Girls' School Flora MacDonald Day

June 20, 2016 at 1:43 PM

‘Today is a school day like no other
Today is a day for friendship
May God bless you with great friends
Today is a day for fun
May God bless you with deep and lasting joy
Today is a day for celebrating
May God bless the spirit of our school
Today is a day for all things Scottish!
Scottish dancing, Scottish singing
Scottish shortbread, Scottish kilts
Scottish Pipe Bands, Scottish games
And….Scottish weather!
It only snows in Scotland for 15-20 days of the year.
Well today it snowed – six tonnes of it!
May God bless the traditions of our school
And may you feel like you truly belong.’
Reverend Reuben Hardie

When a fire in the School Hall prevented Flora McDonald Day being held in Term 1, the Girls’ School realised that, weather-wise, moving the event into Term 2 could be a bit of a gamble. Wow! Who could have predicted such a perfect day! Cold and crisp with the sun shining down, the scene was set for a day that mixed a taste of tradition with a taste of fun and games, a taste of porridge with a taste of hot chocolate and yes, a taste of snow – a great mound of it piled high on the back lawn!

Founded to honour Saint Kentigern’s ancestry from a feminine perspective, the day is named after an 18th century Jacobite heroine who risked her life to smuggle Prince Charles Edward Stewart – ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ – from exile in Scotland over the sea to the Isle of Skye. It was on account of her bravery and strength of character that Flora was chosen as a strong namesake for the day of celebration.

No Saint Kentigern function would be complete without the skirl of the bagpipes! As the College Pipes and Drums headed off along the driveway, the clans fell in behind with the girls from the Preschool skipping along in the rear. The Pipes and Drums then flanked the entrance way to the hall as the girls, staff and special guests filed in. The orchestra made its debut performance of the year, opening with Scotland the Brave, setting the scene for Principal, Ms Juliet Small to tell the tale of Flora’s extra-ordinary bravery. She went on to tell the tale of ‘Robert the Bruce and the Spider’ – a tale of resilience in the face of difficulty, that even when the odds seem stacked against you, try, try again and you may succeed.

With the formalities over, the guests were invited for a morning tea with shortbread, whilst the girls readied themselves for a day of activities; a day when the older girls take on a big sister role to the younger students mentoring them throughout the day.

Without question, the highlight was a chance to romp in the snow! As Auckland-dwellers, this was a first for most of the girls bringing a heightened sense of joy – until they went on to discover that a gum-boot full of snow can be pretty chilly! But in anticipation of this, a hard-working group of mums were waiting on the side-lines brewing up huge pots of hot chocolate!

Another first was ‘bubble-soccer’ on the lower field. Quite a challenge to kick a ball while enclosed in a giant zorb-like sphere! There was much laughter as the girls wobbled off in pursuit of the ball, bumping into each other – many ending up rolling away head over heels!

Golf in the newly re-opened School Hall brought a taste of St Andrews, as the girls took on an obstacle course with golf club in hand. Other activities saw them make a woollen spider and replica sporran. The final activity was another to warm the soul as the girls measured out and prepared a bowl of steaming Scots porridge oats with a variety of tempting toppings.

Like Celtic Day at the Boys’ School, Flora MacDonald Day is a ‘school day like no other! If happy laughter is a measure of a successful day, then this year’s event certainly had the winning formula!


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