11 September 2017

A Community for Life

Maslow's Hierarchy of Basic Human Needs highlights the importance belonging, relationships and being in a community are to our survival. These are our basic psychological needs and when coupled with our physical needs are the fundamental requirements to fulfilment, happiness and productivity.

At Scotch College we meet the belonging, fulfilment criteria in so many ways: through class groupings, faction houses, sports teams, bands, orchestras and performance groups and service activities. We bind ourselves together through shared values, traditions, uniform and ceremony. What happens to that sense of belonging, the relationships and feeling of community when boys leave school?

Two events over the weekend reminded me just how Scotch College is a community for life for our boys.

On Saturday evening the Pipe Band celebrated its 70th anniversary with 200 guests and emotion stirring displays of piping from current and former band members. Then on Sunday it was the OSC's 'Festival of the Boot' between Scotch and Christ Church old boys. Like the Pipe Band anniversary the turn out for the 'Festival' was impressive and whilst skill and fitness levels may have waned slightly over time, the spectacle and enjoyment factor for both players and spectators was brilliant.

On Saturday evening at the Pipe Band celebration three OSCs from the original Pipe Band of 1947 returned and were on hand to cut the magnificent birthday cake made by Pipe Band mother Mrs Glenda Crawford. There were multiple generations of families in attendance with grandfathers, fathers and grandsons; a great illustration of the line in the College song: 'Bonding father, brother, son, the baton passes on.'

pipe band cake

Pipe Band cake (Photo from Rene Greyling)

The College was 50 years old when the Pipe Band began in the second year of Dr Keys time as Headmaster. Coming from New Zealand in 1946 and replacing long serving Headmaster PC Anderson who hailed from Scotland, Dr Keys felt that a Pipe Band would help guarantee the 'Scottishness' of the College. What started at eight pipers and five drummers playing Highland Laddy at the Royal Show grand parade for their first public outing has now become a band of 82 players who impress audiences at Military Tattoo's around the world with their quality of playing and professionalism. It was an evening no-one wanted to end. Indeed an hour after finishing, sitting outside in the carpark were two OSC's from 2006, who hadn't seen each other nor been back to the college in 10 years, laughing and talking, reminiscing and walking around looking at the changes and remembering stories from around the College and in the Pipe Band during their time here. It was a hugely enjoyable evening with one of the A team's final tunes, an up-beat Amazing Grace working its usual eye misting magic.

The Festival of the Boot is in its third year and judging by the turn out for all four sports, Rugby, Hockey, Soccer and Football even in Sunday's fairly Scottish weather, it was a huge success and has now firmly established itself on the calendar as a marque event. Both Old Collegian groups produce new jumpers for each sport drawing on history for designs and colouring.

boot festival footy team boot festival rugby team

OSC' Football and Rugby teams (Photos from Rene Greyling)

For the record the results were

Football: Scotch defeated CCGS

Hockey: CCGS defeated Scotch

Rugby: Scotch defeated CCGS

Soccer: Scotch defeated CCGS

Importantly the St Johns First Aid staff and ambulance were not required. Whilst writing this article I also learnt that three weeks ago eight OSC's rowing in the Scotch Masters crew came home with a gold medal in the All Schools Masters Regatta at Champion Lakes, another illustration of the OSC being a community for life.

scotch masters rowing crew

Scotch Masters rowing eight (Photo from Christine Thorpe)

The strong relationships and rich experiences the students share whilst at school are sustained by the amazing opportunities cultivated and presented by Parent Supporter groups and the OSC. Scotch College really is community for life.

Mr Richard Ledger
Acting Headmaster