Thursday, 31 March 2011

Earning Their Colours

The following has been taken from the Principal's reflection in our latest newsletter. We will have a photo or two next week.

Our Colours Assembly was once again an important occasion where we honoured our academic heroes - those who attained Excellence Endorsement at Levels
1 and 2 in NCEA last year. The student body was congratulated for their overall superb success rates and they were reminded that two years ago, only eight students qualified compared to the 20 acknowledged on the day.

Recipients were:

Level 2
Jonathan Carey  -- 151 credits - 103 at excellence level
Joe Bracegirdle -- 149 credits - 82 at excellence level
Jarrod Bakker -- 128 credits - 66 at excellence level
Scott Busing -- 132 credits - 63 at excellence level
Kieran O’Donnell -- 145 credits - 59 at excellence level
George Grainger -- 125 credits - 59 at excellence level
Hadley Northcott -- 136 credits - 55 at excellence level
Joe Clarke -- 113 credits - 51 at excellence level
Patrick Forsythe -- 139 credits - 50 at excellence level
Tyler Fleming -- 131 credits - 50 at excellence level

Level 1
Sam Fastier -- 207 credits - 108 at excellence level
Jonathan Ritchie -- 200 credits - 102 at excellence level
Ken Imrie -- 206 credits - 83 at excellence level
GJ Pike -- 207 credits - 70 at excellence level
Aaron Kuriger -- 197 credits - 58 at excellence level
Jacob Klenner -- 205 credits - 56 at excellence level
Alistair Murray -- 196 credits - 53 at excellence level
Oliver Klups -- 197 credits - 53 at excellence level
Scott Alexander -- 185 credits - 50 at excellence level

These students deserve the praise of all of us since their example lifts the performance of all. Our guest speaker was former student Dion Tuuta, CEO of the largest consortium supplying Fontera in this province and a regular column writer in the Taranaki Daily News. He was inspiring.

Dion encouraged achievement stating that real mates will support and encourage their friends towards success, and that no one should walk out of the hall that day thinking that this is as good as it gets. He quoted a gutsy passage from Theodore Roosevelt that is worth reproducing here – “It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doers of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred with sweat and blood and dust; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat,”

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The 1st XV - 2011 Edition

Pictured above is the FDMC 1st XV squad and their guests, Earl Marriot High School from British Colombia. The two teams played each other last week with FDMC proving too strong, running away with the game 77 to 6.

This weekend the team continues it's early season preparation with a game against rugby powerhouse Rotorua BHS. The game kicks off at FDMC at 1 pm - come along and see how this year's team shapes up.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Gala Day - The Photos

Despite some dodgy weather the FDMC spirit was in evidence on Saturday as the PTA, staff and students got together to raise just over $20,000 for the College. The photos give a great account of another great day at FDMC.

Monday, 28 March 2011

The FDMC Foundation Website

It has been a while in the making but today we release the FDMC Foundation for your perusal and comment. The web site, like the Foundation itself, is still in development mode, and we would greatly appreciate Old Boy feedback as to what you might want to have on you site.

While you are paying a visit please register as a foundation member, no fee required, which will then unlock some of the other site features.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Gala Day 2011

Tomorrow is Gala Day.

The preparations have all been made, the hot oil is simmering, potential clowns are becoming nervous around water and raffle goods are preparing to be quick fired. It is always a great day at the College and , of course, the money raised by the PTA always comes in handy as well.

See you there.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Well Spotted!

Thanks to Craig Reilly for the following email heads up.

Noticed that the following game against the old foe is being televised in June 6. One for the diaries.

June 8: NPBHS v Francis Douglas College 1.45pm. Rugby Channel



Monday, 21 March 2011

The FDMC Foundation Launch

After a lot of background work we are about to launch The FDMC Foundation. There has been a lot of discussion about how we go about getting things underway, and while a Black Tie Gala event would have been fun it has been decided that a lower key launch could be a more appropriate way to kick things off. To that end we will usher the FDMC Foundation into existence on Saturday April 2nd at the College.

