The College's much anticipated Valedictory Celebration took place on Saturday evening, 9 October 2021.
This year's Celebration was made even more special as the Annual Ball, due to be held in August, had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 and so the Ball's theme of 'Enchanted' was transferred to the Valedictory Celebration. A special after-dinner celebration was also arranged for Members as a fitting way to end the year.
The evening began with a pre-dinner function at 5:00 pm in the Valentine Common Room for College Leaders, the Executive Committee, the Ball Committee and staff.
At 5:30 pm, the pre-dinner party was piped in to the Norris Dining Hall by Member and bag piper, Kleff Tan.
In his opening welcome, the Master noted that a Valedictory Celebration was a farewell dinner – the final formal dinner for 2021 - where we reminisce about the events of the year gone by, reflect on what we have achieved and learnt, are grateful for friendships made and enjoy each other's company. It is also a time of celebration where we recognise the 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.
Our guest speaker - by video - was none other than the country's Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, who kindly recorded a special message for College Members. He talked about four main values which have guided him throughout his career: kindness, humility, compassion and courage.
During the course of the Valedictory Dinner, special presentations were made to the Executive Committee (11) and College Leaders (12) 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, viola, piano, flute, guitar and our choir. Our grateful thanks goes to all the musicians and singers for an enjoyable evening's musical entertainment.
Presentation of 51 trophies, each engraved with the winner’s name and accompanied by a certificate, was made towards the end of the evening. The College's recently appointed Dean of Students, Jill Spencer, 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 winners and photos).
This year, a new trophy was presented namely the Manaakitanga Cup. The Cup was kindly donated to the College by three third-year College Leaders namely Alexandra McLellan, Libby Christophers and Niamh O'Donnell. Manaakitanga means hospitality, kindness, generosity, support - the process of showing respect, generosity and care for others. The inaugural winner of the Cup is Jack Clerke who is pictured below with the three Cup benefactors.
By way of thanks to College staff, a wonderful waiata by the choir, Executive Committee, Ball Committee and College Leaders ended the dinner part of the evening.
With the excitement of the Enchanted Valedictory Celebration behind us, Members' attentions now turn to the examinations which begin today (20 October) and end on 13 November.
(Story by the Master, Dr Charles Tustin)