Welcome back to Term Two. This is certainly a lovely time of year. It is nice to see the rabbits scooting off when they see a boarder on her morning walk or a training sports team trundle by. I hope that our whole community was able to take some time for family over the student vacation. The girls have been excited to return and have had their heads down to solid work immediately. We welcome back Ms Ugonotti from her experience on the Mary Ward Pilgrimage to Europe and the students and staff from the Sports Tour to the UK.
The end of term finished on such a spectacular high with another outstanding Music Festival after a very well attended City Country Mothers Lunch. Each year I am amazed at the quality of the performances both in the first and second halves of the concert. I am sure you would agree that the ensembles and orchestra in the first half were very polished and amazingly large in numbers. The individual performances, combined acts and various choirs in the first half were equally outstanding and showed the depth of musical talent in the school. The choir competition in the second half says so much about a Loreto school – the student leadership and teamwork shown on the night and throughout the term, the love of music and the energy behind its thorough preparation, the joy and exuberance of its delivery. Mother Stanislaus Mulhall, a lover of music here at Normanhurst in past years, would have been so proud, as was I. Congratulations to the winners on the night and thank you to all the community for their contribution to the Bursary Fund via the ticket sales.
- Best Choir: Aston
- Best Conductor: Ysabel Say (Aston)
- Best Accompanist: Xinyu Chen (Kuring-Gai)
- Spirit Cup: Ward
Over the break students and staff attended the UK Sports Tour. The tour involved our students playing fixtures against schools in the UK playing Netball, and Football (Soccer). The tour was a great success and the students who attended had a wonderful experience representing the school. The students from Years 8-11 performed well and were wonderful Australian Ambassadors. All in all the students had a lovely time together even in the chill and snow and the staff very much enjoyed the competition and the camaraderie with the girls.
It was lovely to welcome Sr Bosco Li CJ for a visit this week from the Philippines. Sr Bosco, a Korean IBVM, has heard so much about our unique and successful learning model and wanted to come and witness it for herself. It is always good to share the good news with IBVM worldwide.
The Modular buildings that have been moved on site are progressing well with all final pieces placed over the student vacation. The interior work in the buildings now continues. Thank you to all members of the community for their support with movement around the school as the buildings were being brought onto the site. It will be wonderful to have the buildings operational later this year and this entire area, including the surrounds of the Gymnasium and Aquatic Centre, landscaped with brand new seating and gardens. Viewing for sport and other school activities will be so much more enjoyable when this work is complete.
Loreto Day was launched this week by our Year 11 students. I congratulate them for their prayerful discernment for this year’s cause, Nyumbani Children’s Home in Kenya. The following words have been written by the students and they are so beautiful I have included them for all to read to set the scene for Loreto Day on June 3.
One of the highlights of the year here at Loreto is our feast day – Loreto Day. It’s the day in our year where we can celebrate within our community being people for others, living out justice and paying specific attention to care for those in our world who are less fortunate then us. At Wednesday’s Assembly, Year 11 launched Loreto Day 2016 with the cause the Nyumbani Children’s home and village in Kenya.
Nyumbani was set up by IBVM sister Mary Owen, who after seeing the effects of HIV/AIDS in Kenya began planning how to make a change. Nyumbani offers both a children’s home for up to 1000 children who have been orphaned due to their parents dying of HIV and is also a refuge for older members of the community who have lost all of their family to HIV and supports their physical and mental health by education, food and shelter. The Loreto Day journey starts by awareness raising and fundraising for this very worthy cause by selling the first badge designed by the students
This year, on ANZAC Day we commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the largest military offensives of WW1 that took place on the fields of northern France. The biggest military offensives occurred in July and August of 1916 in what would become known as the Battle of the Somme. During this major offensive to push the Germans out of France, Australians were involved in two important subsidiary battles – one at a place called Fromelles (July 19-20, 1916) and another at a place called Pozieres (July 23, 1916). At our assembly on Wednesday Year 11 History students with Head of History, Mr Marco Scali prepared and presented a very moving and solemn commemoration focusing on remembering these two battles that took more Australian lives than the Gallipoli campaign and have been forgotten by many. All students and staff received a commemorative coin and a poppy, and a wreath to commemorate the fallen was placed at the foot of our ANZAC Memorial. The poignant stories researched and read out by the students spoke volumes of bravery and a love of God and country. They also reminded us of the need for peace, something we can all contribute to each and every day.
Congratulations to Monique McEnearney (Year 7) who completed in the CHS Sailing Regatta at Belmont during the holidays. Monique and her skipper crewed on her flying 11 “Catscan”. They were very successful at many events and gained First Overall for their division. We also congratulate Lily Tancred (Year 10) who recently won a Gold Medal at national level for Surf Lifesaving representing Newport Surf Club at an event held recently at Alex Headland Beach.
At the beginning of next week I will attend the annual Loreto Principals’ Retreat with the Loreto Principals from all over Australia. This year we will focus on the Year of Mercy and the value of Felicity and how both impact us as leaders of Catholic and Mary Ward schools in a 21st Century context. This a blessed time of prayer and reflection and a time when I will carry the school community in my prayers.
Good luck to all students debating this weekend and those playing the first round of sport for the term.
“For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins