Posted on February 1, 2021
When a boy walks through Joeys gates for the first time, he becomes part of a tradition spanning 140 years.
It is an exciting day, especially for Year seven students, who are making the transition from primary school to one of Australia’s most respected educational institutions. It is, in fact, the beginning of a journey that will take them from boy to man.
Year Seven Commencement Day is an opportunity for students to familiarise themselves with their new surrounds so that they can hit the ground running when they start lessons the following day. The essentials of school life such as lockers, classroom locations – and negotiating the famous “black and whites” – are explained as the boys spend time getting to know each other, forming the bonds that will last a lifetime.
It is a day that introduces students to the spirit of camaraderie and caring that underpins College life.
Addressing the new intake at the Resources Centre Theatre, Year Seven Coordinator Greg Thompson, himself a Joeys boy, stressed that St Joseph’s is a not a hotel, but a home, and that each boy should make himself open to the many opportunities the College will provide over the next six years. Citing his own experience – Mr Thompson knew nothing about economics at the start of Year 11, but did so well at the subject he studied it at university – he said there is no limit to a boy’s potential if he works hard and remains open to challenges. He also emphasised the importance of good manners and doing the right thing when no-one’s watching.
For Zachary Tayar, from Drummoyne, Commencement Day helped him understand what life at Joeys is about and how important it is to seize every opportunity. “It’s a great school full of friendly people and it’s been good to get to know some of the boys today,” he said. “I can’t wait for science class to begin and start doing projects. I also can’t wait to play rugby.”
Well-travelled Toby Jani from Jindabyne spent most of his primary school years in Singapore, and is excited about settling in to study at Joeys. “I’ve heard the art department here is really good and I like painting, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Mr Thompson’s message that Joeys boys always look after each other was of special significance to cousins Josh Armstrong and Sam Brown, who hail from cattle stations in the Northern Territory, thousands of kilometres from Hunters Hill. Graduates of the Katherine School Of The Air, neither has experience of a physical school, let alone a big-city college, but both are thrilled by what they have experienced so far at Joeys.
“The school is huge, and everyone is so friendly and helpful,” Sam said. Josh is looking forward to playing rugby and pursuing his love of poetry. “There is so much to do here,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a good year.”
St Joseph’s College wishes all our Year seven boys the very best for 2021.