Thursday, 28 July 2011

Boarders Bedtime

Perhaps nothing illustrates the way things have changed at FDMC more than the lifestyle of the boarders. The photo, of some what dodgy quality, is of a day long gone for hostel sleeping arrangements.

Next term we will do a little tour of the current La Salle House and show you how things have changed.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Another Old Boy Does Well

Congratulations goes out to old boy Mike Sandle who has been announced as the new Black Caps (NZ Cricket Team) Manager.

Mike's experiences managing everything from junior rugby teams all the way up to his current job with the Auckland Blues, will come in handy when dealing with cricketers and the cricketing world. Being an ex policeman, dog handler and detective may well prove useful as well!

Those who know Mike can vouch for the fact that he is a great FDMC operator - understated, friendly, efficient and he gets the job done.

Well done Mike, but thank heaven you won't be called on to bat or bowl.

Full article in the Daily News.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Hot Teams

Congratulations to the 1st XV on their eight consecutive TRFU U20 title. The photo above is of another hot FDMC team - not through their number of wins, just their on court comitment. Photo taken somewhere in the late 1990's.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

More Rugby Success

The season just keeps getting better. Last Saturday saw the 1st XV travel to Wellington where they defeated St Pat's Town in a competitive encounter 15 to 12. Following the after match the boys hopped back on the bus and traveled home so that they could play Clifton U20's on Sunday. The quick turnaround did not seem to phase the players as they dominated the semi final 48 to 6.

Five of our players then represented the college at the Hurricanes coaching school in Palmerston North this week. Good news today that Scott Barrett and Teihorangi Walden have made the Hurricanes Secondary School side. It seems Jade Fleming was most unlucky to miss out, breaking his hand during the trials, while both Andrew Trolove and Zac Power where not far from selection.

The season continues with the 1st XV playing the final of the TRFU  U20 competition at The Hub in Hawera. The game kicks off at 1 pm on the main ground with the local Southern U20 team sure to prove solid opposition for the team.

Come next Sunday there will be a few guys looking for a rest!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Principal Abroad

Principal Martin Chamberlain is currently overseas on a 10 week sabbatical. Never one to lose too much focus on his school, he has been able to catch up with old boy Michael Kelly.

While on sabbatical and after attending the International Boys' School Coalition Conference in London, I arranged to meet up with a man who is arguably our most accomplished academic.  Michael Kelly, who first attended FDMC in 1960, is currently Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge.  In recognition of his achievements he has also been made a member of the Royal Society by his peers.  Michael has fond memories of FDMC and credits one of the brothers in convincing him that his efforts could make a real difference to his country.  Unfortunately his talents were such that the ultimate corridors of academia have kept him on the other side of the globe.  Keen to catch up with his home country by more than flying visits however, he and his wife plan to spend several months in NZ next year so we should be able to introduce him to our students as a source of inspiration.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Back In Town

Spotted at the Tukapa v Clifton semi final on Saturday, old boy Simon "Blocker" Kurth. Simon is back from the USA for a fortnight visiting family and friends, and watching a little rugby.

Simon resides in coastal California, where he has married a local girl and has started producing little Americans of his own. He is making a living teaching kids, but despite that he can still manage a typical Blocker smile.

Friday, 15 July 2011

1st XV vs St Pat's Town

The end of the term is proving to be as busy as it has been all the way through. Both students and teaches are looking forward to a bit of a break before the push into the second half of the year.

The 1st XV has certainly not slackened their efforts with this weekend seeing them make the trip to Wellington to play St Pat's town on Saturday followed by the TRFU Under 20 semi-final against Clifton back at FDMC on Sunday.

The St Pat's game is part of the new Hibernian Cup and will be played at St Pat's Town at 11 am - old boys more than welcome to stand and cheer.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

I Love To Go A Wandering...

While the rest of us are wondering when it is ever going to stop raining a number of our students are in England playing cricket for the Taranaki Wanderers Touring Team.

The boys have played their first game with Ricky Riccitalli, Kurt Leuthard, Sam Fastier, Ryan Watson and GJ Pike all contributing to an exciting win over Halleybury School.

The team is in England for the next three weeks and you can follow their fortunes on their tour website - Taranaki Wanderers.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Old Boys Email

Those of you who watched the 1xt XV game verses NBPHS on SKY may have noted that old boy Wiliam Johnston was the comments man on the sideline. Below is a recent email from Willie keeping us up to date with what he is doing - as always we would encourage other old boys to send us similar info.

