14 August 2017

Welcome to the final Thistle for Summer Term. While the term has flown past, it has nevertheless been a relatively long one packed with a lot of major events and activities. Many of these were our regular commitments, however many were new and culturally defining such as the hosting of the Choir of Hard Knocks early in March.

Of all of the assemblies and events held throughout the course of the term, I believe the celebration held at the Senior School assembly for Dallas Hamilton OSC '33 is a highlight and one that I will remember for a long time.

Dallas had just turned 100 and we invited him to be our special guest so we could acknowledge this incredible milestone and show our current students the importance OSCs are to the very fabric of Scotch.

Late last week I received a letter from Dallas after he had attended the assembly.

29th March 2016

Dear Alec

Now that the celebration and festivities associated with my 100th birthday are over I can draw breath to thank you for the great experience of the Special Assembly at the College. It was for me a moving event and the culmination of a wonderful birthday week. The sight of those 600/700 boys assembling and marching with their own famous Pipe Band was very affecting, particularly when the Band launched into Happy Birthday To You!

I fear I found it difficult to reply to your gracious and well-researched remarks on the Hamilton family. To see so many fresh young faces looking up at us gave me great hope for the future. Those boys will enjoy the blessings of education at a great school to help them to cope with the good and sad times which will inevitably occur over their lifetime. It is my hope that they too will appreciate and enjoy those intangible benefits of a good education which make old age tolerable.

Scotch College has become a great, truly remarkable school as the result of the dedication of teachers, parents, and scholars over 119 years. From my observation, with the help of senior staff to whom you introduced me, my old school, Scotch College, may hope be in safe hands for another century. Thank you again for the wonderful experience.

Sincerely yours,

Dallas Hamilton

D Hamilton

This term has given us so much to celebrate as a community. Our boys across all sub schools continue to amaze me. I would like share three examples of how our focus on service and looking after the well being of others is simply a part of the Scotch DNA.

  • One of our Pre-primary students Marcus McKimmie, without prompting, chose to ask his friends not to bring gifts to his birthday, but to donate the equivalent money to the fire victims of Yarloop.
  • Last Thursday over 50 senior school boys joined with our sister school PLC to do the 'Worlds Greatest Shave'. Together they raised over $80,000 dollars, placing them in the elite category of fundraisers for this event in 2016 across Australia.
  • This Friday, Mr Tresise, Mr Campbell and Sebastian Wright (Year 8) will do their own version of the Greatest Shave to add to the research dollars directed at finding a cure for Leukemia.

What is significant about these three examples is that they traverse our whole school. These acts of service are not restricted to just one of our sub-schools; they are part of who we are at Scotch.

Commencing on 11 April 2016 Scotch hosts the Australasia and East Asia Region Round Square Conference for 12-14 year old students, themed 'Life on the Edge - pEARTH'. Once again the College's core values of Integrity, Service and Stewardship will be at the fore as we host over 180 students and staff from across Australia and the East Asia region.

Is it any wonder that I refuse to have the type of success we achieve day in and day out at Scotch measured by an annual one dimensional league table?

Thank you to our students, parents, OSCs, friends and neighbours for making Summer Term such a great success. I look forward to seeing everyone back and recharged for Autumn Term.

greatest shave

Dr A J O'Connell

Headmaster