Newsletter Term 1 No. 4

"Dear Parents & Friends,

The letter below was printed recently in an Australian newspaper and I thought that I would share it with you.

Tribute to a great teacher

They often say that school days are the best days of your life ~ and how right they are! What with all the hoo-hah these days about children's rights and the fact that teachers are frightened to exercise discipline, let alone lay a hand on a child, I am pleased to report that as a student during the 60's and 70's not only did I get a great education from the De La Salle Brothers but I also learned about discipline and respect.

And I write because I have just returned from visiting my old 6th Class teacher from De La Salle Caringbah, Brother Dermot, who after a recent stroke, now resides at Stella Maris, Cronulla.

Brother Dermot is indeed a champion, very well known and highly regarded. He single handedly started the College at Caringbah in 1968 with a class of 64 students and is now in his 88th year and not enjoying the best of health.

He, like many of the De La Salle Brothers, has been just the greatest of mentors, educators, leaders and disciplinarians. In his prime he could (and would) chase the best of us around the school yard for misbehaving and give us a whack – and it didn't do any us any harm.

I encourage ex-students and friends of the College to visit Brother Dermot and say g'day. He'd love to see you. The man was a pioneer in education in the local area at a time when common sense, discipline and respect were highly regarded values.

What a pity so much has changed!

God loves you Dermie – and thanks for being such a top bloke.

Former student of De La Salle College,

Caringbah and Cronulla

Each of us I am sure have similar memories of teachers who have influenced our lives. Here at Francis Douglas Memorial College, we have been and continue to be blessed with teachers whose first concern is the well-being of each of our students. At the end of this term the College farewells a teacher who, in the words of St John Baptist de La Salle, has touched the hearts and minds of the young people entrusted to his care – on 8 April, Mr John Whyte completes almost eighteen years of service to Francis Douglas Memorial College as Mentor, Teacher, Assistant Principal, Acting Principal and for the past eight years as Deputy Principal. Vale Mr Whyte!


On Monday 22 March 2004 several Brothers from the District of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea celebrated their 40th Jubilee as a De La Salle Brother. They included Brother Peter Bray and Brother Peter Smyth. Brother Peter Bray, a first day pupil of the College way back in 1959 also served as Principal of Francis Douglas between 1978 and 1990. Brother Peter currently is the Director of the Catholic Education Centre in the Archdiocese of Wellington. Br Peter Smyth has been at Francis Douglas since 1998. He is currently the Dean of Year Ten. We congratulate our Brothers and thank them for forty faithful years in the service of young people.


Congratulations and a huge thank you to John Gordon (President of the PTA) and the PTA for their marvellous organization of the Gala Day on 20 March. Thanks also to the many parents, teachers and students who assisted with the setting up, selling, serving, performing, dismantling and in any other capacity. Thank you also to those who supported the Gala Day last Saturday. Final takings will not be known for about a week, but at this stage it appears that the Gala has been a great financial success. Thanks also to our many sponsors.


Interim reports for all students are being posted home today (26 March). Parent-teacher interviews will be held on Wednesday 7 April from 3.20 p.m. – 9.00p.m. (there will be a tea break from 6.00 p.m. – 6.40p.m.), and Thursday 8 April from 9.00 a.m. – 12.00 noon.

Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!

Brother Peter


On 1st March, the Year 12 Biology class had their first fieldtrip. The boys were taken to the rock platform at Kawaroa to study zonation of the intertidal zone. The boys practiced sampling techniques by using transect lines and quadrats. The skills acquired by the students will be assessed on the next fieldtrip, the 16th of March. The boys are working towards the Level 2 Achievement Standard AS90460, investigating an interrelationship or pattern in a population or community. To achieve the 3 credits in the standard, a written report which has to meet specific criteria, has to be completed in class as well.

The Yr13 Biology class went to North Egmont on the 4th of March to become acquainted with the ecological niche of the Kamahi. For NCEA Achievement Standard AS90713 each student has to carry out an investigation into an aspect of the ecological niche of an organism with guidance.

We were met by two members of the Department of Conservation who assisted the boys in setting up two permanent belt transects. They shared their expertise with the students by teaching them sampling techniques, helping with the identification of plants and discussing strategies for individual investigations.

The students will be planning their own investigations in the next week and after collecting their own data, will prepare a written report to meet specific criteria. The students can gain 5 credits for this achievement standard on meeting the necessary criteria.


A team of 12 boys entered the TSS Swimming Carnival at Stratford on Tuesday 23rd March.


Junior Boys:

Luke Banks-Novak 100m Freestyle 3rd

Adam Leathem 50m Breastroke 2nd

Jacob Dent 50m Breastroke 3rd

Intermediate Boys:

Nathan Sole 50m Butterfly 3rd

Senior Boys:

Tim O'Dowd 50m Breastroke 1st

Tim O'Dowd 50m Butterfly 1st

Brock Roberts 50m Breastroke 2nd

Kurt Sole 50m Butterfly 2nd

Andrew Vernon 100m Freestyle 2nd

Andrew Vernon 50m Backstroke 3rd

The three teams entered in the Medley relays each gained second placing. The junior freestyle relay team were placed first with the Intermediate and Senior Relays gaining second place.


Phillip Walsh and John Julian recently attended the South Island IRB Champs held in Dunedin. Phillip competed as a crewman & John as a patient.

Phillip's team gained 2 Gold and 1 Bronze medals and were placed 2nd overall in the Under 21 Division. John's team gained 6 Gold medals and 1st place overall in the Open division.

Brendon Walsh attended the National Surf Life Saving championships in Christchurch on 14th March. Brendon picked up a silver medal in the relay event.


The students are making a wonderful effort in supporting the annual Caritas Lenten Appeal. To date, just under $1,000.00 has been collected. Thank you to those parents who have encouraged their sons to make small sacrifices for the good of other communities in our world.

There are two weeks to go, so it would be great if that support was maintained in order to reach our goal of $2,000.00.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the appeal to raise funds for flood stricken Hato Paora College - $528.00 was raised.


This year, for the first time, we are inviting students to enter the Australasian Schools Mathematics Assessment conducted by the University of New South Wales. The cost to the student will be $5.00. We need to receive the entry together with the $5.00 by Monday May 3rd. Students are asked to leave their names and money at the College office.



Inspire - fill with enthusiasm, stimulate; arouse an emotion


Inspiration, inspirational, inspires, inspired, inspiring

Sentence Construction

We like to use the life of Father Francis Douglas to inspire us in our own personal endeavours and challenges.

Thesaurus Words

Active, animate, arouse, awaken, egg on, encourage, energize, enthuse, fire, galvanize, influence, inspirit, instigate, kindle, motivate, prompt, provoke, quicken, reassure, set off, spark off, spur, stimulate, stir, support.


Reduce Restricted Licence by 6 months.

This programme is about group discussions and interactions, personal driving experiences and setting goals. It is a 10 hour course spread over 4 weeks. The dates for the next Street Talk are in April/May, hours are from 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm. (Tuesday 13th, Thursday 15th, Tuesday 20th, Tuesday 27th April & Tuesday 4th May). The programme will be held at the New Plymouth YMCA. Course fees are $110 which includes course materials and manual. Enrolments are limited, payment secures registration on course. Call the YMCA reception to register or call 06 758 3666 for more information.


Farmers are needed who are willing to take on trainees. Live-in or Live-out positions required. For further information please contact Richard Haycock on 06 762 3811"