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Sending and Ending – Year 13 Graduation Dinner

December 07, 2015 at 4:10 PM

Saint Kentigern has truly shaped me into the person I am today and for that I will be forever grateful. When we take our formal uniform off for the very last time tonight, we aren't just saying goodbye to a highly fashionable garment, we are saying goodbye to years of memories and experiences we will never forget.’ – Lauren Hendricksen, Chalmers House prefect 2015

Last night’s final Chapel and Graduation Dinner marked the end of our Year 13 students’ time at the College, as we send them on to their next challenge in further study or the workplace. The more than 300 leaving students and members of their family joined with staff, board members and Old Collegians at Ellerslie Events Centre to celebrate their years at Saint Kentigern, which for many meant having been at the College since 2009! The simultaneous ending and sending was the context of the address by Reverend David Smith during the Chapel service. Rev Smith reiterated the messages he had conveyed at Chapel throughout the year and asked the students to embrace the next chapter of their lives with the Saint Kentigern values in mind. ‘I hope you have been challenged to think about life and love and community and your place in and your contribution to our world,’ he said. ‘I hope that you are encouraged to be open, open to the possibility that there is more to life than meets the eye. You’ve been an excellent cohort, and as I look out at you I cannot help but think what interesting and full of life people you are, how much you’ve grown and come into your own. So go for it, give it heaps, take with you all that Saint Kentigern has given you.’

The culmination of the students’ secondary education was recognised with the presentation of their diplomas by the Chairman of the Trust Board, Dr Bruce Goodfellow, and Head of College Mr Steve Cole. The guests were then led to and welcomed into the dining area by pipers, the last time for a while that the students will hear the sounds synonymous with Saint Kentigern. Mr Cole addressed the students for the final time, saying ‘you are a multi-talented remarkable group of young people and very ready for the next stage in education and life’. ‘As headmaster I am proud of you all. It has been both a privilege and a pleasure to get to know such a special group of young men and women, you will continue to serve and lead with distinction.’

The mood of reminiscence of the past times shared by the cohort and of excitement about their futures was reflected in the speeches made by the Head Prefects and House leaders. ‘We’ve had moments we’ll never forget here,’ said Cargill House leader Joseph Bradshaw. ‘It’s all been a part of the Saint Kentigern journey and memories. As a graduating son of Kentigern, I stand here in a much better place than I was only five years ago. You people here today and some who aren’t here today… have all helped me change my attitude, guide me down the right path and grow up.’ Emily Cran, also of Cargill House said: ‘I have no doubt that as daughters and sons of Kentigern each of us will make our own way into the world so good luck and go hard. There’s really no point in doing this next step half-heartedly.’

There was also an air of gratitude in the room as the speakers each thanked their parents, teachers, tutors, and other mentors within the College. The sentiments expressed throughout the night, of thankfulness, friendship, and pride in having attended the world of opportunity Saint Kentigern offers confirmed that these students will go on to great things. We wish them well in their future endeavours and thank them for everything they have done to extend the Saint Kentigern legacy.

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