Last week we celebrated National Boarding Week with a range of activities. A highlight was the School & Allen Muster where some of the boys bravely shared their story of challenges they have faced during the pandemic, and how they overcame them.
Darryl Chu in Year 12, spoke about making a decision in March 2020 to remain at School and not return home to Malaysia. It has now been 16 months since he has seen his family. Darryl expressed his gratitude to the Boarding House in Muster:
“If it wasn’t for the Boarding House, I wouldn’t be here today. I would have left for home months ago. While I still miss my family, I am grateful for the constant emotional and mental support that the boarding staff and my mates have given me throughout the challenging times. The strong sense of community and kindness towards one another that School & Allen nurtures is something I can only find in a boarding community. Living in a boarding community [and having] the acceptance and understanding of one another’s diversity has allowed us to build a unique and strong lifelong bond. Thus, the strong bonds that we undoubtedly share, is the greatest and best strength of School and Allen.”
Darryl Chu, Year 12
View Darryl’s full speech here.
In contrast, Sebastian Rogers in Year 11 spoke of his boarding journey and decision to return to Singapore in March last year. Seb’s focus was on the challenges he experienced in not being able to return for the remainder of 2020. His appreciation for how special St Peter’s College is was incredibly moving and his message for all boys to make the most of their experience at the School was powerful. In Seb’s words:
“… my life hasn’t been a normal one by any stretch of the imagination and it’s probably one a lot of you cannot relate to. The last 12 months has been nothing short of crazy for me and a lot of my brothers in the House. What we all do share though is that we are all here together at St Peter’s College; a School where we can all have a different story but be bound together with a shared experience. What I have learnt in the past 12 months is that some things should not be taken for granted. Take it from me, you don’t know how good this place really is until it is taken away from you, I know I am going to make the best of the remaining time I have here – and I hope you do the same.”
Sebastian Rogers, Year 11
View Sebastian’s full speech here.
Henry Hawker in Year 12 spoke about the importance of friendships and weekend activities shared with day students:
“From the boys of School & Allen I would like to say thank you to all the day boys who have helped out with sport transport and had us to stay on weekends. It really does make boarding more enjoyable … to take boarders out on leave is really simple and easy and it makes a world of difference. If day boys are able to extend an invitation for boarders to come out on weekends, I know the boys in School & Allen would love to repay the favour by inviting you to our homes.”
Henry Hawker, Year 12
View Henry’s full speech here.
At Muster, we also featured photos of the boys’ mailboxes from home. These photos represent the invaluable diversity and richness that our boarders and their families bring to our School community. The boys shared what they love most about boarding at Saints:
“I love boarding because you get to meet new people and create lifelong friends whilst receiving a great education.”
Will, Year 12
“I love boarding because I get to be around my mates all the time. I love the reassurance that someone is always going to be there for you when times get tough.”
Tom, Year 12
“I would always be a boarder at St Peter’s College! Not just because I’m living with my mates, but because it has taught me a sense of independence and reinforced core values.”
Angus, Year 9
Director of Boarding