When I first stepped into the gates of Whitefriars as a little Year 7, I had no idea what to expect. It seemed almost implausible to think that I had finally finished primary school and I was about to take a giant leap to begin my high school experience. Through five years of unwavering support, encouragement, and belief, I can say that my fellow Year 12s and I are undeniably ready to take our final step of our Whitefriars journey.
No matter who we are or where we come from, all Whitefriars boys are granted a special gift, the gift of opportunity. One of Whitefriars’ greatest strengths is the plethora of opportunities all boys receive when they begin their time here. Each student has the freedom to become whatever version of a Whitefriars boy he so desires. Whether it be on stage, in the classroom or on the field, Whitefriars nurtures every student, every step of the way, as they set out to become their best self.
One of my very first memories at Whitefriars was our Year 7 camp in Term 1. Here we were introduced to one of the reoccurring themes necessary for high school, teamwork. From being hoisted into the air on the giant swing, to building a floating raft with our new mates, we learned very quickly that this trek we call ‘high school’ was not one we could take alone. Through the various activities and experiences at Whitefriars, each student gains a deeper understanding of his personal strengths. And with the wide diversity of our students, comes the wide variety in strengths. As students, we soon recognise that if we want to go far, we must go together.
As a Catholic, Carmelite school, we learn and grow through the lens of our Carmelite values: Community, Contemplation and Service. The Whitefriars community is like no other. It is a compelling force which unites all students, parents, and teachers to thrive as one. Through contemplation, we as students endeavour to identify God’s presence in all of us. Appreciating God’s presence help us to love and serve others. Our ability to ‘give back’ to the community that has enriched us, shows how fortunate we are.
The nurturing and fostering culture of Whitefriars can be attributed to our College motto, Almae in Fide Parentis (In the care of a loving mother). Throughout our time here, boys are transformed into what we call Gentle men. The term gentle men does not mean to be placid, submissive, or shy – rather, we aim to be well-rounded, caring, authentic and responsible young men.
When you visit Whitefriars, you will notice three words that seem to present themselves repeatedly: Belong, Believe, Become. These three words, despite their simplicity, perfectly encapsulate what it means to be a Whitefriars boy. Through our flourishing sense of community, our boys are encouraged to find a part of Whitefriars that they can call home. With the encouragement of staff, teachers, and fellow students, we are inspired to become the best versions of ourselves, as we embark on our Whitefriars journey together and set off to be valuable, compassionate members of the broader community.
This year, I am fortunate enough to lead and represent my peers with the help of my two Vice Captains – Acelin Adama and Joel Savy. Together, with the help of our many school leaders, we will strive to foster this powerful sense of community. I have been privileged enough to have countless opportunities to lead, so this year, as College Captain, I want to give back to this special community.
I welcome you to 2023 and if you are not part of our community yet, I encourage you to look.
Harry Evans, 2023 College Captain