Register 2021

LEADERSHIP The Chair, Board of Governors, Prize-giving Speech

The full Board would usually be here as well but they, too, are banned from today and I know are hugely disappointed at being unable to attend. They have assured me that they will be watching – but possibly not in academic gowns as is the usual custom. A new tradition that may be embraced. Welcome again to all of you and to the staff and students who are present here in the Assembly Hall. I also want to acknowledge and thank the parents of the Year 13 leavers who cannot be here but who have gathered, thanks to Blue and Kerry Henderson, at the Canterbury Club this afternoon. A special welcome to our retiring Chaplain Bosco Peters. When I reflect on the year, a number of often used words and expressions come to mind in no particular order “disruption/roller-coaster/ pivot/diversity/inclusion/well- being/settings/levels/traffic lights/ vaccinations/Dr Bloomfield/Jessica and Tova...” the list goes on. It’s been another extraordinary year for all of us and I want to use the 45 or so minutes I have been allocated to share some of the Board’s work this last year, acknowledge two retiring colleagues and look ahead to 2022 and beyond. Not long after prize-giving last year an Old Boy, Jim Goodwin, who attended College in the early 70s spoke to the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care about what had happened to him when he was at

College. Garth and I both met with Jim and this prompted us to reflect on how we could and should reach out to other Old Boys who, like Jim, were survivors of abuse that had occurred here. We invited our Old Boys who wished to share their experiences to contact us. Many did and what they described was often a harrowing recollection of what had happened to them, even by the standards of the times. Pastoral Care had a different meaning and implementation then than it does now. It was, is and will always be the right thing for College to confront aspects of its history and to say sorry to those who suffered as a consequence. We have been greatly assisted in our engagement with our Old Boy survivors by Mark Wells. Mark is an expert in the field of historical abuse issues and has worked with a number of our Old Boys in an independent role. Whilst a difficult topic to talk about, I want to acknowledge the courage and conviction of those Old Boys who did contact us. I would add that whilst these issues were triggered by the Royal Commission, the opportunity for our Old Boys to talk to us about anything that is of concern to them will always be available. I also want to thank Jim for his ongoing work with a number of Old Boy survivors. It was such a shame that his talk through the Centre

Nau mai, haere mai E te manuhiri tu ¯ a¯rangi, Haere mai mo tenei hui, Mo tenei kaupapa o te ra, No ¯ reira, te¯na¯ koutou, te¯na¯ koutou,

Te¯na¯ koutou katoa. Welcome, welcome Visitors from afar.

Welcome to this meeting, to the important discussion of the day. Therefore, greetings, greetings, Greetings to you all. This is our first and, hopefully, only Level 2 prize-giving in the College’s history. It’s a sign of the times that so many of you are watching remotely and that it is being held in November – another unprecedented feature of today’s ceremony.


Christ’s College Canterbury

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