Kia Ora Koutou
I have been wondering if we are all a little sadder. In the play ‘Macbeth’ , Macbeth states he wants to “jump the life to come”, basically he wants to get to the good bit and not muck around with the stuff before that. We all know that the biggest part of life is living it- the good and the not-so-good bits, or “the life to come”. The not-so-good bits are the strength builders and we put in safeguards and stops to reduce the occurrence of these but sometimes they happen despite those interventions. It behooves us to act if we have a gap in our processes, so please know that we do in fact respond to events.
I did some researching about sadness and happiness and it would appear that Global life evaluations have shown remarkable resilience in the face of COVID-19. In the 2017-2019 ‘Rankings of Happiness’ New Zealand was placed 8th behind Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Netherlands, and Sweden. In 2020 we have shifted into 9th with Germany joining the ranks of the happiest countries. Perhaps the happiness is also best described as dealing with the life we could not jump by being part of a widely shared resilience in the face of what current circumstances have presented. So- ka pai tino pai to us and let us remember our neighbour and show a little kindness.
One of our dads came in the other day to collect footballs for the team he is helping with. This visit made me ever mindful of the time many of you give to being involved in the school. We have more teams than staff to manage and coach them, this is where parents, friends, older siblings, and students close the gap so we can continue our sport opportunities. Thank you for this help and if you are wondering if you can assist give us a call.
Life compels us to make big decisions, and this has been certainly the case for Karen Lapslie our Head of Boarding. Karen has been in St Matthew’s for 12 years and has decided that she will now retire. I have very much appreciated Karen’s efforts in Boarding and Catering and am especially appreciative of all she is doing to ensure a tidy handover. We have not yet appointed a replacement preferring to utilise the upcoming Boarding Review (beginning May 24) as a starting point for this advertisement and appointment. Another Review which begins next week is the Special Anglican Character review.
Two announcements on which I will close this message is that Selena Traill our office receptionist has had a baby girl- Esther. Joining us soon in the office while Selena is away on maternity leave is Lizzie Whyte.
As always have a safe weekend.
Around School this Week
Future Beef New Zealand Hook and Hoof Competition Results:
Hoof Competition: Massive thanks to Lauren and Richie Cameron and Peter McWilliam from Maungaraki Cattle Co. for allowing us to partner with you for this event and all the expertise and guidance you gave our students on the weekend and during the months of lead up.
Hector – 1st Lightweight Crossbred & Reserve Lightweight Champion (Handler – Georgia Petrie)
Harold – 2nd Lightweight Purebred (Handler – Michael Buick)
Hillclimb – 4th Heavyweight Purebred (Handler – Sam Mathewson)
NZ Herefords Novice Handlers Class:
Jono Harris, Alex Wyeth, Liam Quirke, Jock Bourke made finals
3rd Summer Didsbury
NZ Herefords Senior Handlers Class:
3rd Georgia Petrie
Vet Services Intermediate Modules:
1st Michael Buick
2nd Summer Didsbury
3rd Jock Bourke
Vet Services Senior Modules:
3rd Georgia Petrie
Lake Station Herefords Intermediate Stock Judging:
Summer Didsbury, Michael Buick, Alex Wyeth, Jock Bourke made finals
2nd Summer Didsbury
Lake Station Herefords Senior Stock Judging:
2nd Georgia Petrie
Generation Angus NZ Education Award:
Rathkeale College – Michael Buick, Sam Mathewson & Liam Quirke
Allflex Intermediate Beef Ambassador: Summer Didsbury
Hanna Cohr (age 16 - Yr 12) has been away at the New Zealand Div II Swimming competition this week. She qualified for and swam in 10 events - she swam 9 PBs over the week, placed in the top 5 for all, and won 5 medals in total (in the age 16-18yrs category):Gold - 200m Medley,Silvers - 400m Medley, 50m Fly,Bronzes - 800m Free, 400m Free.
Kaitlyn Williams (Year 9) has also been swimming at the event.
