Last night, we held a dinner to celebrate the wonderful year the Year 9s have had, and to wish them all the best on their journeys to a variety of different high schools. We hear that this was done many years ago, so we (the Aranui teachers) decided to revive this lost tradition.
Planning started well ahed of time, with the students choosing people from around the school who had been important to their journey to invite for dinner, and contacting of possible speakers was done.
The evening started with drinks and nibbles, before the students sat at their tables, and guests sat at the head table. The delicious mains were first. Thank you to Mrs Wihongi for her fabulous cooking and leading of the food preparation team.
After our main course, we had our first speaker of the night: Chris Steeghs. Chris is an ex-Berkley student, who has just finished at Hamilton Boys High School, and is moving onto Waikato University next year. Chris is now a New Zealand representative badminton player. He spoke about all the opportunities that sports have given him - through it he has travelled the whole of New Zealand, plus this year alone he has been to Australia and Peru. He spoke about winning a Hillary Scholarship to university next year. To win this scholarship he needed to be strong in three areas - sport, academic and leadership. He explained that the first two were easy with hard work, but that he had to stretch himself in the leadership area. He encouraged our students to work towards keeping themselves rounded and making sure they focus on developing themselves from the start of high school, taking up all the opportunities available to them.
This inspiring talk was followed by a dessert of chocolate brownie and ice-cream. To finish the evening, we had our final speaker, Whetu Douglas. Whetu is the co-captain the the Ranfurly Shield winning Waikato NPC team. Whetu also spoke of the value of hard work and goals. On top of this, he talked of the importance of holding whanau and friends close. He told us that he came from a small school and humble beginnings, but said that he didn't let that hold him back from having big dreams.
Throughout the evening, we had this slideshow playing in the background to remember the good times from across the year.
Thank you to everybody who contributed to making the evening a real success, and we hope it will be a tradition followed for many years to come.