Thank you graduating Class of 2021

Who would have thought that 2021 was going to mirror 2020 in so many ways – the lockdowns, the disappointments, the anxieties, and the missed experiences. For our 2021 Year 12 cohort, their senior years have been wrestled away from them in so many ways.

However, during the darkness, there have also been some significant triumphs they should be proud of. Throughout their entire journey at Whitefriars, staff have been incredibly affirming of this year level and they have shown themselves to be true gentle men of Whitefriars. The way that College Captain, Charlie Schroder, and his two Vice-Captains, Alex Pisotek and Baxter House, have led the community has been extraordinary. Led by Year 12 Brandsma House Captain, Jake De Andrade, twenty-one Year 12 boys choose to serve others by donating blood. Charlie Schroder, Edward Levi and Baxter House hosted146 Whitefriars families joining in the fun with the online Kahoot.

I came across a quote recently which resonated with me, especially given the challenging times this cohort have endured over the past two years:

Grapes must be crushed to make wine

Diamonds form under pressure

Olives are pressed to release oil

Seeds grow in the darkness

Whenever you feel crushed, under pressure, pressed or in darkness, you’re in a powerful place of transformation and you will become better for it.

I truly believe whatever doesn’t break you makes you stronger and I know that the graduating class will leave our shores with a strength they can draw on when confronted with the many challenges they will experience in their lives. I thank them for the way in which they have served their College with positivity, resilience and humility. I wish nothing but health, prosperity and happiness for the boys and their families. They will forever be known as the Whitefriars cohort who took on incredible challenges in their senior years and did so with great dignity. While they finish their time as Whitefriars students, they become Whitefriars Old Collegians – so remember boys – once a Friar, always a Friar.

Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students