Regulus Address // Issue 1 // May 2020
The start of 2020 began with great promise. As always, the beginning of the new year brought anticipation of new goals to strive for, projects to complete and strategic objectives to action. Our students returned to school full of energy, and the tone around the College was positive and committed to our collective purpose ‘Building better people for life’. Head Prefects Emily Tyrrell, Hugh Montgomery, Aleisha Davis, and Omri Kepes launched their theme, 2020 Vision, and we thought we knew what lay ahead. But as it became rapidly apparent, we didn’t know and couldn’t possibly have anticipated where we would find ourselves by the end of Term 1.
However, amongst the uncertainty, is the ever-present belief and hope that we will get through this and although some things in our life may change forever, we will place our faith in the things that are consistent and will remain most important in our lives.
This edition of Regulus celebrates life at St Andrew’s College as it was, at the start of 2020, with all the opportunities, co-curricular challenges, and the physical community we took for granted. It also captures the ‘new normal’ (for now) and pinpoints a moment in time where our perspective and understanding of our world changed. None of us can predict the future, though many will try, but what we can do is place our trust in the values that are at the heart of our community – Truth, Excellence, Faith, Inclusivity and Creativity.
As the COVID-19 crisis took hold, we were about to celebrate our 103rd Founders’ Day. Sadly the ability to host our special assembly was removed due to the restrictions on large gatherings, as were the many traditions we associate with Founders’ Day – the Highland Games and the presentation of the Robert Burns Scottish Scholars. I had chosen at the assembly to celebrate the character and values of our founder, Rev. Alexander Thompson (1876–1956), who himself lived through a number of global crises, including the First and Second World Wars, the Spanish flu pandemic, and the polio epidemic. Like many others living in those times, he understood hardship, sacrifice, and decisions made for the greater good. Thompson was personally deeply committed to the founding values of our College – Truth, Excellence and Faith, and never has faith been more important than in facing the uncertainty of the here and now. Faith in our leaders (fortunately our Prime Minister seems to be deserving of this); faith in our family, friends, and communities; faith in our future; and a spiritual faith that will help to sustain us in challenging times.
The other value which strikes me as particularly relevant at this time is Creativity. As I have observed our teachers, students, and support staff rise to the challenge of educational learning in a new and online environment, I am in awe of the creative solutions and opportunities that have arisen. Difficult circumstances demand creative solutions, and this is exactly what I have seen emerge in recent weeks. I honour everyone who has been a part of this. As we move forward, I salute our young people and the resilience, courage and hope they find to face this latest challenge, perhaps the greatest collective global challenge since World War II. Our future world will rely on these young people who have learnt from those who have gone before them and who will influence greatly those who come after. May they hold our St Andrew’s College values of Truth, Excellence, Faith, Creativity and Inclusivity before them as they step into this new world.