Orando et Laborando - Headmaster's Newsletter (22 June)
I begin by wishing all our dads a belated happy Father's Day for yesterday. I trust that you all had a wonderful day.
Saturday's fixtures against Michaelhouse brought our winter sports season to a close on a happy note and I thank you all for your loyal support during the season. I also take this opportunity to thank all of our coaches for their hard work. The matches on Saturday were, once again, very keenly contested with the spoils being shared almost exactly evenly between the two schools on both the rugby and the hockey fields. The success of our teams in the U16, U15 and U14 age group matches was very pleasing and is encouraging for the future. Well done to all of our players, especially our two 1st teams, who gave of their very best on the day.
I have had a number of parents ask me why the school did not do a 'spell' ahead of the 1st XV rugby match as usual on Saturday. There have also, I understand, been rumours that the school leadership had instructed the boys not to do a 'spell'. There is absolutely no truth in this rumour. In fact, I fully support this and, at their request, I authorized an extra war-cry practice session last week to help them to prepare for the 'spell'. I am informed by the Head of School and the war-cry leaders that they had taken a decision to add a touch of freshness by changing the normal order of events. They decided to sing 'O Boys of Hilton' at the beginning of the match, rather than at half-time, and to do the 'spell' at half-time. Unfortunately, when trying to set up the 'spell' during the first half of the 1st XV match, the boys were too engaged in watching the game and they kept moving their positions on the stands. This meant that the war-cry leaders were forced to re-set the 'spell' several times and this became extremely problematic. They lost confidence in their ability to pull the 'spell' off properly so they decided to cancel it rather than to go ahead and not do it perfectly. The war-cry leaders are, obviously, most apologetic but they had not foreseen the problem of boys changing their positions on the stands and the impact that this would have on their ability to perform the spell during half-time.
On Thursday last week, a team from the Council for Quality Assurance in Education, UMALUSI, carried out a full day site visit of the school. All Independent schools are required to be accredited by UMALUSI and this site visit was the final step in our extended process of applying for such accreditation. I thank Mr Bruce MacLachlan for the enormous effort he has made in order to prepare for, and coordinate, this application process.
Tonight, our musicians participate in a combined KZN Schools' Music Festival being held at the Durban City Hall and I wish them well.
As we approach the holidays, I would like to wish all those boys and staff who will be involved in the various tours, festivals and inter-provincial tournaments taking place during the holiday, everything of the best. I trust that they will really enjoy their respective activities and that they will represent Hilton College with pride.
I wish all of you a very happy holiday and remind you that you will be able to access your son's report via the parent portal from the morning of Wednesday 1 July.
Youth Day 2015
Orando et Laborando - Headmaster's Newsletter (8 June)
It is with great sadness that I inform you that, following a period of illness, Eunice Memela, Housekeeper of Falcon House, passed away yesterday. On behalf of the entire Hilton Family, we extend our sincere condolences to Eunice's family. We will be holding a memorial service for Eunice in our chapel at 11:00 on Wednesday.
Our Grade 8 and 9 boys finished their mid-year examinations on Friday and the Grade 10 boys finish today. The Grade 11s will continue with examinations until the end of this week. The past week of examinations went off smoothly and the boys that I have spoken to feel that they went well. I sincerely hope they all feel that they derived benefit from these examinations, and that they will now use the lessons that they have learnt to improve their performance in the end-of-year examinations.
Mr Yann LeClezio, Chairman of the Board of Governors for the past six years, attended his last official function in this role at the AGM of The Hiltonian Society on Saturday morning. I wish to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Hilton Family, to thank Yann for his loyal and dedicated service to this school. He has given selflessly of his time and energy to Hilton College and has made an enormous contribution. We wish him, and his wife Belinda, everything of the best as they enter a new chapter of their lives. We welcome, in Yann's place, our new Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr Alistair Franklin. We look forward to his wise counsel and leadership in this important role in our school.
Winter arrived late last week with temperatures dropping to well below freezing overnight on Friday. We were greeted with our first frost on Saturday morning and a cold wind in the afternoon, but this did not dampen the spirits of all those who attended our sports matches against Maritzburg College. It was a particularly nostalgic day for our 50 year reunion Old Boys, especially those members of the 1st XV rugby team of that year, who fondly remember the very first match that was played on the newly built Gilfillan Field, also against Maritzburg College, on the 8th May 1965. In winning their match on that day, they made the opening of the Gilfillan field a happy occasion.
A reminder to our out-of-country parents that your sons will need to return, through immigration, with an unabridged birth certificate as well as an affidavit signed by both parents giving permission for them to return to Hilton College. We have re-issued all the letters the boys need from the school and these have been sent to them in their Houses to take home at the end of the term.
Orando et Laborando - Headmaster's Newsletter (1 June)
Since my last newsletter, Half-term has come and gone and we are already a full week into the second half of the term. Our Grade 11 Dramatic Art students performed a wonderfully choreographed dance routine as part of the schools' Funk programme, and our Matric Art students displayed their work in the combined Hilton College and St Anne's Matric Art exhibition. This exhibition is of a high standard and will remain on show in the St Anne's Sports Centre until Friday 5 June, should you wish to view their work. Last week, our musicians linked up with Michaelhouse in a two schools' music concert in our theatre. This was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and I commend them all on their fine performances in this concert.
Today our Grade 8 to 11 boys began their mid-year examinations and I take this opportunity to wish them well. These examinations have been introduced to help our boys to revise all the work covered so far, identify any areas of weakness and gain valuable examination experience.
On Saturday we had a very good day of sport against DHS and Port Natal. It is always difficult to play against more than one school in a single fixture because invariably this means that some of our teams have to play tough staggers. However, we believe that it is more important to ensure that as many of our teams as possible get matches each weekend rather than have fewer matches with better results. We do, however, look forward to a full range of fixtures against Maritzburg College this coming weekend.
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Fleur de Lys Magazine
The Fleur de Lys Magazine is a quarterly publication which sums up the important activities and news from the preceding term. It is available here in PDF format.