From the Head of Stanmore
The African proverb suggests it takes a village to raise a child, and while it is true that the impact of the ‘village’ occurs over time there are undeniable moments where the village is at its best in shaping the child moving into adulthood. For the Newington College community, last week saw a series of those pivotal moments that evidenced the impact our village has on developing boys into men.
It was a week that included our Founders Day Concert, and for the many Year 12s participating it was a night that again found them experiencing things for the last time as Newington boys. As I watched James Rosse (12/PR) take in the well-deserved applause after the Symphony Orchestra’s brilliant performance it was clear the significance of the moment had not escaped him. The Year 12s who like James have contributed so much to the music program were acknowledged on the evening for their contribution across the years and this helped make the night a special one. Yet it was those in the audience, the proud parents, who were also sharing that moment with their son as they no doubt began their own reflection on the time and energy they had invested over many years. The parents are a vital part of the Newington College village.
Perhaps the most tangible presence of our unique village, and the evidence of the enormous impact the collective has on our young men, is wrapped up in ‘Back to Newington Day’. This year I have had the privilege of coaching the 5th XV and was fortunate to address them before their game against Sydney Boys High 2nd XV, enabling me to capture first-hand what playing on ‘Back to Newington Day’ means to the boys. Many had said that as Year 12s they had been looking forward to running out together onto Johnson Oval, on this day, since the start of the season. This sense of expectation was not limited to the Rugby field; the excitement was tangible across all sports as the First XI Soccer and the Volleyball team found themselves playing in front of big crowds. Together with parents, the crowd had been swelled by another vital component in the fabric of our village, the` return of the Old Boys. As a coach I too was drawn into that moment. Whilst my job on the day was to prepare the boys pre-match I suspect I may have failed as my words may have fired the boys up a little too much, such was my enthusiasm. It is impossible not to feel that heightened passion on such a special day.
The parents who were present at the Founders Day Concert were serving our community again at the ‘Back to Newington Day’. To all the parents who helped make the day a success, whether on a stall or a BBQ, your efforts are very much appreciated.
As the year rapidly marches along, there will be many more final moments for our Year 12 students. They have experienced their final ‘Back to Newington Day’ as a student, they have played at that last concert, and that final winter fixture will soon be in the past. I encourage those Year 12 students, our young men of Newington, to reflect on those in our village who have shaped them from the boys they once were, to the men they have become. Once there is that recognition, they should take a moment to be grateful to those who have made that impact.
Mr David Roberts
Head of Stanmore / Deputy Headmaster