Good morning Mr Thelning, Staff, Board and fellow students. Welcome to the 2019 Cathedral Grammar prize giving.
A year ago I sat here watching Nicole deliver her Head Girl Speech and I remember thinking how fortunate I would be to call on her experience when it was time for me to deliver my Speech. But while I began to write my speech I realised that I didn’t need her help, because you know what she is so last year!
Today is a very significant moment for my family and me, as it is the end of our 14-year journey at The Cathedral Grammar School. And what a journey it has been!
In the 10 years that I’ve been attending Cathedral Grammar, the world seems to have sped up and we have become so much more aware of what we are using, how we are using it and the damage it causes. Climate change has become a hot topic and sustainability seems to be the most commonly used word.
We are all a part of a world that has had to become far more conscious of the environment and how we treat it. After all, it’s the only one we have!
So I consider myself extremely fortunate to live in this beautiful Country and have attended this wonderful school.
2009 was a big year ... it was the year I began my Cathedral Grammar journey in Pre-School.
I will never forget Mrs Winnicott’s ability to incorporate music throughout the day and her memorable storytelling. We all loved Miss Melhopt’s French lessons which we all signed up mainly for the French party at the end of each term! As well as our pet bunny - who one day didn’t appear at Preschool and we never found out why?
Then, of course, there was one day in particular that I’ll never forget – 22nd February 2011. The day we were in a ballet class and the earthquake hit – that day our school and our city, instantly changed forever.
It didn’t take long for Preschool to be rehomed in a Church in Merivale while the rest of the school were spread around the city.
By the time I was ready for Junior School our portacoms had been built and my Junior School journey began.
Mrs Wright’s warm welcome lead me to shift my weekly goal from Star of the Week in Preschool to the much anticipated Quiet as a Mouse award. And sadly in my 3 years in Junior School, I never ever received the weekly music award, that’s roughly 110 chances of getting it!
Most of us in Mrs Leese’s class contracted chickenpox in the first few weeks of Year 2 which gave us all good opportunity to hang out with Happy Toes the penguin and write about our adventures.
Year 3 was not only one of my favourite years because we were the Junior School leaders but because Mrs Erasmus was my teacher. She was the one who really taught me how to set goals and high standards for myself. She showed me what kindness was all about ... especially when I broke my elbow (the first time)!!
Winning Best Groomed dog on Pet Day and being Mrs Claus in the end of year Christmas nativity play definitely made up for never receiving the music award.
I couldn’t wait to join my sisters in prep school and be a part of the best House, Connon, and participate in all that Prep School had to offer.
Being Miss Bryant’s chosen helper for the week was when you would take the dirty coffee mugs to the kitchen and was seen as a very important job that we all couldn’t wait for, I’m still not sure how she made that job sound so fun.
Mrs Ladley’s weekly timetable challenge quickly made sure my times tables were up to scratch as (believe it or not) I didn’t like coming second.
In Year 6 we heard there was this new teacher coming - Mr Bertie and he was very scary and would make you cut out ‘e’s in the newspaper if you didn’t listen. Well he wasn’t actually that scary, and he’s definitely inspired me to seek answers to questions, especially maths questions - he really loves maths!! I think there are times he gets a little frustrated and man if he could throw things. Another special memory from year 6 is being unbeaten in our 6 aside hockey competition thanks to Miss Dowgrays excellent coaching and constant encouragement.
I also have to mention how much have I loved art at Grammar. I think we produce the most amazing displays, the year 7 Wearable Arts are always so impressive - Mrs Grey thank you for helping me develop my love of art.
Mrs Jones, I’d call you an all-rounder you have been my English teacher, hockey coach and PE teacher. And this year you bravely took on the challenge of teaching the Year 7 boys. Not just anyone can do that!
Ms McCormack, thank you for your leadership guidance, your energy, your spirit and your enthusiasm.
You have been a big part of my time in Prep School and as I leave I will take with me many valuable lessons you have taught me. I have been very fortunate to have you as my teacher for the last two years.
Mr Thelning ... a real highlight for me this year was being allowed to box you at Boxfit! I thought you handled it pretty well! Thank you too for your support and continued guidance through the year. Our leadership lunches also rate very highly in my top 10 school experiences!
I would like to say a big thanks to my class you have made my time at Grammar eight times better. We have made so many memories together and one that I think none of us will ever forget was the steak dance that we did in the operetta last year.
And To Chloe, Finn and Lucas - what a great year we’ve had working together, thanks for all your help and support.
In my time at Grammar, my goals and aspirations have continued to shift. From aspiring for a Star of the Week award on Fridays in Pre-School to Quiet as a Mouse award in Junior School to breaking an athletics records in Prep School. It doesn’t matter what you aspire to at the time as long as it motivates you and drives you to be a better person, or achieve to the best of your ability - I believe Grammar has helped me set myself goals and drive myself to achieve them.
For me the biggest lesson in my life so far is that no one can make your dreams and aspirations come true - only you can do that.
We have however all been very fortunate to be given the structure we need to make that happen by attending The Cathedral Grammar School.
Mr Tushman makes an important point from the book Wonder when he says “The best way to measure how much you've grown isn't by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average — though those things are important, to be sure. It's what you've done with your time, how you've chosen to spend your days, and whom you've touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.”
I wish Lucy and Jonty all the very best for their year ahead and hope you make the most of this amazing opportunity you have been given. Hold close our school values and always remember our school motto - Semper Fidelis - always faithful.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!