This term has flown by very quickly and the next two weeks before Easter are likely to be at a similar pace for staff and students. The calendar is full of assessments, visiting speakers, the Easter Week liturgy, Year 12 ODP Surf Camp and the Catholic Schools Senior Quad tournament. St Peter’s College is hosting this event over the 13th and 14th of April and it is set to be two days of healthy competition between Verdon College, Kavanagh College, St Kevin’s College and Roncalli College. My thanks must go to Hayley Chalmers, our Sports Coordinator, who has worked tirelessly to organise this large event.
St Peter’s College have two groups of students travelling overseas on the 16th April. We wish Miss Bond and her two netball teams all the best for a successful time at the International Netball Festival being held on the Gold Coast, Australia. Meanwhile, a group of excited Year 9 & 10 students, along with Mr Kotkamp and Mrs Pearce, leave for Ratcliffe College in Leicester, England, on the same day. This exchange, which will see a group of Ratcliffe students visit St Peter’s later this year, is now a very important trip on the school calendar. Ratcliffe College is the ‘mothership’ of the Rosminian priests and brothers who came to Gore to establish St Peter’s along with the Mercy sisters and, as the only coeducational Rosminian school in Australasia, it is important to keep the connection alive in this way. Thank you to all the staff and parents who have helped with the organisation of both these trips.
Assistant Principal Appointment
The Board of Trustees has appointed an Assistant Principal who will begin at the start of Term 2. This is the permanent position which was left vacant upon my appointment to Principal. I am pleased to welcome Bridget Ryan onto our staff. Bridget was brought up in Zimbabwe and moved to New Zealand a number of years ago with her husband, John. She has taught at both de La Salle College in South Auckland and Carmel College on the North Shore, where she is currently the Head of Religious Education. Bridget and John, along with their young daughter, are looking forward to returning to Southland where John was brought up.
Looking after the Environment
Last year the School Council, ably led and encouraged by Mrs Louise Grogan, worked hard to raise the awareness of environmental issues in the school. Through their efforts we received an increased quota of recycling bins for the school after initially only being allocated one. This gave the students valuable experience in making submissions to local Council and ensuring their proposal had significant justification through data collection. I am pleased that the school’s environmental initiative has continued to run this term. Our students have been helping tidy up Hamilton Park and the adjoining stream by picking up litter. On alternate Fridays a small group of volunteers meet up with a group of children from Aroha Early Learning Centre and collect rubbish along the track next to the refuse site. A large amount of rubbish has already been collected and this project will continue throughout the year as well as helping to weed the native plantings being established by the Gore Amenities Society. We have also introduced an element of fun into our waste initiatives. We now have a basketball themed hoop rubbish bin which the pupils shoot their litter into! This is taken into the quad area daily during lunchtimes and is supervised by our Year 13 students. One of the 2020 Beacon Plan Goals of the Catholic Education Office is a ‘Commitment to our ecological vocation to care for the earth for the good of all’. This is a goal developed from the Church’s social teachings on creation which remind us that the world's goods are available for humanity to use only under a "social mortgage" which carries with it the responsibility to protect the environment. Yet another example of our students and staff living the special character of St Peter’s College.
As we head very quickly towards Holy Week, I would like to remind everyone of the importance of this special, solemn time in the Church’s liturgical year, when we remember the ultimate sacrifice Jesus Christ made for all of us through his crucifixion. May we all be thankful for this sacrifice and be constantly mindful of God’s work in our lives.
“May the Lord bless and take care of you. May the Lord be kind and gracious to you. May the Lord look on you with favour and give you peace”