Term 1, No 1 2005

Dear Parents & Families,

Welcome to 2005!

The College would like to offer a warm welcome to all members of the Francis Douglas community as we commence our 2005 school year.

We would especially like to welcome those students enrolling at FDMC for the first time:

  • 86 students enrolling in Year 7

  • 66 students enrolling in Year 9

  • The small number of students enrolling at other Year levels.

We will do our best to ensure that all our students, and especially our new boys settle quickly into College life at what we hope will be the beginning of an exciting and rewarding year.

Staff 2005

We extend a warm welcome to new staff members who have joined the College this year. I am confident that each will make a valuable contribution to the life of the College and the education of the boys entrusted to their care.

  • Mrs Sandra Kelsen Matron

  • Ms Tina Ladbrook English, Tourism

  • Mr Tony Susan Technology, Graphics

  • Mr Neil Imrie Year 7 Homeroom

  • Mr Tom Close GAP student

It is with sadness that the College notes the death of FATHER JAMES AUSTIN, a priest of St Joseph—s Parish in the 1950—s and a key person in the establishment of Francis Douglas Memorial College in 1959. Father Jim, as he was known, was appointed by Archbishop McKeefrey, as the liaison with the De La Salle Brothers in the period leading up to the establishment of the College. Those of us associated with the College today owe Father Jim and others like him who worked tirelessly for the establishment of the College a great debt of gratitude. May he rest in peace.

Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!

From the Deputy Principal

Contact Information

The College appreciates having up to date information on all students . Please inform the Dean or College Office when addresses or telephone numbers change. In some cases the Dean or Matron need to contact parents during working hours so the College requires an up-to-date contact address/telephone number for a parent—s place of employment. We wish to avoid embarrassment to parents over incorrectly addressed mail so would also appreciate being informed in cases where marital status changes.


  • Sickness

When students are absent because of sickness, parents are required to call the school office by 9:00am to advise the reason for the student—s absence, and to send a note explaining the absence to the vertical form teacher as soon as the student returns to school. If the absence is likely to be longer than three days, parents should either telephone the office or contact the Dean.

  • Visit to Doctor or Dentist

Students may make appointments with a doctor or dentist in school time. The student should bring the appointment card or a letter from the parents to the form teacher and obtain permission for the appointment.

  • Sickness during the school day

The College has a Matron in attendance at the College between 8.45am and 2.30pm. The Matron can give permission for students to go home sick at any time and will normally contact parents when this occurs. If the Matron is not available students should see their Dean or in extreme cases one of the Deputy Principals. Under no circumstances are students allowed to leave the school grounds without seeing a staff member first.

  • Other Absences

Parents should be aware that the Education Act requires that children in a New Zealand secondary school must complete 190 days each year, unless they are prevented from doing so by illness or other reasons stated in the Act or allowed by the Principal. The Education Act does not allow for holidays in school time, or time away for shopping or looking after other members of the family. The school attempts to meet any reasonable requests from parents for leave, but parents of senior students, especially, need to be aware of the restrictions associated with internal assessment. The full support of parents in these matters is an important factor in preventing truancy and in keeping young people out of trouble.

  • Signing In or Out Book

Students who are late to school must sign-in at the College Office and receive a chit for entry to class. Students are not allowed into class late without a chit. Students who leave the College for any reasons must sign-out and sign-in when they return. Deans and the Deputy Principal (Welfare) will also issue —Please Excuse— notes. Year 13 students should sign out with the office staff if they leave school.

Student Drop-Off & Pick-Up

Please do not drop your children off in the staff car park area. Drop them at the front gate to avoid congestion. Thank you.

Alcohol & Drugs

Awareness and education in the use and abuse of drugs, including nicotine and alcohol, will be part of the school health education programme. Francis Douglas Memorial College aims to remain a drug free school, with well documented, limited exceptions.

Francis Douglas Memorial College will be proactive in its stance against drug misuse, in recognition of the growing prevalence of drugs in New Zealand schools. This will involve organising visiting speakers or organisations, the use of drug sniffing dogs, and other activities The school wishes to make it increasingly difficult for drug abusers to operate undetected in our learning environment, due to evidence that students cannot maximize their learning opportunities when influenced by the effects of drugs. We also wish to help develop well-informed, confident and healthy young adults.

At some stage during the year, the New Zealand Police will be invited to visit Francis Douglas Memorial College with a drug sniffer dog. The visit of the dog will primarily be used to assure staff, students and the community of the zero tolerance of drug abuse at our college. If drugs are found however, the student(s) will be accountable for them, with disciplinary procedures following.


The De La Salle Brothers District of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea is working to help our fellow Lasallians in regions of Asia devastated by the Tsunami by raising funds to rebuild damaged schools and replace lost books and supplies. On Ash Wednesday, 9 February, there will be an appeal to raise funds to support specifically the recovery of Lasallian supported schools and students in India and Sri Lanka (see attached information sheet). All donations will be gratefully received. Students are asked to bring a gold coin donation. If any families would like to donate, the donation can be left at the front office in an envelope marked LASALLIAN FOUNDATION TSUNAMI APPEAL. Thank you for your generosity.

