The Class of 2017 might have begun their schooling in the Preschool classes of some fine institutions but 23 of them; Bianca, Caroline, Chloe, two Courtneys, Danny, Elliott, Gina-Maree, Harrison, Kristina, Lachlan, Lewis, Matt, Maximilien, Mitchell, Molly, Nathaniel, Raymond, Risa, Sala, Salma, Sarah and Tim started here at Somerset.
Thirteen years ago, when they were enjoying their first year at school in 2005, I was Principal of Whitsunday Anglican School, Mackay.
• Our Prime Minister was John Howard and the Premier of Queensland was Peter Beattie
• Mark Latham quit as Federal Opposition Leader, resigned his seat in Parliament and walked away from politics altogether.
• Schapelle Corby was convicted of drug smuggling by an Indonesian court, and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
• The inaugural A-League Football season began.
• The Melbourne Phoenix defeated the Sydney Swifts in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy netball grand final.
• England won The Ashes back from Australia for the first time since 1987.
• The Sydney Swans defeated the West Coast Eagles to win the 109th VFL/AFL premiership, the first flag for the Swans in 72 years.
• The Wests Tigers defeated the North Queensland Cowboys to win the 2005 NRL grand final.
• Makybe Diva won the Melbourne Cup for a historic 3rd time in a row and was immediately retired.
• The Socceroos qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1974.
• Million Dollar Baby took out Best Picture with Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman taking out the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor respectively.
Along the way, the originals were joined by others; between one to six in Years 1 to 5 with larger groups of 17 in Year 6, 18 in Year 7, 21 in Year 8, 7 in Year 9, 16 in Year 10, and 7 in Year 11.
Thirteen years on, it has been a delight to work with them, these past nine years. I am so very proud of their achievements, their medals and certificates, badges and ribbons, the paraphernalia of College life. I have laughed with them, at them, cried with them, marvelled at their spirit, their care for each other, their skill and their love of life. And I have loved every minute of their time.
It occurred to me, as we moved through the last part of the year, that it would be the last time I would see then do things for Somerset. The last time I would see Ally dominate the centre two thirds of the court, E’Shea charge into the defensive line, Nalin moot at Bond, Zoe and Ashraf out debate everyone, the last lunch with Sam and Rosie, the last 50m from CJ and Bianca, the last run down the track from Maccan and Mayla, the last song from Olivia and the last Bilby from Risa, the last serves from Lachie, Maro and Olivier, the last cap backwards row from Ryan, the last handshake from Pat, and the last dance from Davy. I will never forget the dance off at the Senior Ball. It was just like me at my formal, except for the talent..
I am very blessed to have witnessed these things.
So, after many days with me, over 4,000 in total at school, there remains many memories to cherish.
In my head, I play a supercut of us
All the magic we gave off
All the love we had and lost
And in my head
The visions never stop
These ribbons wrap me up
But when I reach for you
There’s just a supercut
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