College Notes

Dear friends of the College,

As we commence the second half of the school year, it is opportune that we take some time to tell you, our friends and benefactors of some of the happenings of the 2003 school year and to thank you on behalf of the Brothers, the staff and the students for your continuing support of Francis Douglas Memorial College.

2003 is a significant year in the life of the College for two reasons – firstly it is 50 years since the first community of Brothers travelled from Australia and began teaching in Blenheim. A few short months later, the second community of Brothers arrived in Auckland and opened De La Salle College Mangere. We are a younger College than Mangere, however we give thanks to those pioneer Brothers who brought the Lasallian spirit to Aotearoa New Zealand so many years ago and on whose shoulders we stand proudly today.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the martyrdom of our College patron – Father Francis Vernon Douglas. Sometime in July, 1943, Father Douglas was captured by the Japanese, interrogated and tortured for information about guerrilla activities. For three days, Father Douglas was subjected to appalling brutality. He then disappeared.

At the dedication of the College in 1959, Archbishop McKeefry said,This College is dedicated to the memory of a young priest of whose final days you and I know nothing. If from this school there are pupils who, in moments of trial, rise above themselves as Father Douglas did, and remain faithful to God, then we shall be able to say that our recognition of his memory by making it tangible in stone has not been in vain.

Your ongoing support in the mission and vision of the College is immeasurable. Please be assured of the gratitude and prayers of the College community.

God bless each of you.

Brother Peter, fsc