The following is an extract of the Deputy Headmaster/Head of Senior School’s Address:
Good afternoon Chair of the Council of Governors, Members of the Council of Governors, Headmaster, invited guests, colleagues and students.
Eight weeks ago I stepped onto the grounds of St Peter’s College for the first time and walked from the Junior School to Old School House. As I made the walk down the Avenues, I was conscious to really take in my surrounds. I couldn’t stop thinking about the history and heritage of the buildings and beauty of the grounds. It is one of those moments that will remain in my mind for the rest of my life.
That first walk down the Avenues was actually part of over 100km I covered in my first two weeks at SPSC. I thought I should actually look at how far that would take me by car and using Google found out that it would be the equivalent of walking to just past Tailem Bend or to Port Wakefield. This certainly gave me an appreciation of the very size of the School and the amazing facilities and opportunities St Peter’s College offers each day.
I have been very conscious, every day since, when I have arrived at work, to really look at and take in the detail of my surrounds.
However, as we all know there is so much more to a school than the walls and fields. It is the people that make a school, and it is these very people who make up the community. From the outset, I can honestly say it is you the people that have made my transition in to this role seamless. The School’s values of truth, respect and service are certainly on display each day and it is heartening to know these are not just words but are lived in action by the students and staff.
One of the benefits of starting when I did was the opportunity to see the appreciation our current Year 12 students have for their School. It was a privileged to be part of their final Chapel and Muster. I still get goosebumps reflecting on the way the students sang the hymns in celebration of their time, the way they embraced the Avenue of Honour and the way they have gone about their study. Through these students I saw a glimpse of what St Peter’s College means and how it educates young boys to become young men.
Today marks an official commissioning and it is through this ritual there is a pledge made to carry out the duties faithfully and diligently.The very act of this ritual on its surface could be words that are just said, however, it has a deeper purpose. It is about making a commitment to the School and by virtue to each of you.
Rituals are about making a commitment to something or someone. Students you undertake the ritual of putting on the uniform each morning. By this you are making a commitment to St Peter’s College, you are in essence saying to the world that you will strive to live a life underpinned by the values of ‘Truth, Respect and Service’. You are committing to wear your uniform with pride, to upholding the expectations we have for you and to demonstrating to the world that you are, through your actions, going to make a difference to the lives of others.
Therefore, tomorrow when you put on that uniform remember that you are making a commitment to something bigger than just yourself. You are making a commitment to uphold the legacy of all those students, staff and families who have gone before you. You are saying to the world that through the search for truth, through acting with respect and serving the community you are prepared to be a beacon of hope to the world.
Over the coming months and years, I look forward to supporting and working with the whole school community. To continue to build on the rich history and heritage and ensure that St Peter’s College remains a school where everyone can thrive.
And as a I walk into the grounds each day; my commitment is to serve this community faithfully and diligently, to appreciate the walls and fields and to really see the people who are the very fabric of this exceptional community of learners.