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Rector's Assembly Address

Term 2 Assembly // Friday 10 May 2019

More news for Rector

Nau mai haere mai tena koutou katoa. 

Welcome to parents and guests who have joined us this morning for another celebration of achievement.

First up this morning I want to congratulate you all on an excellent start to term 2. It has been a busy couple of weeks but there is a great tone around the College, and it has been very positive to note your engagement in many different sports and cultural activities.

During the term 1 break we had four groups enjoying significant overseas experiences – trips to Cambodia, Spain, Greece and Italy and Borneo.

Congratulations to all those of you who made these such positive experiences – the feedback has been fantastic.

Congratulations must also be extended to all those cast, crew, orchestra and helpers of the currently running senior production “PARADE”. Of course, this also includes Director Mr Wiseman, Musical Director Mr Ferguson and Production Manager Ms Thorner. This challenging show is the New Zealand Premier and the performance by our young and talented cast is breath taking. The maturity and sensitivity they bring to a confronting story line has been remarkable and received much commendation from those who have witnessed one of the performances this week. 

You are certainly ensured that the 2019 production is one that will be talked about and remembered long after the season is over. Well done to all involved!

Also, in the cultural aspect of StAC, I want to commend the 9 students who played with the New Zealand Secondary Schools orchestra during the holidays. 

This is an exceptional achievement and especially for Vicki Lee year 13 who led this orchestra. That is the equivalent of captaining a New Zealand representative team. These students will be recognised later in this assembly.

Last week I had the privilege of attending the New Zealand top scholar awards in Parliament. After recognizing Russell Boey and Amy Wells at our Academic Assembly at the start of this year, Amy was recognized along with 34 other top subject scholars for her top mark in scholarship Agriculture and Horticulture, and Russell was recognized as being one of the top 11 scholars in New Zealand.

Such achievement opens up all sorts of possibilities for Amy and Russell in their future academic studies and it was a proud moment for them, their families and for St Andrew’s College.

Our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern gave a very important message to the students gathered. While she commended their work ethic, she urged them as well as being their own harshest critics, to also be their own greatest supporters. To be kind to themselves and while setting stretch goals to consider their own well-being. This is an ongoing challenge to us all.

Finally, I have a very special presentation to make to a year 12 student, Campbell Wilson. This year Campbell aged 16 became the youngest ever winner of the New Zealand Gold Medal for bagpiping. Piobaireachd (Pee-Brok) is the classical form of pipe music and is regarded as the true test, of a bagpiper’s musical and technical ability.

Each year the Comunn na Piobaireachd Society of New Zealand award a gold medal for the winner of their event held at the Hastings Highland Games. This is an award that gathers international interest.

The Gold Medal was first awarded in 1959. Both Mr Hawke and Campbell’s father Greg have previously won this medal. Campbell’s win this year was an amazing achievement and drew worldwide acclaim.

I now ask Mr Hawke to present Campbell with the Highland Society of London’s Trophy and Gold Medal for bagpiping. Congratulations Campbell.


Christine Leighton

Term 2 Assembly // Friday 10 May 2019