The launch will be based around several college sporting events that will be taking place on the day and all old boys are more than welcome to attend. The format is as follows;

Saturday April 2nd

Junior cricket finals on the FDMC Oval
FDMC 2nd XV v Rotorua BHS at Rugby Park No.4

12 - 1pm
BBQ and refreshments (no charge) in the Y13 Hostel Courtyard

Address by FDMC Old Boy and Rhodes Scholar Thomas Hills, and the official launch of the FDMC Foundation.

1 - 2.30pm
FDMC 1st XV v Rotorua BHS on FDMC No 1

1 - 3.30pm
FDMC 1st XI v FDMC Old Boys T20 cricket match for the Brian Vale Bat.

Any old boy wishing to play cricket against the 1st XI should email Sam Barrett at

The FDMC college spirit is sure to be to the fore and it would be great to have as many old boys as possible participate in it. See you there.

Friday, 18 March 2011

A Day Well Run (Pun Intended)

The College Athletics Sports were held on Friday 11th March. There was much anticipation to see whether Benildus could repeat their great efforts of the Swimming Sports. It soon became clear that this was not going to happen and the struggle for top place would be between Loreto and Solomon. Top performers on the day were Kyle Van der Merwe of La Salle, who set new records in the Discus (52.86m - an improvement of over 9m) and Shot Put (14.90m - an improvement of more than a metre and a record that has stood since 1981). Simon French of Solomon setting a new Intermediate B Long Jump record (5.69m - a record that has been held since 1977) and Year 8 Shaun Phillips of Solomon set a new Javelin Ball record (38.36m).

After a hard fought and great day on both the track and the field Solomon eventually took out the Athletics Trophy.

La Salle 3 managed to claim the Vertical Form Relay, much to the delight of Miss Phipps. Though it must be mentioned that the Teacher’s team led all the way and took out line honours!

House Points 1. Solomon 1768 2. Loreto 1533 3. Benildus 1489 4. La Salle 1375

Athletic Champions

Year 7 1. Isaac Kneepkens (B) 2. Zac Reid (LS) 3.= Sean Mosquera (S) Jacques McCallum-Lind (S) Liam Thomson (L)

Year 8 1. Thomas Wright (S) 2. Ben Moore (L) 3. Ian de Felice (B) 4. Connor Hay (LS)

Junior 1. Lachlan Stevens (S) 2. Jayden Taylor (B) 3. Richard Blundell (B) 4. Scott Chadwick (S)

Intermediate B 1. Karl Wright (S) 2. Tyler Feakins (S) 3. Simon French (S) 4. Joe Hau (LS)

Intermediate A 1. Jordan Penn (L) 2. Kyle van der Merwe (LS) 3. Rhodri Williams (S) 4. Liam Doherty (L)

Senior 1. Luke McCallum (L) 2. Scott Alexander (L) 3. Nick Arnold (S) 4. Jade Fleming (S)

Thursday, 17 March 2011

A Grey Day In Tokyo

The recent disaster in Japan has had an impact all the way back to FDMC with the cancellation of our language students trip to Japan which was to have taken place in a few weeks time. The following are comments from Old Boy, Father Leo Schumacher who is a Priest in Tokyo in response to us cancelling the trip planned for April.

A grey day here in Tokyo. Of course you have seen the horrific scenes of what happened on Friday. Saturday people were still in shock, but on Sunday things seemed to be getting back to normal in Tokyo.

The trains were running and the church was full. But now the concerns about the nuclear power station has got everyone worried.Though 250 km away, it makes the crisis go on and on.

Most schools and universities are on holiday, finishing this term a week early. Now there will be staggered power cuts and many of the trains will have to cut back operations.

Tokyo is safe and quieter than normal. All the petrol stations have long cues of cars filling up.
I am not quite sure why as there is no problem with petrol supplies. People have stopped the rather orderly panic buying that took place on the weekend.

