Newsletter Term 1 No. 3

"Dear Parents & Caregivers,

I received the following fax from Br John Johnson, former Superior General of the Brothers, who is currently in Haiti, who writes:

In 1974 a Brother in Quebec, Canada, officially retired and prevented from continuing his teaching apostolate, sought a new service. A priest friend suggested that he look into serving the poor in Haiti, then and still the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. He received permission to explore the possibility, and found other Brothers interested in joining him.

The Brothers began on the Isle de la Tortue, which translates literally as Turtle Island. The Brothers discovered a population highly illiterate and an island void of schools. Only footpaths connected the primitive hamlets where people lived. Brothers began building literacy centres, catechetical centres, a primary school, and taught the people to build roads.

What has happened since those early years is remarkable. Thanks to the dedicated commitment of numerous Brothers throughout the thirty years of our presence, the Brothers and their partners on the Isle de la Tortue operate today a high school and conduct a network of six primary with twenty satellite classes in remote areas. They reach more than 4000 students, a truly astounding statistic. The population of the Isle de la Tortue is today one of the most literate populations in Haiti. Roads for motorised vehicles, six co-operatives, a popular savings bank, water reservoirs, and construction of wharfs, are only some of the visible effects of the Brothers' ministry

Of the current situation, Bro John says that, …flights to the US are suspended. The situation here has been generally peaceful , although there has been sporadic violence. The problem here has been with stealing and extorting, hoodlums and gangs taking advantage of the situation. This is a town of 120,000 people, a very high percentage very poor. We have to be very careful and have hired a team of former students to protect our Brothers and ourselves.

The theme for the 2004 Caritas Lent Appeal is “The Spirit of Hope is at Work in the World” taken from Pope John Paul II's World Day of Peace Message, 1998. It is important not to underestimate the power of Hope because without it despair can take hold and situations can seem so overwhelming that it seems easier to sit back and do nothing.


The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Christopher Moller to the position of Deputy Principal (Welfare & Management). Mr Moller is currently the Assistant Principal of Hastings Boys High School. He will take up the position at FDMC in May.

Brother Peter


Cory Avison (2003 Dux) has been awarded a prestigious Asia 2000 Scholarship, valued at more than $80,000. He was one of only seven high school students nationwide to make the final cut. Cory will commence a Bachelor of Engineering degree at the National University of Singapore in July. The scholarship was set up in 1998 to enable outstanding young New Zealanders to foster relations with Asia and provide a valuable resource for national companies operating in the region. Cory was the 13th student to be awarded the scholarship.

Leon Power (Y13, 2003) has been awarded one of only fifty New Zealand Dairy Industry Undergraduate Scholarships (NZDIUGS), funded for the dairy industry through the industry good levy allocated by Dairy Insight. The scholarship continues until course completion. Leon has just commenced a Bachelor of Applied Science (majoring in Agriculture and Agribusiness) at Massey University.

Blair Gregg (Y13, 2003) has been awarded an Electricity Supply Industry Training Organisation Scholarship for 2004.


The Gala will be held on Saturday 20 March from 11.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m.


There will be a mufti day on Tuesday 16 March. Each student is asked to contribute $2.00 to help with funds for vertical form stalls at the Gala.


Boys must be neatly dressed with the correct FDMC uniform and footwear when travelling to and from the College.


Our school is taking part in the Kia Kaha programme this year. Kia Kaha is a series of programmes designed to help schools create communities where everyone feels safe, respected and valued, and where bullying is not tolerated. The programmes have been developed by the New Zealand Police.

Our school's Police Education Office Constable Anna Duncan undertook training with College teachers, staff and Hostel management last year. This training involved staff awareness training, definitions and characteristics of bullies, effects of bullying, and the formulation of a whole school approach for eliminating bullying. At present a school “Working Party” has been formed. This group will be reassessing current policies and intervention.

Steps: There will be a consultation with our school community in the form of surveys for students, staff and parents and caregivers. Your input is important to us.

The whole school has been addressed on Francis Douglas Memorial College's Bullying Policy and consequences of such behaviour, at an Assembly run by Mr Whyte in Week One of this term. Mr Whyte has informed students that bullying will not be tolerated and students must tell a staff member. Staff members must take action immediately to eliminate the problem.

Bullying can take a number of forms

• Physical violence, for example hitting and kicking

• Emotional and Verbal – for example, name calling, exclusion, threatening or coercion.

• Damage to property, for example, taking lunches or destroying school books.

All forms can be damaging to the development of both the person being bullied and the person bullying. Our school focuses on supporting students to develop positive behaviour. Bullying is unacceptable behaviour. Bullying is not the victims fault. Victims must ‘tell' someone at our school and something will be done about that bullying.

