School House News

By Matthew Markham | Posted: Sunday June 7, 2020

The hostel successfully bounces back from covid lockdown

Less than a month ago the country was celebrating moving out of alert Level 3 and it seems somewhat unbelievable that we are perhaps on the verge of moving to level 1. Despite the uncertainty of the last few weeks the boys have been fantastic adapting to the new routines that have been in place. I suppose for many boy’s lockdown has given them a new sense of appreciation for school and the hostel. I would like to say well done to the all the hostel boys for their efforts over the last few weeks. They have adapted well and shown a great deal of resilience in a difficult period of time.

Life at the hostel has now returned to something close to normal. Rugby and football practices are now in full swing and as I write this, I am waiting to pick up some hostel boys at the hockey turf. There is a great deal of excitement in the hostel that sport is now back, especially as it seems that a crowd might be possible on Saturday for the Highlanders game against the Chiefs. There can be little doubt that if we are able to attend the game we will, and in large numbers. Sport is an important aspect of life for many hostel boys so to see it return is very pleasing.

Wednesday after school activities have resumed with golf, surfing and first aid courses all taking place last Wednesday. Scuba diving starts again this week. There are three more lessons left for the golfers and surfers with scuba diving and first aid scheduled to be finished by the end of term, apart from maybe the two open water dives for the scuba boys. We are trying hard to get all these activities wrapped up as soon as possible so the boys can focus on their studies.

Last week the government announced that they will be giving students extra NCEA credits due to time lost in the lockdown. It is crucial that the boys don’t therefore, adopt the attitude that they don’t need to do anymore work as they have already “passed”. At the moment we do not know how tertiary education providers will react, they may lift entrance requirements? It is vital that the boys continue to work hard and strive to do the best than can for the remainder of the year.

On Tuesday we sadly say farewell to gap student Joe Fisher. Joe arrived at the hostel in July last year fresh from leaving school in the United Kingdom and very quickly fitted in. With a unique sense of humour and a willingness to give anything a go, Joe became a very popular member of the hostel and will be missed. Joe was originally going to stay until the end of term but with very limited flights at present he has had to leave slightly earlier than normal. Joe, we wish you all the very best for and thank you for everything you have done for the hostel.

Before lockdown we also said farewell to tutor Rob McKenzie. Rob was only with us for a short period of time but like Joe was popular with the boys and staff.

These departures have meant that we have recently appointed two new housemasters. Mr Angus Webster and Mr Karl Morris.

Angus Webster

Angus is a John McGlashan College old boy and attended the college as a boarder. After leaving school Angus returned a couple of years later to work as a housemaster in the John McGlashan boarding house. During his time there he coached numerous hockey and water polo teams and several of our hostel boys will know him through this. Whilst at John McGlashan, Angus completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing) at Otago University. Unfortunately, due to covid-19 Angus’ OE in England was cut short and he is now back in Dunedin to start primary school teacher training.

Karl Morris

Karl is an old boy and former boarder of Christchurch Boys High School. A ‘coaster’ Karl hails from Hokitika, where he was,until recently, working as a kayak tour guide. Before this Karl completed a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and a Postgraduate diploma in Tourism Management from Canterbury University. With a passion for the outdoors and some practical experience behind him, I am sure that Karl will be attending a few Year 10 camps!

I would like to welcome both Karl and Angus to Otago Boys High School and the hostel and hope that your experience is a rich and rewarding one.

Country visits start this week with Balclutha first up on Wednesday and Oamaru on Friday. The visits are open to all parents (current and prospective) so please come along and support the hostel, it would be great to see you there.

I hope you all have a great week and if you haven’t already, please RSVP for the parents dinner on the 2nd July. 

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