Even though Saints never really stops during the holidays, it’s great to have the boys back at School after the break. As soon as they return there is an energy and vibrancy within the walls and fields which, as staff, we always look forward to.

Last week provided a snapshot of why this is place is so special. We started the term with a simple yet moving Anzac Day service, made all the more poignant by the reflections of six students reading out the stories of six old scholars who lost their lives in World War 1. On Wednesday night of the same week we were treated to a farewell concert by the students in Big Bands 1, 2 and 3 who competed in the Generations in Jazz music competition in Mt Gambier. The students were obviously excited and rightfully proud of the quality of the music they made. We were incredibly successful in the competition held over the weekend. Big Band 1 came second in Division 2 which is a huge endorsement of the excellent program offered at the School under the stewardship of our Director of Music, Mr Philip Walsh. It would be remiss of me not to mention that co-captain of music, Chris B, was selected in the Superband which effectively means he was one of the best six trumpeters in the competition. I’d like to publicly acknowledge the work of all the music staff who firstly prepared the students for the competition and also supervised them over the weekend.

The other major event last week was Community Day. This was my first in 31 years so I was genuinely interested to see what it was like. I was immediately struck by the warmth and community atmosphere that permeated every part of the School. The colour provided by the Houses in their designated areas added to the carnival feel. It was also clear that this had been a shared endeavour between School and parents, and the garlanded raffle prizes at each House site indicated the vital role that parents play in the School. As well as the many sporting activities going on around the place, there was a pop-up uniform shop, a climbing wall and a display of the kneelers in the Chapel. This display was of special interest to me as the beautiful embroidery work dates back to when I was a student at School. The kneelers are in amazing condition and have been lovingly looked after for the past 30 years by the Friends of the Chapel. On Saturday, the names of those people who had embroidered the beautiful patterns and messages were placed above the kneelers. I was lucky enough to locate the kneeler that my mother had completed over 30 years ago. It made me reflect again on the notion of community and what that means, on the rich and interconnected history of this School, and on the importance of the partnership between parents, boys and staff. I hope all of you have a wonderful Term 2. Pro deo et patria.

Ben Hanisch
Deputy Headmaster/Head of Senior School