Viva Camerata Workshop and Reunion
Friday 7 May Viva Camerata was lucky enough to have renowned conductor, Rowan Johnston, working with them. He has sung in Voices NZ, he is the Director of Music at Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral and he conducts the multi-award Choralation (the combined choir of Westlake Boys and Westlake Girls High Schools). Earlier this year, Rowan was appointed Musical Director of the Auckland Youth Choir. We were therefore really privileged to have him working with us.
He certainly put Viva through their paces. From sit ups, crouching tigers, to seated chairs [ with your bodies], it certainly was hard work. All these exercises taught to students how to engage their bodies to produce the true choral sound. His focus was on creating an awareness of how the sound is produced and eliciting the stories told through the music. His delightful sense of humour, as well as hearing how the sound changed throughout the day, certainly made time fly. Six hours have never felt that short.
On Queen’s Birthday weekend Viva Camerata is celebrating the journey of the last twenty years. It is 20 years since the Rathkeale Singers was started. This of course led to Trinity Singers and later Viva Camerata. During some of that time, Mrs Vundy also took Schola Cantorum. The purpose is – like all reunions – to meet old friends, but we are also hoping to once again share the joy of making music. During the concert, the current Viva will perform, there will be solo items from current and former members, and will end with 3 mass items.
Viva would love some support for their upcoming events:
• 28 May Vocal Spectacular at Wairarapa College
• The 20 year choir reunion concert: Saturday 5 June 1pm in the Rathkeale Auditorium:
Air Force Experience - Claudia Hawkes Year 13
Last holidays in the first week, I was lucky enough to be selected for the Royal New Zealand Air Force, School to Skies programme for 2021. This was a week long course, for year 13 girls, on aviation and STEM, which this year was based at Ohakea base camp. 40 girls, including myself from all over New Zealand were selected to learn about all the different STEM trades the air force offers, what life on base is like, and most importantly to help build confidence in ourselves and our abilities.
Each day we tackled a new task, whether it was building a plane, learning to fly in the A109 helicopter simulators and the Texan training plane simulators, building electrical circuit boards, working in the machinery, skin bay and non-destructive testing rooms and even planning a search and rescue mission and then flying the mission in the NH90 helicopter. We did engineering activities where we worked on projects and developed and presented our ideas. Every day was packed full of fun, exciting, new activities, and I learnt so much down to flight principles and how to put a propeller on a plane. It was amazing to see physics principles I have learnt at school come through in learning about flight and aircraft tech work. We also were involved in other activities such as physiology and learning about ourselves, physical training, with a proper PT trainer, where we were defiantly physically pushed, basic military training like the ranks and how to march properly and meeting all these amazing people.
We had many panels full of so many inspiring people who answered all the questions we had on the air force and life outside the air force. They also helped us deal with all the pressures around university of having to decide what we want to do for the rest of our lives, and that it is ok to not know, and it is ok to change your mind. These people were very successful, but their careers paths had changed so many times, and that’s ok, its good. A speaker who really stood out to me was Michelle Dickinson, also known as nanogirl. She is incredible and the things she has accomplished from the background she grew up in, is amazing. She really helped build so much more confidence in who I am, my abilities, and all the things I am capable of if I believe I can. She talked about breaking those barriers that girls can’t STEM, that we aren’t as good as men, because we are, and our opinion matters. Girls think differently to men, and that isn’t wrong, its good, we bring a different view to the problem or issue. This was enforced to us throughout the whole week, and it was truly amazing to see the people around me grow with confidence as the week went on, including myself.
The air force is such a great option, for me personally I’m not too sure what I want to do next year, so applying for the air force seems like a good idea. I can build good life skills, learn more and more about myself, build strong lifelong friendships, all while being encouraged to excel in STEM, and figuring out what degree I will go onto do while still in the air force.
This opportunity that School to skies has given me has defiantly changed my life. I have already built amazing friendships with many girls on the camp, and by the end of it I didn’t want to leave. I was able to be around people who were interested in the same things as me, including planes, flying and STEM. I was able to think and develop strong ideas all while being encouraged and supported by all the people around me. I came away from the camp excited about my future, not scared, and I came away a stronger, more confident me.
If anyone wants to know any more about this programme, please come find me or send me an email, and I can also help you through the application process if anyone is thinking of applying.