The College's much anticipated Valedictory Celebration took place on Sunday evening, 4 October 2020.
The evening began with a pre-dinner function at 5:00 pm in the Valentine Common Room for special guests, College Leaders, the Executive Committee and staff, and included wonderful background piano music provided by Members Sonia Hua and Dexin Kong.
At 5:30 pm, the pre-dinner party was piped in to the Norris Dining Hall by Joel Wilden, a young local bagpiper.
In his opening welcome, the Master noted that a Valedictory Celebration was a farewell dinner – the final formal dinner for 2020 - where we reminisce about the events of the year gone by, reflect on what we have achieved and learnt, and bid goodbye to fellow College Members. It is also a time of celebration where we recognise our many contributions to the community of St Margaret’s College and beyond.
The College’s amazing Kitchen Staff provided a top-quality meal which was greatly enjoyed by all (see the full menu in the photo gallery below).
Our guest speaker was Dr Maria Pozza is New Zealand's first lawyer specialising in space law. She is Director and Lawyer at Gravity Lawyers based in Christchurch. After doing her legal training in the UK, she completed a Master of International Studies degree at the University of Otago. This was followed by a PhD in international law and policy in outer space through the Faculty of Law and Department of Politics also at Otago. She has extensive commercial, governance, risk management, legal and regulatory experience from the energy, space, oil and gas, and IT/tech sectors garnered from New Zealand and overseas.
During the course of the Valedictory Dinner, special presentations were made to the Executive Committee (11) and College Leaders (13) in appreciation of their exemplary service to the College during the course of the year.
The musical performances during the evening were amazing and included singing, violin, piano, and cello plus of course the fantastic choir. Our grateful thanks goes to all the musicians and singers for an enjoyable evening's musical entertainment.
Presentation of 48 trophies, each engraved with the winner’s name and accompanied by a certificate, was made towards the end of the evening. The guest speaker, Dr Maria Pozza, kindly presented the trophies to the winning Members after which they each posed for a photo with her (see separate article for all the trophy photos).
This year, a new trophy was presented namely the Duncan Disce Pati Award for Resilience. This trophy was kindly donated to the College by sisters Laurie (2018 - 2020) and Sylvia Duncan (2014 - 2015, 2018) who have each spent three years at the College. The inaugural winner for the award is Sam Burr who is picture below holding the trophy, standing between Laurie (red dress on the left) and Syvia on the right. 'Disce Pati' is the Duncan family motto and means 'learn to endure'.
By way of thanks to College staff, the choir, Executive Committee and College Leaders sang a wonderful waiata at the end of the evening.
With the excitement of the Valedictory Celebration behind us, Members' attentions now turn to the examinations which begin today (14 October) and end on 7 November.
(Story by the Master, Dr Charles Tustin)