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Rector's Assembly Address

Term 4 Assembly // Friday 5 November 2021

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Nau mai, haere mai, ki tenei hui.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa, te hāpori o Hato Ānaru.

It is hard to believe we have come to our final regular school assembly for 2021. Obviously, with the current restrictions, only the assembly prize winners are present in the Chapel, but once again, it is good that we can gather together remotely this morning. 

Despite this unsettled time, we remain grateful for the activities we have continued to enjoy and recognize the success of many of you in cultural, academic, and sporting activities.

Congratulations to you all for the way you have started Term 4, which is a busy one for everyone. All of you have had or will have had exams, there are end of year activities, camps, tournaments, productions, competitions, and celebrations. It is always important that we finish the year well and show gratitude for those who have helped us along the way.

For 206 Year 13 and nine Year 12 students, this is a term of ‘lasts’ and I particularly wish them well for the next five days of school before they depart on exam leave.

We are grateful that despite COVID-19 uncertainties, Year 10 students have been able to continue with camps at Castle Hill, the Jazz Band Festival was held, prelim exams for NCEA have now been completed, Cross Country was held yesterday, along with some sport prizegivings and, of course, the Year 9 and 10 production of Curtains has its third show tonight with the grand final tomorrow night.

Congratulations to the cast, crew, technical team and orchestra who have worked so hard to bring Curtains to life. This choice of show was particularly timely given that this is actually ‘curtains’ for our much-used and loved theatre.

The present theatre was built in 1973 and, believe it or not, was state of the art for its time. The theatre has seen almost 50 years of productions which, given that StAC has staged two productions a year, would equate to 100 shows. Given that each production would have around 60 students involved, that is at least 6000 StAC students who have developed a love of theatre during this time. There have also been Preparatory School productions, Dance Revues, and 11 years of Ballet productions. What a wonderful legacy our thespians, musicians and dancers have created for our College.

Of course, we all anticipate the amazing new version of the theatre, the Gough Family Theatre, which will be under construction next year, ready for completion in November 2023.

Another creative venture which has been visible this week has been the painting of the Year 13 leavers’ mural. This painting has been commissioned by a group of Year 13 students using a well-known graffiti artist, Jacob Yikes. Those observant types among you will have noticed the mural take shape this week on the outside wall of Gym 1 leading up to the StACFit Fitness Centre.

We will officially unveil the wall after Leavers’ Assembly on Monday 15 November, but in the meantime, I congratulate and thank all Year 13 students for this significant and creative gift to the College.

There are obviously a few different arrangements necessary for end of year celebrations this year. Although the usual Prizegiving has been cancelled at the Christchurch Arena, there will be an alternative event held on Sunday 5 December from 2.00pm–3.30pm in the Centennial Chapel. This will be for Years 11, 12 and 13 prize-winners and special award recipients only – unfortunately no parents or guests can be permitted.

Invitations for those involved will be sent to you later in November. This, plus the musical and ballet items, valedictory speeches, and announcement of College Heads, will be combined into a celebration film which will be made available to all families and Old Collegians in mid-December.

In the meantime, best wishes to seniors for your final week of school next week before exams, and well done with the way you have engaged with prelim feedback and Tutor Conferences. Good luck also to Year 9 and 10 students for your end of year exams.

I leave you with this whakataukī; E rua tau ruru, e rua tau wehe, e rua tau mutu, e rua tau kai.

Two seasons of drought, two seasons of scarcity, two seasons of crop failure, two seasons of plenty.

This whakataukī seems relevant to this year because although there are hard uncertain times, if you carry on working in a focused way, you will have your day of good fortune. 


Christine Leighton

Term 4 Assembly // Friday 5 November 2021