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Rector's message - September

Nick McIvor —

Moving through the midpoint of this term two big events have passed: the Ball and Waitaki Exchange. Each event has, in its own right, been a ‘celebration of youth’.

The Ball was a stunning affair. The ‘Vegas’ theme chosen by the student Ball Committee provided a wonderful canvas for fun and creativity; with a commanding Caesar’s Palace frontage for the Gym, paths adorned with Vegas signage, dice and card suits, and glorious glitz in the Hall. Among the finery worn by those in attendance, were suits and dresses in keeping with a style that wouldn’t have been out of place on Vegas Boulevard (or Saville Row for that matter). Few took the ‘Elvis option’ but perhaps they will another year! The conduct of the students who came was impressive. It was clear that the parameters and expectations set for the Ball were respected and allowed for a great time with partners and friends. The staff and students who prepared the Ball over the preceding months or gave of their time on the night, can feel satisfied that they succeeded in making it a truly fabulous ‘do’.

Waitaki Day was again a time for our youngsters to enjoy a special sporting occasion grounded in tradition. Those who played in First XI Football, Junior Football, First XI Hockey, Second XI Hockey, Senior Basketball, Under-16 Rugby, and Colts Rugby are all to be commended for winning their games. The final tally, however, was not in our favour, including the First XV outcome, but there is already determination to remedy this in 2016 when we host. All boys who travelled down committed to the spirit and challenge of the matches with vigour and a willingness to play hard but fair.

A new forum to follow aspects of our emerging learning and achievement is the official Timaru Boys’ High School Education Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/timaruboyshigh). Scanning through our regular uploads you are bound to find something of interest and all speak to the raft of opportunities we continue to put before the boys for their growth and development. We also expect to offer a new school website during the final term that we hope you will find both useful and informative.

Staying with information but of quite a unique sort, we were fortunate to receive a copy of Harrison’s Edition of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language, printed in 1768. It was kindly gifted to the school by the Turnbull family from the estate of the late Philip Turnbull (TBHS 1931-39). This authentic 229 year old book is an exquisite historical document and reading its definitions and literary references reminds us how much stays constant despite all that has changed in the two centuries since it was published. Take the description of ‘progress’ for example. Progress is identified as meaning: ‘intellectual improvement; advancement in knowledge - Others despond at the first difficulty, and conclude, that making any progress in knowledge, farther than serves their ordinary business, is above their capacities’ (Locke). Johnson also cited Locke in his definition to say ‘It is impossible the mind should ever be stopped in its progress’. Johnson regarded progress as being the basic human need to seek new knowledge. To learn is to progress and to progress is to learn; and progress comes from overcoming difficulty.

I wish all students, staff, and families good ‘progress’ as we approach the end of Term 3.

Nick McIvor

Scientia Potestas Est

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