All Year 7 – 13 classes are receiving Kia Kaha teaching in their Health lessons. Kia Kaha activities will also take place in vertical form times. Parents and caregivers will be sent surveys and information as the year progresses. You will be asked to comment on a revised anti bullying policy in Terms 2 & 3. If you feel your son is being bullied please encourage him to tell someone – their Dean, Vertical form leader, or a subject teacher they feel they can talk to. Parents and caregivers are also encouraged to contact the school with any concerns.


All Year 11 students will receive Sexuality Education in the Religious Education Module at some stage throughout the year. The sexuality programme runs for approximately 8 weeks involving about 16 – 18 lessons. The Module is taught by Mrs Simpson who is CFLE trained. The sexuality unit has been approved by the Board of Trustees. If parents or caregivers would like to discuss any concerns they have relating to this unit please contact Mrs Simpson at the college.

All Year 8 students will undertake Sexuality Education in Terms two and three. A newsletter will be sent to parents/caregivers prior to the commencement of this unit. Parents and caregivers have the right to remove their sons from Sexuality Education classes but this request must be made in writing to the College Principal.


The Taranaki Secondary Schools' Team Sailing Contest was sailed at Ngamotu beach on the 1 March. The three crews from FDMC competed against teams from New Plymouth Boys' High and Spotswood College. FDMC was placed third overall in the competition.

Our crews consisted of:

Crew 1- Joseph Churchman ( skipper) and Paul Moriarty

Crew 2 – Trent Lochhead (Skipper) and William Rowland

Crew 3 – Jay Gable and Brad McCormack(

This team shared the role of Skipper throughout the racing.

Thanks to James Burt, Sam Connolly and David Hills for being available as crew and reserves during the training and competition, to the many parents for their ongoing support and to the N.P.Y.C. for making boats available for us to practice and race in, and for organising a competition that was judged fairly and encouraged good sportsmanship in a fiercely contested sport.


The volleyball teams of FDMC A – Darryl McDavitt, Zach Wills, Kenneth Hau, David Wells, Thomas Crowley, Jesse Jones, Chad Smith, Shaun Butler & FDMC B Ciaran Forsyth, David Joines, Shane Taepa, Paul Storey, James Rowland, Keith Preston, James Slaats & Alekana Feaunati recently competed at the Taranaki Secondary Schools Champs. The A team was placed 3rd overall and the B team was placed 4th.


This event was held at Oakura beach on 1st March with approximately 80 students competing. The surf was 2 to 3 foot broken waves.


Under 14 – 3rd Maxim Van Lierde
Under 16 – 2nd Lee Fleming
Under 18 – 2nd Ben Connolly, 3rd Anaru Hurunui

Body boarding: Under 15 – 3rd Sean Markham

School Placings: FDMC 2nd.


The season has started with FDMC fielding 2 Intermediate grade teams and 4 Secondary grade teams. Games are played on Thursday and Friday evenings at the East End Rink. Congratulations to Zach Beardman who has been chosen to play in the New Zealand 16 & Under team.


The Cricket season is drawing to a close with the final round of games finishing on 20th March. Throughout the season, the College has fielded 18 teams covering most grades available.

The 1st XI have completed their first season in premier grade and have competed well. The grass wicket was used last week for the first time. Thanks to Miles Blair (groundsman) for all the work he has done in preparing it.

We would like to thank the large number of parents and staff who have given up their time to assist with coaching, managing and umpiring teams. The generosity of each of these volunteers has helped to maintain the high standard of cricket in the college. A special mention to the captains of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd XI teams, Ryan Fleming, Sam Barrett and Grant Maclean who have organised and led their teams with distinction.


Gillette Cup (1st XI) are into the Taranaki final, with the game being played today at NPBHS on Friday 12th March. Thanks to Peter Hawkes and Rodney Hughes for assisting.

Milo Cup (Year 7 & 8) is a national knockout tournament and the FDMC team have won the Taranaki final against Hawera Intermediate (in the last over). They will now play the winner of the Wanganui region. Thanks to Roger Stachurski for coaching the Milo Cup team.


The winter hockey season commences at the Devon Hotel Park Turf on Friday 30th April 2004 for Intermediate grade. Throughout the season, games will be held on Friday and Monday afternoons from 4.00 – 7.00 pm and Saturdays mornings at 8.00 am.


You need to know about this powerfully addictive drug! There will be a public meeting on Wednesday March 17th at 7.30 pm at New Plymouth Boys High School Assembly Hall. There will be guest speakers from New Zealand Police and Health Services plus information for you to take away.


Twilight Gala Friday 19th March 5.00 pm at the school grounds in Stratford


Individuals visiting Wellington in the upcoming April holidays may have a tour of the University. You need to contact the office on 04 463 5374 or to register for the following dates: 11.00 am Wednesday 14th , Thursday 15th, Wednesday 21st, Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd April.


A cleaner's position will become available in the Francis Douglas Memorial College Hostel, commencing Term 2 (26 April) – approx. 30 hours per week, during school hours. For further information, please contact Diana Blair, Business Manager, by ringing the College Office (753.6149) during office hours.