In Focus

From the Principal – December 2015

The Christmas holidays will soon be upon us and I wish our families a safe, restful and festive break. Christmas is a time for families, a time for reflection, inclusion, celebration, forgiveness and new beginnings. Recent world events have cast a dark shadow on this year’s Christmas, with some families and communities forever changed. At this special family time it is important to reflect on those less fortunate than ourselves, in the hope that the overwhelming love and support from global friends and community will sustain them through their most difficult times. With a warm heart and absolute sincerity, I wish a Merry Christmas to all.

The St Margaret’s and Berwick Grammar School Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) team recently competed at their penultimate event, the RACV Energy Breakthrough at Maryborough. Each year I attend as a spectator and cheer our teams on from the sidelines, ensuring that I support loudly, yet do not interfere with this highly trained, well drilled and finely tuned HPV juggernaut. This year however was different, I was invited into the inner sanctum of the HPV team. Spending two days living and working amongst the squad. What a wonderful and enlightening experience it was. The following is a reflection I wrote in my tent about a moment in time, deep in the HPV training camp.

It is dinner time and everyone knows their roles, parents are busily preparing and distributing food and the students and rostered off parents neatly line up, to be served their choice of steaming hot chicken or lamb souvlaki/wraps. Vegetarians and gluten free are also catered for, and are known by the parents who assist in preparing their meals without a word or fuss. Within minutes over 100 meals have been prepared and served and a silence falls over the camp, the kind of silence which can only be achieved by great cuisine, it is called food silence. The team is united, and all are welcome to sit in any area of the camp. Older students care for and lead the younger students, whilst parents are able to rest in the knowledge that the village will care for their child. Mr Trevena stands and an even deeper level of silence washes over the camp. He commences his instructional address to an engaged, empowered, enthusiastic and committed community. The results of their competition are irrelevant, with what I have just witnessed the HPV community have already triumphed.

Over the long break our Buildings and Grounds team will be working hard on a number of major and minor projects in readiness for the commencement of the new school year. These projects include the ongoing grounds and path beautification in the Junior School, completion of the Senior School Hills Classroom refurbishment, and completion of the Berwick Grammar Senior School building. An additional stage will also be added to the BGS Junior playground, thanks to the generous support of the St Margaret’s and Berwick Grammar School Parents’ and Friends’ Association. In addition to these major projects a number of minor projects will be carried out, such as painting, refurbishments and replacing of old furniture and fittings. A very busy work schedule awaits our team, and we will work tirelessly over the long break to ensure that all our students commence the new year in the best classrooms, facilities and learning environments that we can provide.

Mr Doug Bailey