By Nick McIvor | Posted: Friday December 14, 2018
The Year 13 Leavers Dinner last Tuesday night was a fine send off for the young men there; a final step in departure from TBHS after 5 years learning and growing. It was a gathering with fellowship, reflection, affirmation, and the opportunity for parents and staff to enjoy what has passed and to consider with excitement what will be, for the class of 2014. It was a pleasure to be in the company of so many fine young men.
Each student came forward to receive a gift and to have his Timaru Boys’ personal highlight read out and what he’s going onto in further study or employment. There was also a fantastic audio-visual montage produced by the boys that took images from their last 5 years to show how they had journeyed through the school’s assorted ‘life and times’. This included, for a bit of fun, screening of Year 9 versus Year 13 ID photos. Some of the boys looked barely recognisable compared to their 2014 self! Toasts for the evening to the class, to the staff, and to parents, grandparents and caregivers, all acknowledged the truly team effort it had been to get the boys to this point. Ryan Greenslade and Mac Edwards spoke about their top moments in the hostel and school since January 2014 – each reflection common to many in the room. The night was capped off with all the boys singing the school song around the Seven Oaks piano with gusto (and reasonably in tune), kindly accompanied by Carolyn Bunting, to express their school spirit for one last time together. The evening also had a delightful musical start thanks to the school Jazz Group that played in the first hour. A special thank you goes to Year 13 Dean, Grant MacFarlane, for all his work organising this night with the help of our dedicated office staff and selected students.
Among the key messages, our soon-to-depart young men were urged to: stay linked to their mates, now that they share a special common past; stay linked to the school, as it will always be their school waiting for their return; stay open to new opportunities, to seize those that come to them and those they need to chase for themselves; to keep working hard because as we all know you get ‘nothing for nothing’ in this world; and to keep trying to be the best version of themselves - aiming for continuous personal improvement. At the school it’s always been a matter of building confidence, capability and character. All our education has come back to one of these three things. This will never change irrespective of what path they take in life. Each will always be prominent in getting ahead and getting on well with others.
There are boys who left us before the Leavers’ Dinner. Some before Year 13. More often than not they have gone for great new openings in work or with family and friends. We like to think that they will also look back on TBHS fondly and see it as a time and place where they got to become more than they would have otherwise been. They too carry a bit of TBHS with them now.
I wish you all a relaxing and revitalising Summer break. I hope your Christmas and New Year are everything you hope them to be with family and friends. Make the most of time away – especially any time ‘off the grid’ you can find.
Knowledge is Power. Mā te Mātauranga te Mana. Scientia Potestas Est.