It was a great privilege to attend Mass to celebrate Fr Adrian McInerney’s Golden Jubilee for his 50 years of priesthood on Sunday. To hear Adrian reflect on the place of the Catholic school as a rich environment for the development of the young Christians of tomorrow was incredibly affirming. He spoke of his pride of the schools in the Ballarat East parish – Damascus, Emmaus Catholic Primary, St Francis Xavier and St Alipius. Damascus would not be the school it is today without Fr Adrian’s governance for the first 23 years of its existence. Sunday’s Gospel from Luke 12:13-21 speaks of prioritising our relationship with God and sharing that which we have. We congratulate Fr Adrian on his 50 years of priestly service and thank him for prioritising the work of Christian education in the Catholic tradition and we extend a prayer of gratitude for the sharing of your gifts.
Included in this week’s newsletter are some beautiful photos of the Energy Breakthrough’s race in Dimboola on Sunday. The competitors raced the equivalent of the distance of Melbourne to Adelaide throughout the course of the day and they worked amazingly as a team. This was Damascus’ first trip to Dimboola but the feedback was of a great success. I thank Alan Strange for his leadership and Rachel Beardall for her great support of the program and the team of family members and past students that attended was immense. My greatest congratulations, of course, goes to the students whom the achievement belongs to! Well done!
Thank you to the families who supported the TA interviews last week. Students entered their selection preference during period 4 yesterday and from here we will work through the process for developing staffing allotments and timetables for 2020. If your student was absent yesterday, can you please ask them to contact Leader of School Organisation, Melissa McLachlan.
Andrew Robertson, Assistant Principal of Student Wellbeing provided a reflection this week and it focuses on a great opportunity that some of our Damascus students took up in Sydney over the holidays. I encourage you to read more here.
Next week our Year 11 students will engage in their Retreat experience on Monday and Tuesday. This is a core part of their learning experience and we require family support in assuring student attendance. Information relating to the Retreat is available through PAM.
Traffic around school at the start and the end of the day presents as one of the biggest safety risks of any community. Can I please remind and urge parents to be careful and considerate at the start and end of the day? Recently we have noticed a number of cars sitting in the turn circle adjacent to the John Shannon Centre at the end of the day, which blocks up traffic back to Geelong Road. This prevents buses getting onto the site and can actually stop traffic flow on Geelong Road. There are simple remedies if drivers are reasonable. If your child is not at the circle ready when you arrive, please park in the parking spaces or go back up the drive and come around the loop again. Secondly, by delaying pickup by just 10 minutes to 3.30pm or 3.35pm, there is significantly reduced congestion. Finally, the school is well serviced by a public bus system that moves students very efficiently – we encourage families to use this service. We do however appreciate that there are times when pick up is required. It is when people are in a hurry that accidents often occur, so if you are going to be under time pressure please look at alternative pick up arrangements such as Jones Avenue.
This afternoon BAS Cross Country teams are competing at Ballarat High School and we wish them well for the competition.
Damascus students Tristan Clonan, Lewis Clark and Sara Abu Asbeh all won various medals in the Under 14s section of the Piano recitals at Royal South Street this week and I congratulate them on their efforts. Our Debaters and public speakers have also performed excellently with several progressing to state championship competitions. Well done to all involved.
This weekend we were scheduled to have a tree planting working bee in our beautiful bush, however it has been postponed due to the adverse weather forecast – more information on the new date to come!
You may have noticed last Friday, the appearance of a transportable building placed near the carpark at the North side of the College. This building will house the Dobsons uniform shop for the next 12 months during some building works. Dobsons is temporarily closed this week and will reopen on Monday 12th August. Previously, the store was set to temporarily move to the carpark off Jones Avenue, however, for ease of access it will now be relocated to the grass verge directly across the carpark from Dobsons’ old store. During this time students and parents can continue to shop with Dobsons on campus and online. The uniform store will continue to be open: Mondays 1:00pm – 4:00pm, Tuesdays 8:15am – 11:30am & Thursdays 1:00pm – 4:00pm for the remainder of Term 3.
We keep in our prayers all those who grieve or are lonely and we ask that our Loving God of Mercy is with them in their vulnerability.
Until next week …