Founders' Day is one day of the year when Towers Quad turns into a colosseum and the cheering from students can be heard from Somerset Drive as Houses compete against each other in the All Age Relays, Tug-o-War and the Courtyard Dash.
As a graduate of the College in the early 1990’s, I certainly have fond memories of this day of celebration. Fast forward to 2016…,the physical environment is vastly different; however, the atmosphere and the House spirit is very much the same and it remains my favourite day on the College Calendar.
As Alumni, who are now staff members, we are especially proud to have been a part of this history and enjoy reminiscing about the traditions that still exist today. I imagine the parents of the second generation students would also feel this connection. The Courtyard Dash is, without a doubt, the most memorable event and it has stood the test of time. My colleagues and I recall how it used to be run; with a distinct lack of padding and WPH&S measures in place! Students, including Mr Abdou, instead used to use the poles that propped up the verandah of the single storey buildings surrounding the quad to prevent them from running into the walls or falling over; they were also useful for increasing acceleration out of the corners.
It was wonderful to see students from the classes of 2016 all the way down to 2029 come together in the Sports Precinct to celebrate and honour the founding of the school all those years ago.
The official opening of our world class Sports Precinct was attended by a large number of distinguished guests, including the Gold Coast City Councillor, Tom Tate. We were also treated to amazing performances by the Concert Band and Vocal Group during the ceremony. We paid tribute to those people whose vision and perseverance were instrumental in shaping the Somerset culture and community into what we all enjoy today and we acknowledged staff and students who embody the ethos of the College through Founders' Day awards:
Mr Brad Walker – Spirit of Somerset Staff Award
Abby Hall and Zac Irwin – Spirit of Somerset Senior School Award
Lara Culleton and Ruben Yam - Founders' Day Award (Junior School)
Anneliese McConnell, Janice Powell and Eliza Wright-Smith – Student Leadership Award
Craig Hales, Jessica Hossy and Declan Roberts - Honours in Student Leadership Award
We reflected on the history of the school and how it has evolved; this evolution is in part due to the involvement of parents like Mrs Julie Beaumont, who is this years recipient of the Spirit of Somerset Community Award.
Somerset will continue to develop educationally and structurally and its landscape will continue to change; however, the Spirit of Somerset, which we come together each year on Founder’s Day to celebrate, should never change. As Alumni who are now staff, we feel blessed to still be a part of this community and to share our experiences with current students. We know firsthand how far the College has come from its days as a very young school and we look forward to being a part of all of the possibilities that will continue to come in the future.
My sincerest thanks to my colleagues who provided me with their thoughts on Founder’s Day and to everyone who made Founders' Day 2016 such a special day.
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