Friday, October 03, 2008
Culture and Sport
The International Students in the OCF group in Auckland put on a musical. One of the students wrote an original score for her music finals and the group got together to practice and invited some friends to help. It was based on the book of Hosea. Over 500 came to the performance and the composer shared some of what the story meant to her and how it had inspired her. Great to see students combining creativity and content.
Another school term has come to a close. Jamie only has one more term at St Marks and will join Luke at Wellington College in February. Luke does not wear his "number 1" uniform every day, just for concerts or events where he is representing the school. Craig is delighted that the new term will see summer uniform again and the start of two terms of sandals and no socks. There were a number of end of term cultural events.
Jamie's end of term show was The Rocky Monster Show and he appeared as a ghoul. He enjoys taking part when he gets the opportunity and continues to work at his piping.
Craig landed the part of the Artful Dodger in "Olivia", which fused elements of most 19th Century London dramas together. Characters included Fagin, Professor Higgins, George Bernard Shaw and Sherlock Holmes. He astonished us all by producing an extremely convincing cockney accent from no one really knows where. He had quite a few lines to learn and did really well.
Luke continues with choir and orchestra but his big performance was getting his braces off after 2 years. His teeth look great now and he just has to wear a retainer at night for the next couple of years. To celebrate we went out for an Indian and then went to see The Sound of Music at the Opera House where one of his college hockey team was playing one of the Von Trapp children. Ailsa especially enjoyed it but we all had a good time. Although doing Sound of Music Karaoke at Student Leaders Conference last year means that I do always expect an asian accented lonely goat herd!
The Lions have being having an excellent season and top the Air New Zealand Cup table going into the playoffs. It is always a bit of a novelty in our house when a team we are supporting actually wins something. The boys are with Ma'a Nonu at a junior Cubs and 'Canes trip to the zoo.
Afterwards there was a visit to the training session and a chance to see the Ranfurly Shield. This is a challenge trophy with a long and noble history which Wellington wrestled from Auckland and having defended against Tasman the following week will hold over the summer. Wellington last held the shield in 1981 so there was much excitement in the capital when the team brought it home. Leo is the Lions mascot.
He is not as fierce as some of the younger lions who need to be kept in crates.
Jamie is about to compete in the Hatch Cup and decided that he needed yellow hair for the tournament to match the Wellington Colours. The Hatch Cup is the National under 13 boys hockey tournament. It moves around major cities and this time happens to be in Wellington for the first time in ten years. Jamie has been playing well for the A team called "The Bears". Two other boys from his Hutt club team are also in the Rep team with him and he is excited to be playing for Wellington. 24 teams from across New Zealand will take part and will all play 8 matches over 7 days. The Wellington U13 Development team which Nigel coaches, (the B team), should have been playing in a regional tournament this week but a team pulled out of the Hatch Cup so Wellington were invited to enter our development team. This is a great opportunity for the boys but will be quite a challenge as we are the bottom seeded team and as such will have a hard draw. The Opening Ceremony is tomorrow.
With the club season finished this is the last Hockey for the year. Jamie's Hutt team lost their semi-final 1-0 but then won the 3rd/4th play off 2-1 with Jamie scoring both goals in a nail biting second half. Nigel wound up presenting 6 of the Cups on finals weekend and making short speeches on behalf of Wellington Hockey which was good fun.
It has also been a privilege to coach the Wellington U13 Development Team and they have been a great group of kids and parents to work with. We have played 13 games, won 8, drawn 1 and lost 4. Considering we lost 3 games the first day we played - we have done pretty well since then. The trials were at the start of July so it has been a busy Rep season. This has not been our motto but it struck a chord!
At work I am busy trying to finish outlines for talks at the South Pacific Regional Training Event at Canberra in December, working on strategy for next year, developing the Catalyst graduate programme, recruiting new staff and doing annual reviews with senior staff. Life would be easier if I had a new PA but overall things are pretty encouraging. I spoke at the Korean language group at Auckland University this week and there looks to be some positive partnership developing there. There is a lot going on and we are stepping up our fund raising to stay where we are with inflation climbing but also to finance some new strategic initiatives. The academic year is starting to wind down and we will be in a process of review and planning for the year ahead. As we approach the end of 3 years in New Zealand I am also taking a bigger look at what has been achieved and what the priorities are in the next phase here and around the pacific. Ailsa is supervising the two American youth workers at church, coordinating builders and painters fixing the leak in the lounge and has just finished 34 hand made cards for both Wellington teams at the Hatch Cup.
The end of every journey inspires the beginning of another and we are thankful for all who travel with us.