The Last Word

By Colby Allen | Posted: Wednesday October 23, 2019

As my days at Otago Boys’ come to an end it is hard to not reflect on all the memories I have made here.

And over the past 5 years, I have made plenty of them. Memories are an interesting thing. They are the brains way of encoding and storing information. Memories allow us to retrieve facts we learnt years ago. They allow us to communicate, they allow us to have a personality. However, memories are more important than that. They let us reflect on what we have done. We can remember and reminisce. So today I wanted to share a couple of my most notable memories of my time here at OB’s.

My first memory of this school was sitting in the open-air theatre listening to the Rector's first speech to us. While I couldn’t hear what he was saying, I am sure it was good. I was surrounded by nervous, youthful faces, some of which I knew, others I didn’t. While I can’t remember much from that day, I remember being very nervous, frightened of beginning the adventure of high school. It was such a relief to end up in the same classes as my friends. For me, that first nervous day was where my OBHS adventure began, and something I am sure most of you can relate to.

Another memory of note was during Year 10 Camp, a trip which gets mentioned a lot on this stage. However, it was not the amazing views, the kayaking or table tennis in the lodge that I remember. Instead, when I think of camp my mind is taken back to one cold, wet night on the overnight. Now due to some awful tent mismanagement, seven of us were forced to sleep one night in the same, three-person tent. Earlier that day we had left the fly of the tent open, which allowed thousands of blood-sucking insects to infiltrate it. Knowing this seven-person sleeping arrangement wasn’t going to work, we kicked Sam Thompson out, as he was the one who left the fly open. After several hours of trying to get to sleep, the six of us left in the tent heard a rustle. It sounded like something was outside our tent. With no one wanting to get up and check what it was, we decided to ignore it. However, the sound persisted. We opened the tent to find a sleep-deprived Sam Thompson had returned and was loudly eating our bread. While much of my time at this school has been forgotten, the image of Sam munching on bread in the early hours on camp certainly hasn’t.

However, there are plenty of other memories. Be it getting food poisoning on a Duke of Ed tramp, the great debating victories or moments in Year 10 science with Mr Twaites, there are many things to look back at.

When we reflect on our time at this school, we will have nothing but our memories to rely on. Therefore, it is important to treasure them. We must be grateful for each day, not taking our time here for granted. Enjoy the memories you have made because when it all over, they will be all that is left.