Since leaving school at the end of 2009, I am now at the New Zealand Broadcasting School in Christchurch - studying radio broadcasting. Within the last few months I have been on the Sky TV's Rugby Channel College Rugby coverage as a commentator. A month or so ago, I was the sideline commentator for the coverage of the New Plymouth Boys' High School vs FDMC historical match and since then have been given another opportunity to work as a commentator at the recently played Nelson College vs Timaru Boys' 1st XV game. During both of these games I have been working along side Sky Sport's production people and people like Keith Quinn, Steve Davie, Bull Allen and John McBeth on seperate occasions - interviewing players, commenting during the game and getting to understand how an outside broadcast of sport actually works. 

I have always wanted to be a rugby commentator at some capacity and this and refereeing go hand in hand in terms of understanding the game and commenting as required - this is a very fun and exciting opportunity. This is a step in the right direction in terms of my dream career. I am currently hosting a radio show on Christchurch's The Breeze from 2-6pm on a Sunday afternoon. These opportunities are separate to my degree studies. 

I am continuing my rugby refereeing and looking to be selected in the Southern rep squad for 2011, if all goes well...

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Golden Music


The New Zealand National Concert Band Festival was held in New Plymouth on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th of July. Francis Douglas Memorial College entered this event for the first time this year with two ensemble groups and a combined SHGC and FDMC concert band.

Our community playout was at the Baptist Church Hall on Liardet Street at 9.00 am on Friday morning and I would like to sincerely thank Trevor and Janet Randall for helping us move the huge array of equipment such as Timpanis, drumkit, congos, amps, etc. They were at FDMC shortly after 8.00am and without their help we would have struggled to be setup on time.

The playout at this venue was a good practice session for the band as we had few onlookers at that time, although Pukekohe High were the next group so were a good audience for the last two pieces.

Our adjudicated performance was at 11.45am on the main stage at the TSB Showplace, so at 10.45am all the gear had been shifted to the venue and the boys and girls were getting their uniform in order, instruments warmed up and ensuring music was ready. We warmed up in the Alexander Room and then were on stage.
‘Fusion’ Concert Band is the combined band of SHGC and FDMC students. It has been ably conducted by FDMC Music Teacher Sonya Newton, and also by Stewart Maunder who has had input into all of the Taranaki Concert Bands that competed at the national event.
It was a real cue for these teachers and students to be adjudicated by three international judges; Sam Sanchez, Robert Hollingshead and Grant Pitcher, and to be credited with ‘Gold’ at their first competition. We were thankful for the support provided by Mr Warren Orr and Mrs Jocelyn Beath who helped provide further depth in the trumpet and flute sections.

At 3.20 pm FDMC’s ‘Jazz Combo competed at the Operatic Society clubrooms in the ensemble section. They are taught by Robin Wellaway and perform at many school and community functions. It was somewhat painful lugging drums, keyboard etc. up the stairs into the venue but well worth it! This group has some of our most passionate and capable musicians. It came as no surprise that the adjudicator, Winston Hoare, gave them a Gold for their polished performance. It was totally deserved.

The final ensemble ‘2 Early 2 Jam Band’ taught by Simon James was the last to compete at 3.50 pm. By this stage the adjudicator had fallen well behind and the performance time was closer to 4.15 pm. We were appreciative of Simon’s performance skills and his unflappable nature which enabled him to set up a required vocal mic. when it was not supplied. The boys performed well and were judged ‘Silver’ for their performance.

Fabulous results were achieved by all those involved and it was an absolute cue to be the highest finishing local band at a national open event.
Full credit must be given to Mrs Sonya Newton for her encouragement, passion and tireless effort in preparing our students and enabling these opportunities to go ahead.

The next competition will be the Waikato Secondary Schools’ Band Festival on August 5th in Hamilton and we hope we can continue our winning streak there.

Monday, 11 July 2011

One For The Future

Young Kyle van der Merwe is in Year 11 at the college and has been busy breaking every javelin record he can find. He has the potential to go a very long way in his chosen sport. The article below is taken from the latest College newsletter. If you would like to add your vote for Kyle click on this link.

Friday, 8 July 2011

A Sad Loss

News this week of the death of recent old boy Jordan Newbold. Jordan was living locally and was killed in a traffic accident last weekend. He attended the college from 2003 to 2006. We ask that you keep Jordan and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Hard Yakker

We like hard work - we could watch it all day.

