From the Principal
I hope you are all well and truly settled into the new school year. We have been back only three full weeks, yet so much has happened and the pace of school activities and community events never slackens. I like to interpret that as a sign of a healthy and vibrant school!
Beginning of the season of Lent
This Wednesday was of course Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the Season of Lent. For Catholics — and many others — it is our annual season of penance, reflection and fasting, and acts as a reminder of our mortality which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Staff and students observed this special day on our liturgical calendar with ceremonies in both chapels before school and during Homeroom. Our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told:
“Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.”
The ashes are an ancient and traditional symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.
Opening Mass, Leader’s Investiture and Dux Assembly
Last Thursday we held one of our most significant events on the College calendar; the Opening Mass, Leader’s Investiture and Dux Assembly. Fr Martin Tanti celebrated Mass and blessed the leaders’ badges, and after each leader was presented to the community 2015 College Captain Elliot Fabris gave his inaugural address to the College. Elliott spoke powerfully and with passion, imploring all in the College to take advantage of the broad variety of opportunities on offer at De La Salle. His impassioned reference to St John Baptist de La Salle’s example was timely and relevant in the context of setting goals and laying plans for the year ahead. I was personally involved in the application and interview process for selecting the 2015 College Leaders and I can vouch for each of them as terrific young men. Primarily, each is infused with a great love of the College, a deep and personal understanding of the importance and responsibility of leadership in a Lasallian context and a genuine commitment to serving their peers to make De La Salle a better place for all
It was tremendous to see so many of our Class of 2014 back at the College to receive awards for the highest Study Score in the various Unit 3 & 4 studies from last year. These young men are excellent role models and demonstrate exactly what all De La Salle students are capable of when they give their very best. To achieve what they have requires a good deal more than simply raw academic ability. Commitment, organisation, responsibility and sacrifice are the hallmarks of their success. I encourage all our 2015 students to use these Old Collegians as an example, meet the high expectations the staff have for your learning and be ambitious and challenging in the goals and standards you set for yourself.
The Dux for 2014 is Thomas Brasher, with an outstanding ATAR of 99.60. This year I invited the Dux to address the student body and Thomas gave some terrific advice for his peers to follow as they strive to achieve all they can in 2015. While Thomas is undoubtedly a scholar of the highest order, blessed with exceptional ability, the advice he gave and the structured practices he adhered to are relevant and accessible to all. In his practical and pragmatic approach Thomas outlined the virtues of a genuine and responsible commitment to your studies. He also spoke to the critical need to be super-organised — and work on that if you are not so well organised at present. Finally, Thomas stressed the need to maintain a healthy balance in life. Of course academic achievement is a high priority, but this can be attended to whilst still being actively involved with family, co-curricular activities, social life and so on. Congratulations Tom and thank you for such sensible tips!
De La Salle College is excited to be offering scholarships to students in Years 7, 10 and 11 in 2016. Academic, Sport, Performing Arts and General Excellence Scholarships will be available to students going into Years 10 or 11 next year, and General Excellence Scholarships will be available for students going into Year 7 in 2016. Albert Higgins Memorial Scholarships will also be available at Years 7 and 10.
Currently enrolled students, or those who have enrolled for a place with us in 2016, are eligible to apply.
Applications will open on Monday 2 March, closing on Thursday 30 April.
Visit the scholarships page on our website for full details. Please contact us on (03) 9508 2100 if you would like to enquire further.
Year 12 Retreat
Last week I had the pleasure of joining 180 Year 12 students and 20 staff on our first Year 12 Retreat for several years. Conducted at Rawson Village Resort in Gippsland over three days and two nights the Retreat was a huge success. Led by the Lasallian Youth Ministry team, the Year 12 students worked in both large and small groups with De La staff. The boys were cooperative, responsible and mature in their approach to the various topics, discussions and activities; gave terrific feedback; made some really valuable contributions; and each in his own way took a good deal away from the three day experience. Over many years in Catholic boys’ education I have seen the value of the retreat experience time and again, and many of the young men of Year 12 spoke glowingly of how much they enjoyed the encounter.
