The Last, Last Word

By Charlie Marsh | Posted: Tuesday October 29, 2019

As you will all know this is the last, last word of 2019. I hope you have got something out of what the prefects have prepared each week. As prefects we have certainly learnt a lot as we have had the challenge of preparing and delivering them.

For my last word today, I was recommended to speak from the “heart”. When I heard this I wasn’t sure how it would go and I knew it would be out of my comfort zone. But here goes.

This year turned out to be far different from what I thought it was going to be. I was hoping I would try to lead by example on a few sports fields, within a few teams, show commitment in class and be a big small brother to many of you boys in and outside of school. I was especially looking forward to sharing some pinnacle sporting events with lots of you, especially the Year 13 cohort being our final year at OBs. The rugby, the cricket, touch and sevens and also the highly anticipated league match.

With this in mind, it all started the way I wanted it to.

I managed to tick off a busy and rewarding Term 1 and was looking forward to the winter terms. Then came April the 13th where I came off second best with the King's College centre, Meihana “The Train” Grindlay, and most of my sporting goals for the year, and my shoulder were crushed!

A day I won’t forget for a while and a day that veered me off the track I was planning to go on, physically and mentally.

I tried to tell myself that things happen for a reason but I struggled to see how, and I struggled to come to grips with the timing. I know it’s a cliché but I wondered why me, why now?

It was my last year of school that I wanted to nail and enjoy. I still think about that day every now and again, but mostly I have tried to move on, get back on track and get on with the job.

I have learnt that you never know what might be around the corner. But apparently, it’s how we choose to deal with these bumps in the road that determines our strength of character and our level of resilience. I have tried to box on and put a smile on my face because I know that there are others so much more worse off. It made me put things into perspective. Maybe I had been pretty lucky with minimal injuries and mishaps in the past, and I have now learnt how you can never take what can seem normal for granted.

Probably the biggest part of getting back on the horse and being distracted by my disappointment wasn’t actually me. It was the help from my family and some staff, but mostly it was about you boys who sit in front of me. My mates.

The support and help that you offered me was what I needed. I have the best bunch of mates I could ever ask for, dragging me along with you when I was trying to hang in there. I’m so grateful to you boys for letting me share in all your successes, disappointments, and other experiences this year when I haven’t been able to contribute as much. I felt a lot pride watching you boys thrive in your chosen fields, doing your thing and excelling, not only in the sports arena but on the stage and in the classroom too. Thank you.

But now for the goodbyes.

When I left home in Ettrick to become an OBS hostel boy, I left behind some great mates, and it felt weird leaving them. However, I have always made an effort when I’m at home to hang out with them playing golf, swimming, and watching their sports to keep our strong connection.

And now I feel I am on that same cycle again. I came to OB's keen to meet some new friends and not only am I leaving with new friends, but I’m sure many brothers for life, even though we are about to go on different paths.

Thanks for a great ride fellas, and all the best with the bumps and triumphs of life in your futures.

In the traditional way, I finish with a quote.

“Good mates don’t say goodbye, they simply say see you soon.”

So I guess I’ll see you all soon.