School House News

By Matthew Markham | Posted: Monday February 3, 2020

Welcome to the first School House news for 2020. We have had an excellent start to the year with the Year Nine boys starting extremely well. As always, we had a few tears from both boys and mothers at the conclusion of the parents dinner, when parents leave their boys at the hostel for the first time, but shortly after the boys were in high spirits playing games with the Yr13s.

Over the holidays Howard Nixon the hostel maintenance man was hard at work along with Glen Hutchinson and Thomas Ryan repairing and painting much of the hostel. The basketball court got a much needed spruce up with concrete being poured to replace the pavers that were starting to lift up. The wall behind the hoop got a fresh coat of paint and the Otago Boys High school crest went up on the wall. We are still to paint the concrete to take some of the glare away from the area but weather permitting that should happen this week. The Year Nine common room in Hawthorne also got a make over with a paint and Sky TV getting installed. It really has made the front entrance to Hawthorne a lot brighter and more appealing. As well as Howard and the crew our cleaners Karen, Kim and Carolyn were hard at work making the hostel looking sparkling clean for the boys return. I don’t think the boys truely appreciate how much work these ladies do.

Also, during the holiday period Deputy Head of Hostel Angus Faulks represented New Zealand U18 in touch. The event was held in Newcastle, Australia, in extremely hot conditions. The hostel is proud of Angus' achievements. 

While it was disappointing to have our trip to the beach washed out, we still had a great first in-weekend. The boys put a lot of effort into the make the banner competition, the first Mitchell Cup event for the year. Judging will take place later this week.

The tug of war was comfortable won by Nicholson, which is their first Mitchell Cup win for a very long time. Maybe just maybe this might be Nicholson’s year?

We have two new staff members this year, housemaster Christian Lio-Willie and Claudia Wollaston. Christian is currently a 4th year dental school student and Claudia is working with the Highlanders as a high-performance analyst, as well as finishing off her post-grad in sports science. Claudia will be mostly working on the weekend to fill Joanne Ford’s roll as we continue our review on weekend staffing.

This week marks the start of the Student Development Programme, which is an exciting new development in the hostel. The Year Nines start their character education programme with the Yr13 prefects, the Yr10 head to the town belt for an orientation session on the Dunedin City Council sponsored Town Belt Initiative and the seniors start their scuba diving and surfing lessons. First aid and golf will commence next week.

On the weekend two School House boys Grayson Small and Jacob Bowell won the hostels first medals for the year gaining sliver in the U17 double at the South Island Club Championships. Less than a stroke separated them from the winners. Well done Grayson and Jacob! 

Our annual prefects camp was a hot but enjoyable affair. A 76km bike ride (Wedderburn to Middlemarch) in 30-degree heat is hard work and there some very sore bodies at the end of the day. The boys got a lot out of it, however and this experience together as a team will hold them in good stead for the challenges that await. A big thank you to Stu and Lorraine Duncan for their wonderful hospitality. This year’s prefect teams is as follows:

Mitchell Duncan (Head of Hostel)

Angus Faulks (Deputy Head of Hostel)

Isaac Lee (International Leader)

Jaxon Bennington

Bob Lee

Hoani Wipaki

Tom Young

Arden O’Donnell

On Thursday at formal dinner the rector will present the boys with their prefect badges. A proud moment for any hostel boy. Well done men!

On Sunday the Year Nine’s are off bush as they head to the school lodge for the Year Nine hostel camp. Our last two camps have been blessed with great weather and hopefully our luck continues this year. There is heavy rain forecast for today (Tuesday) which resulted in this morning Yr9/10 run being cancelled but after this the weather looks promising.

I hope you all have an enjoyable week, keep dry!

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