The Last Word

By Samuel Jones | Posted: Tuesday March 7, 2017

When you picture Otago Boys' High School, what do you see? For some it is the archway, others the tower block. But what ties these things together?

History. The archway: 1920. The tower block: 1885. These buildings are more than just bricks; they represent the men who have gone before us, making OB’s what it is today. As the third oldest boys school in New Zealand, OB’s is steeped in a rich history. However, I do not believe we appreciate how lucky we are to be OB’s boys. We are privileged to be part of a history and school much bigger than anyone of us.

Our school value of the term is respect. A big part of respect is acknowledging our past, our history. The blazer, the crest and the tie are more than fabric, they are a part of the culture and history our school has built

over the past 154 years. In each of these years, the boys of OB’s have added to this uniform, making it something we wear proudly today. I still remember my first year at OB’s; the 150th year of the school. Old boys, most of them well over 60, proudly wore their school tie when coming back to visit our school. To them that tie is a matter of pride, to them it is more than fabric.

When we wear our uniform each day, we should wear with it the same pride as those old boys.

Our history is not just our uniform, but also the traditions of our school. The reading from the book is a big part of that tradition. When we listen to these names we should remember they are not words, but OB’s boys. Those men sacrificed themselves for our country, and without them we would not be who we are today. Boys, if I'm honest, I myself used to count down the names, never listening, just waiting for the reading to end. I never respected those names, I never respected that part of our history. Now I realise how important our history and traditions are, and so should you.

However, we cannot live in the past. I believe it is part of our duty to add to the history of the school, and to create our own legacy. We are lucky that now it is a time of change, with a developing house system and new form

classes. Our job is easy. We can be the boys that make the houses and new forms a part of our current culture, so that in 50 years time they become part of our history.

Every time you put that uniform on before coming to school, reflect on our history, but also think what you can add to it. I know I will, and I urge you guys to give it a try too.

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