Term 3 is always a busy term in schools; it’s the term when a lot of heavy lifting takes place. The beginning of the term is marked by shorter days, inclement weather, the physicality of winter sport, the commitment to major theatrical and musical productions, and the realisation, particularly at the pointy end of the school, that the end is fast approaching. Accordingly, there is an increased urgency with which students go about their studies. This urgency is coupled with a growing anxiety for the upcoming examinations and the end of school. For many, a sadness will also begin to surface for the ending of something that has been so much a part of their lives.
Gradually as the term unfolds, the days become longer with the hint of spring in the air, and the possibility of new beginnings and exciting opportunities enter the thoughts of the senior boys. Excitement competes with the anxiety and sadness as discussions about universities, courses, work and travel are interspersed with talk about study, assessment and exams. Sometimes these emotions can be somewhat overwhelming, and our students can struggle to make sense of what is going on.
At Saints we provide great opportunities for our boys to express these emotions in a positive way through a variety of events and celebrations throughout Terms 3 and 4. In Term 3, these events include the Winter Intercols, House Dinners, and Music Festival and culminate in the annual Blue and White. This year I have been keenly aware of a growing excitement and anticipation as the Blue and White has drawn closer. What started with a decision about the theme, quickly moved to a plan on how to realise the vision. Indran and Seb decided on room set up and decoration as well as the design of the invitation. Announcements were made at Muster and students began to organise their dates – perhaps with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. The numbers of attendees grew quickly. The marquee and decorations began to arrive. The band rehearsed. The boys chose their suits and the girls their dresses. The day has arrived!
I think the Blue and White offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that is beautiful about being young. The endless energy, boundless optimism, and infectious enthusiasm for life makes for a pure and joyful celebration of what it means to be human. In an era where one only needs to turn on the television to see how love and friendship have been commodified and turned into loveless, selfish and self-obsessed transactional exchanges through shows like the Bachelor, I hope that the Blue and White still holds an aura of magic and the magical about it, where love, chivalry, honour, fun and respect still matter.
The frisson associated with a gala ball, young love and courtship is in the air. The setting is magical. The decorations look awesome. What else could you possibly need? My hope is that this year all of the young people who attend this event remember it for all of the right reasons and enjoy the romance and fun of what should be a very special night for everyone.
Pro Deo et Patria
Mr Ben Hanisch
Deputy Headmaster/Head of Senior School