday 24 Yr 12 Biology field trip to Mt Taranaki
Thursday 25 Yr 12 Bio Field Trip -- PTA Wine & Nibbles 7.30pm
Sunday 27 TSS Mountain biking

Thursday 3 Academic Colours Assembly
Tuesday 8 Yr 13 Leaders to Waitomo
Board of Trustees Meeting 7.30pm
Wednesday 9 Ash Wednesday
Friday 11 Athletics Day
Monday 14 Taranaki Anniversary Weekend
Tuesday 15 Back Up Athletics Carnival Day
Wednesday 16 TSS Athletics
Friday 18 Yr 12 Biology Trip to Kawaroa
Sunday 20 TSS Triathlon @ Ngamotu
Tuesday 22 Year 8 Retreat
Wednesday 23 Massey University liaison 9.30am -- Parent Teacher Interviews
Friday 25 Sec Schools Sailing Regatta --Mufti Day --Lincoln University liaison 12 noon
Saturday 26 G A L A
Sunday 27 TSS Mountain biking
Monday 28 Waka Ama Nationals
Tuesday 29 TSS Swimming in Stratford -- Yr 9 Camp @ Konini Lodge
Wednesday 30 Yr 9 Camp -- TSS Rogaine
Thursday 31 Yr 9 Camp

Sunday 3 Young Leaders to Wellington
Tuesday 5 Yr 9 Camp
Wednesday 6 Yr 9 Camp
Saturday 2 Rugby 1st XV -v- Rotorua Boys High
Wednesday 6 TSS Bowls -- Otago Liaison 9.30am
Monday 11 Auckland University liaison 1.00pm
Wednesday 13 Rugby 1st & 2nd XV -v- De La Salle
Friday 15 End of Term 1

Friday, 11 February 2011

Well Done Sam

Congratulations to last year's Head Boy Sam Wells on being selected for the Taranaki Senior Cricket Team. Sam will make his debut today at Pukekura Park as part of the Taranaki pace attack.

We are sure Sam will represent his province with the same energy and success that he has always brought to his cricket at FDMC.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

And So It Begins

Yesterday saw the William Webb Ellis Trophy pay a visit to FDMC. Young John Cardy can be seen making the trophy welcome.

John , and all of us, are hoping it will get to visit again with the All Blacks as body guards.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Running For Fun

Good article (and photo) in today's Daily News on recent old boy Nathan Coombes and his father and their preparation for doing the Coast to Coast multi sport event.

We would be interested to know if there are other old boys who are preparing to put themselves through hell for the right to say they have done it - leave a comment.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Gimme Shelter

The photo right shows FDMC PTA Chairman Lindsay Thomson congratulating Property Manager Dan Keegan over the successful completion of The Canopy which provides a large covered area for the Year 7 and 8 students at the College.

With Dan are property staff members Miles Blair and Neville Rowlands who played a big part in the construction of our latest addition.

The FDMC PTA were able to contribute $30000 towards the cost of construction, which was a fantastic help and a concrete example of how activities such as the Gala Day have a direct impact on what we can do at FDMC.

The Year 7 and 8 play area has been a great innovation in the last decade. the boys will now be able to gather and play no matter what the weather.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Wedding Bells

Congratulations to Old Boy Michael Sullivan and his new wife Katie Stringer who were married in the college chapel on Saturday. It is always great to have old boys use the college facilities for such key events in their lives.

We know there was a large contingent of past students in attendance. Deacon Manu took time out from the Welsh rugby season to be groomsman and was able to call in to say hello during the week. We are hoping he will be back later in the year as the captain of Fiji in the World Cup.

We would be grateful to any one who might be able to provide a photo or two of the big event.

Friday, 4 February 2011

From The Archives

The image opposite should look familiar to students from the early days of the college. It is the cover of our very first school magazine and if you click on it you should be taken to a full on line copy of that great work.

We are currently trialling the upload of all the college magazines and would grateful for any feedback you might have.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Uncertain Times

As we enter an election year in NZ, and the politicians begin to jockey for position, it is interesting to read Br Bill's take on the political changes taking place in the Sudan. It puts things in perspective.

The referendum has taken place and there is little uncertainty about the result. Although it will be sometime before official results are announced, several states, including Western Equatoria, where I am at present, have announced results close to 99% in favour of secession. Here, in this small region of Riimenze, 671 voted for secession and only 8 for unity. By contrast, the Southern Sudan Referendum Committee (SSRC) states that only 58% of voters in North Sudan opted for secession.The SSRC website stated on 21st January that out of the 3,932,588 people inside and outside the country that registered for voting, an overwhelming number, 3,138,803 had chosen secession while 44,518 voted in favor of unity. Those figures were based on the processing of 100% of the votes in North Sudan and 83.4% of the votes in the South. To that date, 5,972 blank votes had been cast and 7,745 invalid ones had been excluded from calculations. The further requirement that 60 percent of those registered must vote had been easily exceeded by last Wednesday, the fourth day of voting. Fortunately in most places the situation has remained stable and peaceful.

There have been few reports of violence and any that have occurred has been given customary prominence by the media. Certainly the country has been no less stable than normal and Southern Sudan has survived the referendum with more calm than most anticipated. Many shops remain closed, however, with no indication of when, and if, they will re-open. In Yambio we have noted extraordinary jumps in the prices of some commodities in the space of a few days. Last week, the price of diesel increased from three Sudanese pounds per litre to four. Sr Margaret bought a fifty kilo sack of sugar for 195 pounds. A few days later, she purchased another sack for Father Mario at the Congolese refugee camp and the price had jumped to 220 pounds. I noted a newspaper report which asserted that there is a foreign currency shortage in Khartoum that has led to the Government withdrawing subsidies on fuel and sugar. By the way, sugar is a key ingredient of beverages for most Sudanese people.

This morning, at a break during an education meeting that Sr Margaret and I attended, I took one spoon of black instant coffee with no sugar in my cup. A priest had a third of a spoon of coffee with three spoons of sugar in his. ‘Three spoons’ seems to be the most common Sudanese practice. But to return to the uncertain economic situation. At the same time as the dramatic increase in the costs of key commodities, there has been a significant change in the foreign exchange rate. A few weeks ago, one dollar could be exchanged for about 2.8 Sudanese pounds. For most of 2010, this rate varied between 2.6 and 2.8 with an occasional surge when dollars were in short supply. The last time I exchanged dollars, however, the rate was 3 pounds per dollar. Now I would expect to get at least 3.2. Is this the start of rapid inflation of prices within Southern Sudan – or a short term variation? I don’t know.

Since our source of income is principally, but not totally, the dollars provided by generous donors outside of Sudan, those of us working for Solidarity with Southern Sudan are to a degree insulated against such inflation; but for the people here, what they can buy with the few pounds they earn may become less and less. Their access to imported goods will decrease as prices rise and it would be only the local produce that they would be able to afford. This may be the start of post-referendum pain. If so, we hope it will not be too hard on the people of Sudan.

Br Bill

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Here They Come

Today is the first full day of school for FDMC 2011. We include a video of students as they make their way to the first assembly. Something that may bring back memories for a few old boys.