Year 11 student chosen to attend the 2015 Anzac Day Centenary Dawn Service in Gallipoli
As Australia and New Zealand prepare for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings we have one of our own making a special pilgrimage to Turkey. Callum O’Shannessy, Year 11J, has been selected to travel to Gallipoli for the 2015 Anzac Day Centenary Dawn Service as part of a delegation chosen by the Victorian government. Callum presented his application to me for endorsement last year and given the depth and quality therein, including family links to World War II and a keenly articulated interest in military history, I am not surprised he was successful. In what promises to be the trip of a lifetime, Callum will travel with 80 school students from all over Victoria and 12 accompanying teachers. We wish Callum the best of luck for a wonderful trip and look forward to hearing all about it upon his safe return.
Year 7 Camp
The Year 7 Camp program is in full swing, with the third Homeroom travelling to Jan Juc this week for their three days of surf-based activities. I joined 7 Vincent for their family barbecue on the Friday, which is always a great opportunity for parents and staff to mix informally and get to know each other a little better.
First Community Mass for 2015 – Sunday 1 March
As mentioned in our previous Newsprint, we are following up on the success of our first De La Salle Community Mass at St Michael’s Ashburton in October last year. The first Mass for this year will be at St Cecilia’s, South Camberwell on Sunday 1 March at 10:30am. The address is Hillside Parade, Glen Iris. All current students and families who came to us from St Cecilia’s have received a written invitation, but of course we would like to see as many students and their families as possible. It is a great way to build our community ties, celebrate together and enjoy a cup of tea afterwards with other De La families.
I’d also like to post a reminder about our inaugural Welcome Mass for Year 7 families:
Monday 23 February 7:30pm
Our Lady of Victories Basilica
548 Burke Rd Camberwell
This is an opportunity for the Executive and Year 7 staff to formally receive and welcome each Year 7 student into the College (or for our ex-primary ‘veterans’, into the secondary school). Each student will be announced and presented and given a commemorative gift.
De La Salle Swimming Championships
Last Wednesday 11 February swimming coaches Chris and Gab Windley organised a return to the calendar of the once famous De La Salle Swimming Championships. Held at Prahran Pool, this is a super evening of competition as the ACC Swimming Squad competes against each other to decide the various Age Championships and provide valuable trials for the ACC Swimming Carnival (to be held at MSAC this Friday 20th). The two Old Collegian races were keenly contested as well, with a Windley father-son dead heat in their handicap 50 metre event! Chris and Gab deserve huge credit for their untiring work with their swimming charges and the return of the DLS Championships is another key community event, supported by a very healthy number of parents and siblings.
Congratulations to one of our Music Department staff, Penny Karahalios, and husband Arthur on the recent birth of their son Georgios Dimitropoutos, a younger brother for Anastos.
The De La Salle Community mourn the loss of two Brothers who passed away recently.
Br Eric Piggott
Died Saturday 7 February 2015. He would have turned 93 on February 9. Br Eric worked at the College from 1989–1991 as a counsellor. He was a former student of Malvern from 1935 – 1937. Br Eric’s brother Patrick also attended the College.
Br Eric’s name was John before he took the religious name Eric when he joined the Brothers. He resided in Oakleigh with his family.
Our thoughts are with Br Eric’s family at this time.
Br Finian Allman
Died Thursday 5February 2015. Br Finian spent almost his entire life in the St Bede’s College Community. He taught at De La Salle, taking senior classes in 1959 and 1960, and also in 1970 and 71.
Our thoughts are with the St Bede’s Community and Br Finian’s family at this time.
I wish all in our community a safe and happy Lenten season and look forward to seeing you at the various College events coming up this term.
Mr Peter Houlihan