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Last week was an emotional roller coaster for many. For some Year 12 students and their families, it marked the end of a 15-year journey at St Peter’s College. What an amazing investment – by all parties! I have not seen a school anywhere in the world that celebrates its leavers with as much appreciation and love. For boarders’ families, it started at the House Dinner on Wednesday night; and then the Year 12 Family Breakfast in Big Quad, the Year 12 Final Chapel Service, the Year 12 Valedictory Muster and the Avenue of Honour. The Year 12 Speech Day – where every student crossed the stage – and then the Valedictory Dinner at the Adelaide Oval were wonderful occasions to end the week of celebration. I have only been at Saints for a relatively short time and even my heartstrings have lost all their tension over the course of this week!

To add to the emotion for Young House students and families, Mr Con Sinanis announced his retirement as Head of Young House after 17 years of outstanding service in the role. Mr Sinanis has been at St Peter’s College for 32 years and will return to his teaching position in the Technology Faculty after a period of long service leave in the new year. Con’s address to his students in the Young House muster last week, and their response, was one of the most moving and memorable moments of this unpredictable year. If we are all about holding strength and love concurrently, as the School Prayer encourages us, Con demonstrated a perfect example of this to his students. What was clear, within their silence and attention, was a great deal of gratitude and admiration for the vast number of Young House students that Mr Sinanis has supported over the years.

The Valedictory Muster saw the presentation of the Sir George Murray Shield, which was first awarded in 1929 to “the House which does the best in School work”. Today, an alternative set of criteria are applied and the shield acts as the Inter-House shield. One of the great things about St Peter’s College is the House system, which itself stands for all things that are ‘strong and lovely’, and the Sir George Murray Shield is a test of and a testament to this. The Headmaster had the pleasure of presenting the shield to the 2020 leaders of Da Costa House.

Our students do not just come to school to learn, they come to grow, to experience and to ‘feel’. In a week of high emotion, Maya Angelou’s words resonate: ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’. I have seen in this past week, more than any other, that St Peter’s College strikes the same chord.

With best regards, as ever,

Marcus Blackburn
Deputy Headmaster/Head of Senior School