College – Issue 36

EXCHANGES Brother schools, firm friends

Konan Boys’ High School in Kobe, Japan, celebrated its centenary in April, and Executive Principal Garth Wynne and Japanese teacher Steve Everingham were invited to participate in the festivities. They enjoyed a gala dinner with the Konan Board of Governors, Old Boys and distinguished guests, attended a celebrity event for staff, spoke to a school assembly, and had the opportunity to explore Kobe and its surrounds. Garth said it was both a privilege and a pleasure to be welcomed as guests at Konan’s celebrations, further cementing the warm educational and cultural relationship Konan and College have established over the last 15 years.

Every year College students have the opportunity to travel to Japan and enjoy the hospitality of Konan boys and their families – and then, in turn, welcome Japanese students to Christchurch. “It is a very successful reciprocal arrangement, which operates at both an educational and cultural level,” said Head of Japanese Steve Everingham, who organises the exchanges. In addition, in September 2018 Steve took a group of 14 boys on a language tour to Japan, which took in the best of ancient and modern, and introduced the boys to Japan’s rich history and culture. “Everything about Japan is so different from home, and that’s what makes it so intriguing and appealing,” said Alex McKenzie- Rimmer, who took part in the tour. “Japan has thousands of years of history all layered together

in a compact space,” said fellow traveller Nate Wain. “You can be visiting an ancient temple and then wander 400 metres down the road to an ultra-modern skyscraper. It’s surprising and exciting and endlessly fascinating.” The group visited car manufacturing plants, amusement parks, palaces, temples and shrines, as well as Hiroshima, and Christchurch’s sister city Kurashiki, before spending their last few days at Konan Boys’ High school and staying with host families. Alex said the Konan home stays were a highlight. “It was amazing to see how Japanese families live and how they structure their lives. Up at 6am and out by 7am to catch the train to school, and then up late doing homework. They have an amazing work ethic, through the roof!”

College Issue 36 2019


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