From Today I can understand why people wish to cancel. So many things around Tokyo have closed and people are still very reluctant to get back to ordinary consumption. The International schools around Tokyo have closed and families have left for longer spring breaks.

So too bad about the travel plans. Wish you all well.
And prayers for all of us up here.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A Letter From ...

Another example of Old Boys making contact - keep them coming folks.

Was very impressed with the college when I visited before Xmas. Simon got married in the college chapel. We had a great day and it was great to have a look around. Looks like the school has come a long way with the development of many new facilities. We live and dairy farm in Victoria, Australia now and really enjoy the lifestyle over here. The only problem is I won't be able to send my two sons to Francis Douglas. Anyway I hope 2011 is a good year for the school. I have got Liam Richardson over here working for me at the moment and he couldn't believe that Mr Blanks first day at FDMC, was my first day there also. Way back in 1988. Say hello to him from me.

Take Care.
Leighton Hart.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Old Boy Visit

It was great to welcome Old Boy Chester Jenkins to the college this week. Chester, seen here in the backrow in 1963, was a first day pupil who was able to share some great memories of his days at FDMC.

Chester has been living in Canada since 1969 and this was his first time back at the College, a place that has changed a great deal in the last 50 years.

As always, we are happy to welcome Old Boys back and offer them the chance to revisit their old haunts.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Athletic Sports 1966 - 2011

Tomorrow is Athletics Sports Day for 2011. The forecast is good, the programme is set and the students are trained to the minute. It will be another in a along line of great sporting days in the sun.

The photo opposite is from another athletics carnival back in 1966. The athletes are that year's age group champions who are from left to right;

E Fleming, J Brennan, V Douba, P Brennan, P Tracy, P Luoni

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Doing Their Bit

Today is Ash Wednesday and as well as marking the day at the College students are also holding a mufti day to raise money for Charitas and The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.

We note that old boy Conrad Smith is lending his support to the Canterbury v Wellington Legends cricket match in Wellington on Sunday. Conrad will be umpiring, having played for the Hurricanes earlier in the weekend. Some of his comments make interesting reading;

The big names continue to be unveiled by organiser Stephen Fleming. All Blacks Richie McCaw and Conrad Smith are the latest to lend their support, the pair confirmed as umpires for the match between the Canterbury Legends XI and Wellington Legends XI.

Fleming said the All Blacks pair would rotate umpiring stints with actors Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins) and Mark Hadlow (Harry in King Kong).

Smith said he was delighted to have an involvement in the fundraiser.

"I played a lot more cricket growing up than rugby when I was at school," Smith said.

"I was more of a bowler. I used to try and bowl fast. I played a game of club cricket earlier in the year and it was into the Wellington wind and I was more tired after that than a game of rugby."

If you are in the area why not get along and support a good cause.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Some Old Results

We are justifiably proud of our recent exam results but we should not forget that students have been achieving high academic standards from the earliest days of the College. The 1963 exam results show a good many famous FDMC names doing very well academically.

Monday, 7 March 2011

A Marathon Effort

Well done to our FDMC staff members who completed the Mountain To Surf Marathon on Saturday. Mike Ingram, Kapo Wong, Maree Fleming, Phil Smolenski and Lana Phipps all braved the conditions and put their bodies on the line. Their times varied but the sense of achievement, and their difficulty in walking up stairs, is very evident today.

Well done to any of our old boys who also got out and gave it a go.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

What's for Dinner?

While reading the latest Hostel newsletter we came across this weekly menu and thought that there would be many old boarders who would be very interested in what today's guys get served.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

A Business Card

We attempted this task a year or two ago with limited success, but with the FDMC Foundation web site soon to be launched we are going to try again.

Can you send us your business card? We want to make these available for old boys, at no cost to either party, as we firmly believe we should be supporting each other where possible. It is something that works very well for a number of old boys associations, so why not email us your card at old boys business card or mail it to us at;

Old Boys Business Card
C/O Martin Dravitzki
Francis Douglas Memorial College
PO Box 5124
New Plymouth