Thursday, 30 November 2017

Graduation : International Department at Francis Douglas Memorial College

We farewell Yutaka Kunizaki and Koichi Sei, both from Japan,  who graduated in 2017.

Dongguan Middle School at Francis Douglas Memorial College and Sacred Heart Girls' College

To Francis Douglas Memorial College International Department: Thanks for the Memories by Yutaka Kunizaki

Today is my last day before parting from Francis Douglas Memorial College in New Plymouth and friends who I have shared time with for the last 5 years. For me, the last five years have become an irreplaceable and unforgettable time. I’m convince that going to school here in New Zealand changed me for the better. I made a lot of friends through studying in New Zealand and the people and the environment broadened my horizons and shaped my character.

In my first year in New Zealand, there was nothing I knew, except Oreos and Macdonald’s. It was not only stuff that I wasn’t used to, but also, behavior and perspective. For example, greeting someone. When I was walking in town, I saw a person coming towards me and then he looked at my face. Guess what he did? He smiled and said ‘Hi.’ How normal is that It is normal in New Plymouth, but it was not normal for me. You see for we don't do that in Japan. It may be because we are nation of over one hundred twenty-six million and would you greet to each one of them? Probably not, but what I’ve learnt here is greeting someone like a wave of a hand and saying hi, always make us happy and is very normal everyday behavior.

Another example was I could see the stars. It’s also normal but that could never happen to us. Even at night, the sky is filled up with lights. Everyone knew we were all looking for happiness and building to reach the sky. What I want to say is that if you really want to be happy, then, sometimes you must be satisfied with what you’ve already got instead of crying for the moon.

I know that I want to say thank you, but thank you is too small words to fill up the gap. I really appreciate everything, Mrs Smith, the teachers and the staff in the hostel have done for me, especially for the last 5 years. I couldn’t have reached where I am today without you, thank you so much.

Before finish I just want to say thanks to all of you guys and I will promise you that I will always remember the memories that we made.
Thanks for your time and thank you for the memories.

Yutaka Kunizaki

Leaver 2017/11/30 Francis Douglas Memorial College

Friday, 1 September 2017

International week celebrating cultural diversity

International Week was celebrated in the school last week as a time of celebrating and appreciating cultural diversity within our school community.

During the week. students were entertained with cultural music by school musicians and Mr Jack Kirifi from our local community came and spoke to Year 10 class on his perspective of being Samoan and coaching rugby. Students from Germany, Japan and China also visited junior classes as guest speakers for question and answer times about their home country sharing their knowledge and talking about not only the differences but also the similarities.

Several events were held in the library. Mrs Hermanns had interested students making iconic buildings models, there was a quiz on car logos from around the world and Guess the Comics’ origins. One event which also proved to be very popular was the sushi making demonstration by Ken and Sonya, Sushi Ninja owners. Boys could also have a go at making sushi themselves and there was a chance to answer questions to win a slice of sushi. I’m sure we’ll aim to have this again next year.

The hostel dining room also got into the theme with a variety of food from different days having Italian, Greek, Mexican, USA and Hungarian meals and International students read a prayer in own language each week. Another popular event for all juniors was sport from different countries being taught by the senior students and students made the most of the fine weather during the week.

Students from Dongguan Middle School in China were a highlight at assembly on Friday presenting their school dance and thanking their Year 10 buddies who did an outstanding job of looking after them at school during their stay of one month. The boys also visited a junior class and taught them their Chinese song.

Friday was the climax to a great week. Students wore mufti with a cultural theme and the boys could buy Japanese, Indian, Chinese and pizzas food at lunchtime while listening to Spanish music being played in the quad by school band under guidance of Mr Tobias Wright and accompanied by Mrs Christina Hermanns.

The intention of International week was strengthening cultural and ethnic diversity. Once again, the school can continue to feel enriched by the experience recognising the core values of our Catholic Lasallian school which include and reflect the values of cultural diversity.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Great to see our boys returning to visit

Ekachai Sirimaha was visiting from Auckland and caught up with Margie Smith for coffee and a chat. He is now studying at Edenz in Auckland, studying Business Management. Great to see you Ekachai and to hear how things are going for you. See you again.

Francis Douglas Memorial College International Report

International Report 2017

For the last two weeks of term two, we had a young Thai boy aged 10, for a short term visit. Khun Lersumitkul went into Year 7 and under the care and guidance of the Intermediate department had a great time at Francis Douglas Memorial College and was made to feel very welcome and included in his class.

During the course of the year, the International students joined others from various schools in the region in a range of activities. We had a Big Bus Trip for the students to visit the mountain, the beach and a farm. We also had Fish and Chips at the beach with homestays plus a meal out at Gengys. These events have helped the students to get to know others who are new to the region and chance to socialize. We hope to continue this with more events scheduled before the end of the year.

During the July holidays the few boys who are not travelling to home countries are coming on an excursion to Waitomo and Rainbow’s End. Also included is a horse trek which will be a new experience for the boys.

 Term three is a going to be a busy one in the International department with three new students plus a group visit.

Brooklyn Wang is from China. He is going into Year 10 boarding. Brooklyn visited the school last year and I met him and parents in Hangzhou again recently. Sunny Wong is from Hong Kong and going into Year 12 boarding. Also from Hong Kong is Thomas Wong who will go into Year 8. Their enrolments are as a result of my recent Hong Kong visit. This will take our list of permanent International students to 15.

Also in term three beginning week 2, we have a visit from Dongguan Middle School in China involving 5 boys at FDMC and 5 girls from Dongguan at SHGC who will also have 14 other girls coming for various lengths of time. Last year the group visit went really well and it is good to have another group of students return this year.

International week will be celebrated in week 4 of term three which is International Language Week. As well as several cultural events and visitors, the prefects are going to organise International lunch on the Friday to conclude the week. We anticipate another successful week of fun, culture and food extravaganza.