On December 26 massive tidal waves ripped through south Asia devastating the shorelines of Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives. De La Salle Brothers, Lasallian partners and students have been directly involved in the relief effort in both India and Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka

Lasallian Community Education Services (LCES), a project of the De La Salle Brothers District of Sri Lanka, is housed in a donated building on the waterfront in Colombo.

"At 9am we were hit by the first of seven waves, the highest about 10ft. Thank God we have been saved even though the tidal waves lashed the foundations of our buildings. Our neighbours were not so fortunate, a few lives, many houses and belongings have been lost. Some of our staff members whose relatives have been living in the South or the North-East of the Country have lost dear ones, properties and houses." —Br Emmanuel Nicholas, LCES, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The District—s institutions have been directly involved in providing emergency meals to displaced families housed in schools and churches across Colombo, running a camp for displaced families, cleaning up water wells in affected areas, and cleaning a church, convent and school that were severely affected. In the coming months the District will concentrate on providing assistance to repair houses and to recover essential household items for victims directly connected to the Lasallian family. They will also work to clean up school buildings, churches, religious houses and water wells in the affected areas, particularly in Kaluthara and Matara Districts.

Up to 50 students whose families have been displaced, parents have died or have lost their family income will be housed and educated at BoysTown Ragama, and the District will also distribute school materials and uniforms to children of Lasallian schools and other children in the neighbourhood who were affected.


The De La Salle Brothers— Delegation of India operates Lasallian schools and welfare programs for impoverished children in the two southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Whilst our school buildings emerged unscathed, the communities in these areas have been devastated and Brothers and Lasallian partners and students have been working directly in the relief effort. The Delegation has developed a strategy for its ongoing involvement in the recovery of these areas:

  • Volunteer teams working directly in the affected areas to help with the clean up and the replacement of lost school materials

  • Assistance to help purchase fishing nets, boats and farm equipment to help the families of Brothers, co-workers and students who lost their livelihood in the disaster.

  • The adoption of 3 — 6 local schools affected by the tsunami, rebuilding lost and damaged class rooms, toilets, furniture and school materials, and the ongoing support of those schools for the next 5 years.

The Tsunami Appeal

The Lasallian Foundation will support these relief efforts in India and Sri Lanka through:

  • Funding for the re-establishment of St Thomas Primary School in India and ongoing support for the next 5 years.

  • Funding to replace lost school materials, books and uniforms for Lasallian students in Sri Lanka.

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the Lasallian Foundation was able to send immediate relief funding to Sri Lanka to provide over 3,500 meals to displace persons and rebuild four houses.


Each Lent the FDMC community raises funds for the Catholic charity, CARITAS, to distribute throughout the world. Students are asked to make donations to this cause each Wednesday throughout Lent.


Twice a year arrangements are made with NZ Blood Service for senior students and staff to give a small unit of their blood. The first time this will happen this year is next WEDNESDAY, 9 FEBRUARY. Students will be driven down to St Andrews Hall and returned to school by the shuttle bus. If any parents are available they are most welcome to also donate blood. This is part of the College ethos of service to the community.


The Public Health Nurse, Jill Jones, holds weekly self-referral clinics at the school providing a confidential, free health service to all students. The clinic is held in the Year 10 Common Room on Wednesdays from 12:45pm to 1:30pm. The clinic provides information on hearing and vision, relationship issues, drug and alcohol education, and all general health concerns. We aim to encourage healthy choices for everyone. Jill can be contacted through the school office or directly on Phone 753 7790 Extn 8533, or fax 753 7791 — the Child & Adolescent Community Centre, Taranaki District Health Board.


FDMC is planning a festival cricket match to be played at the College on Sunday 13 February at 11:00am. The game will be contested between the FDMC First IX and the Francis Douglas College Old Boys. Enquiries to Andrew Murray on 753 7457.

From the PTA


There will be a slight change to the opening hours of the Uniform Shop for Term 1. The new hours will be 12:30 to 2:30pm Monday to Friday.

GALA 2005

The College gala is being held on SATURDAY 5 MARCH. If you have any goods or donations to the Gala, they can be dropped at the College Office. If they need to be collected from your home, please call the Office to arrange a suitable pick-up time. At this year—s Gala we are having a CD, DVD and video stall. If you have any CD#q"c# DVD—s or videos that you may have grown tired of, the PTA would love you to donate them to this stall. Please leave them at school office as soon as possible.

Helpers Wanted

If anybody is able to assist in the Gala — setting up, helping on the day, etc., please leave your name and phone number at the front office and a member of the PTA will make contact with you.

Term Dates for 2005

Term 1 Monday 31 January — Friday 15 April

Taranaki Anniversary - Monday 14 March

Easter Break - Thursday 24 March — Tuesday 29 March

Term 2 Monday 2 May — Friday 8 July

Queen—s Birthday - Monday 6 June

Term 3 Monday 25 July — Friday 23 Sept.

NCEA Trial Examinations — Monday 19 Sept. — Friday 23 Sept.

Term 4 Monday 10 October 2005 — Friday 9 December 2005

NCEA examinations commence Tuesday 15 November 2005