Jean-Pierre Le Prou
Whenever we see ourselves drawing towards the end of an era we start to look back at where it all began. It is hard to believe that it was 5 years ago that I put the Francis Douglas uniform on for the very first time, but what is even harder to believe is the fact that it will now be stored away in the closet. It is sad in so many ways that our secondary school life is now over however the discarding of a uniform does not signify the end of emotional ties. The friendships, the memories and the lessons learnt since entering the College are things we cherish forever.
2003 has proved to be such a pinnacle in an amazing time at Francis Douglas. To be named Head Boy for this year gave me an opportunity to give something back to a College which has served me for so many years.
The year boasted many positive changes. Our new principal Brother Peter brought with him a fresh approach into leading the College. Moulding quickly into our culture we have come to know him as a man who thrives on getting amongst the student body while still maintaining a serious role in the classroom and in general College life. I congratulate Brother Pete on a successful and influential first year with us.
It is at this stage that I would like to say thank-you to those who have given so much to the success of all of us as students throughout our time here at Francis Douglas. On behalf of Year 13 I thank our dean Mrs Milne for her guidance and help throughout 2003. I thank all of the Brothers in the community for their commitment to carrying on the spirit of Francis Douglas and St John Baptist De La Salle. To Mrs Blair and the office staff, thanks for all your assistance and as always the teachers cannot be thanked enough for their extra effort made creating the abundance of opportunities within the College.
I thank my parents for their on going support this year in the good and the bad times, aIso; for giving me opportunities to reach my goals, for guiding me and enrolling me into this College thank you very much.
The Year 13 leadership team must be commended for the great deal of work that was done. Many risks were taken in setting up the new events organised and I thank all the team for creating this atmosphere for our final year.
To Sam Barrett my deputy who throughout the entire duration of the year gave so much to the College and to myself, for always being there in support, working hard and being the ultimate role model. I cannot thank Sam enough.
On numerous occasions throughout this year I have suddenly realised that this is in fact the last time. It is the last time I'm going to coat myself in red paint, the last time that I sell popcorn on Gala day and the last time I experience the laughter and learning of everyday College life. What has become such a familiar setting will most certainly be missed. It is for this reason that I say to all students of the College in 2004. Make the most of your time. Do as much as you can while you are here because it is not long before you are heading home from school for the very last time. You will always come across new challenges and for each and every one of you, next year promises a new challenge. After being apart of Francis Douglas, apart of the people and the place it is then that you understand what is so special about us. The heart that beats within the College is fuelled by the support and community within it. Whether it be in the classroom, on the sports fields or at the speech finals, when the College is out in numbers, the true spirit shines in the performance of the team or individual.
One occasion which stood out amongst others in 2003 was at Rugby Park on the 25th of June. The 17 -15 win was a credit to not only a champion team but to the hundreds of loyal supporters that laced Rugby Park on that amazing night. I will never ever forget the College song drowning out Boys Highs Haka. It is this spirit within the College community that encourages each and every individual to strive to do your best. Each of you is an integral part of the whole - as a community our well being is reliant on the success and the happiness of all.
Finally I ask all of Year 13 not to forget the class of 2003. Each and every one of you has contributed so much to the College. From the stand out characters such as Tractor, Wheats, Logan and Zieltjes who have evolved throughout our time here but also to those who have quietly been a constant strength. Some have gone unnoticed until Year 13 suddenly hit them - the Cory Avison#q"c# Cameron Walshe, Robert Rawles and Patrick Bradford — you have all made this a great year- a team effort.
I know that you may be able to take the boy out of the College but you can't take the College out of the boy. I wish all of you the very best in your future endeavours and hope that the summer makes up for all of the long hours spent studying over recent weeks.
To all those that are present next year and also to the leavers- forever remember when the question is asked of us: Who are we? We are College!