The photo is from the 1980's archive and shows the Agrodome at shearing time.

We believe the two workers are Harley Churstain and Jarad Coogan, which is appropriate as they have both taken their shearing skills to a higher level since leaving school.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Big Changes In Southern Sudan

This report will be my last from the semi-autonomous region of Southern Sudan. My next report will be from the independent Republic of South Sudan. It is a bold step that all hope will bring better living standards to the people of South Sudan.

‘How are you going to celebrate July 9th?’ I have been asked. I think my honest reply is simply that I shall put my head down, stay mostly inside except for functions in the Church, and see what eventuates. Frankly, it is a time I shall be pleased to see come and go. The elections, the referendum and now pending independence create uncertainty, imposed restrictions, heightened military and police intrusion. Some Sudanese workers want to go to their home place where they feel safest. It is not that anyone expects something to go wrong. Indeed, much effort is being directed towards ensuring security, but, nonetheless, we live with an uncomfortable ‘What if?’

I am attaching a letter written by the leaders of the Comboni Congregations, men and women, who were established by Saint Daniel Comboni to assist the people of Africa. The Combonis are not present in some parts of the world, such as Australia, but have gone where their missionary zeal has taken them, especially to Africa – teachers, preachers, nurses, doctors, builders, agriculturalists and fundraisers. From among their numbers, many priests have been called to be bishops to provide leadership of the local Church. The Combonis have long been a major force in establishing the Catholic Church in Sudan. Local vocations have followed and now most Bishops are native Sudanese. The Combonis have also established a Catholic Radio network throughout the dioceses of Southern Sudan. This joint letter from the Provincial Leaders of the men’s and women’s congregations, sums up the present situation much more effectively than I could.

The letter is a spiritual message of hope. At the more mundane level, I continue to be amazed at the rapid development taking place in the capital, Juba, backed by huge expenditure. It is indicative, at the level of business, of confidence in the future. There is increasing investment in the country, not a nervous exodus. I have seen a couple of overseas news reports that refer to Sudan as possibly on the brink of war. That seems to me to be most unlikely. What pleases me are the occasional less spectacular news items I have noted that record agreements, at least interim, of some significant ‘hot’ issues. Ethiopian peacekeepers, for example, are now in place in a buffer zone in the disputed border area of Abyei.

It is also pleasing to observe that although there have been significant price increases – the price of diesel and gas has doubled – some supplies continue to come through. The distribution infrastructure has been hampered by occasional border closures but it has not collapsed – and that is the significant fact. Food is still available, almost as usual. Fewer people are on the streets. We carry our identity documents everywhere when we go out. But none of us are expressing actual fear or insecurity.

I shall be in Malakal for the declaration of independence. Even in the war years, there were few incidents there in the wet season. Yes, now is the wet season and movement of troops and weapons over any distance on the  ground would be virtually impossible. The most likely major hazard I face is getting my gumboots stuck in the mud! Malakal does have  a sealed runway and is on the Nile River. So it will continue to have some open supply routes and in all our houses we are already well stocked up.

The political leaders, on both sides, it seems to me, have done an excellent job to date in a difficult and complex situation. We pray that independence benefits all the citizens in the south, not just those in positions of leadership who are the first custodians of the country’s potential wealth. The children of this land deserve a bright future.


Wishing God's blessings to all.                                                                                                                              Br Bill

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Old Boy News

Pictured right is FDMC Old Boy Darren Proffitt.

We wonder if we could start a competition to see how many old boys can get their photo taken with the world cup - see what you can do guys!

Darren is taking advantage of the great outdoors in Sweden by involving himself in lots of multisport action. He recently competed in the King Gustav Swedish Klassic which involved a 300 km Bike race, a90 km Cross Country Ski, a 30 km Run and a 6 km swim - which would explain the happy but tired look on his face in the photo. Darren gained a  medal in all of the events

Remember we are always pleased to hear what you have been up to.

Friday, 1 July 2011

More Old Photos - Named

Thanks to Br Declan for his encyclopedic knowledge of FDMC. He has sent us the roll call for this photo

Senior Boarders in 1981.

(back) Gavin McCauley, Kieran Stone, Joe Cronin, Kevin Koorey, John Mitchell, Gavin Kearns.

(front) Tom Bennion and Greg Clarke.