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President's Report 2017

mark mulholland

In my opinion 2016-17 has been one of the most exciting since the College began. Reunions come and go but the Centennial year has made it the most enjoyable year ever.

My first duty was the Old Collegians Executive Annual Staff Shout on the 19 August. This was a good chance to mix and mingle with the staff and show our appreciation for all they do.

The Heads of College Function on 12th October was a new initiative and well attended in most decades. Great to get amongst the school leaders of the past and hear their comments on school life at St Andrew’s through the decades.

The Two Generation plus, function was another new initiative well attended. Families are now well into multi generations who have attended St Andrews and it was good to see how far this has come within our College family.

I made an appearance at the 10, 40, and 50 year on reunions and it is pleasing to see that numbers are growing for these events. It is a huge task to keep track of where our class mates have got to and especially so for the older age groups. I feel the younger ones have a massive advantage over us with social media. While it may not be everybody’s cup of tea it is an efficient way of communicating, and keeping track of friends and family. These reunions are one of our strongest functions and need your support. Keep your details up to date.

Gentlemen’s Lunch on 7th October. Over 70 attended. This would be the highlight of my year so far. It was humbling to be amongst a group of St Andrew’s Colleges finest, listening to the stories told of their time at the College in the bygone years. We have a lot to be proud of when you hear their achievements and the way they perceive the College.

Chapel Opening on the 25th October was the first function of the Centenary Celebrations. A moving Occasion that I think the 700-odd attending will never forget. The skilful blending of the past with modern architecture and incorporating the magnificent views of the College are an outstanding achievement. We have since had a wonderful Christmas Service for St Andrews and the community, funerals and weddings plus there are weekly community Parish services ongoing.

I attended the STAC Attack concert on the 28th October. What an amazing showcase for the pipe band and its hundred odd members. Great to see so many young students taking up the band and following the proud tradition so strong in St Andrews.

At the Canterbury A&P Show the College had a tent. I spent a couple of hours there on Friday meeting and talking with passes by. A lot of interest was shown and plenty of them taking a prospectus. Long may it continue.

I attended the College Prize giving 27th Nov. A fantastic collection of talented young people receiving the accolades they deserved. Some moving performances throughout the evening from the various culture groups. A most enjoyable evening.

Year 13 Leavers Dinner 30th November. A privilege to shake nearly 200 hands, present them with our badge and wish them well for the future. A fine bunch of new Old Collegians who now belong to a fraternity of 14000. It was encouraging to listen to the heartfelt gratitude for the teaching staff and their willingness to go beyond the everyday classroom.

A well organised Old Collegians Annual Golf Match held at Waitakere on the 3rd of March. Guy Gunn & Paul McEwan did a superb job of organising it. A field of 50 was a good turnout with the ladies joining us so let’s continue to grow the numbers as it is a great day out for all who participate.

Founders Day Assembly on March 17th was the official opening of the Centenary celebrations weekend. What a spectacle with the pipe band opening, Staccorro singing, the Orchestra playing the Centenary Overture, Jim Hudson’s zealous Haggis address, soloist Iona Taylor’s magical Sky Boat Song and finally the cutting of the Cake by Naylor Hillary 101 years old (1929-1933) and his grandson Henry Bissland (year 2) A very special occasion and a grand beginning to the celebrations. On Friday night, over 1600 OC and partners attended the Cocktail Party and enjoyed a balmy 18 degrees (11pm) The function was to be in the two Gyms but the summer like evening was a good reason to stay outside. Saturday morning over 350 attended the Boarders Breakfast in Gym1 and were treated to a sumptuous breakfast presented by Russell and his team. A meal boarders of yester year would only dream of. The rest of Saturday we were entertained in the grounds with a Festival occasion.  Saturday night Gala dinner was outstanding. Over 1600 seated for a stunning meal and night of entertainment. The venue was very cleverly disguised and gave a magical effect to the evening.  Chapel on Sunday morning was packed as would be expected and a fine reflection on our past 100 years. The concert in the Chapel on Sunday afternoon was a wonderful display of St Andrew’s finest talent past and present. Skilfully presented by Michael Lawrence who played, conducted, introduced and seemed to be stage hand as well. A fitting finale to an outstanding weekend of celebrations. Finally, 3252 attended the weekend celebrations and I find it amazing the number of Old Collegians who say they haven’t been back since they left school. If we get them to a reunion they totally enjoy the experience and the reconnection with their class mates and teachers, wondering why it took them so long.

I attended the farewell to Rolland Burrows Honoury Old Collegian 7th April. A very special occasion. Staff of this calibre don’t come along very often but when they do they give so much of themselves to the College and his send-off reflected his great contribution. We wish him well in his retirement. 

To our Patron Mrs Christine Leighton. Thank you for all the Old Collegian events you so generously give of your time to attend.  I have enjoyed immensely my regular catch-ups. I have learned the difficulties and sacrifices of being the Rector. Watching the continual juggling of your time management is impressive. I thank you for all you do for the College and especially for your huge input into the Centenary.

Past Board Chairman, I thank you Gary for what has been an outstanding decade of diligence to the righting of our financial affairs and the legacy you leave us in these magnificent buildings and facilities. It is something we will be for ever grateful. Thanks to our Board nominee Bryan Pearson, now current Board Chair. I look forward to working with you and our regular updates from the Board.

To Russell, Scott and all the Catering Staff, thank you for the wonderful dining experiences over the year and those nice treats on meeting nights. The boarders breakfast presentation was your show case followed by the artistic display of cheeses and breads at the drinks after the Centennial Concert. Your contribution is very much appreciated.

To Clare Wilkinson, Kelsey Williams, Jacqui Anderson thank you so much for your support and help over the last 12 months. It has been very much appreciated. The workload of the Centenary has been immense when added to the normal running of your department.

To Kate our Alumni Director, many thanks for the prompts when required. Kate plays a pivotal role in running the reunion events and general affairs of the Association. She is often called on to participate in other parts of the College and ably juggles her time between these. Communication with our members is my highest priority and Kate through the social media is making great inroads to this end. I am looking forward to the release of our new online web base as it will greatly improve our communication. I appreciate your support Kate.

To Nick Letham, immediate past President, thank you for your wisdom and guidance over the past 12 months. Your tireless work for the association and the College is much appreciated. Jonathan Wells, Senior Vice, Alistair McPherson and the rest of the Executive I thank you for your lively support. I really appreciate what our younger Executive members bring to the table and their participation in decision making.  

Mark W.D. Mulholland

President