Community News

2017 College Captain Valedictory Toast

Picture of Adriano Di Prato
2017 College Captain Valedictory Toast
by Adriano Di Prato - Monday, 30 October 2017, 8:49 AM

Tonight we gather for the final time as the Class of 2017. To think six years ago we started at Marcellin – too shy to talk to each other and rushing to get to classes on time. Fast forward six years and those 200 boys, no longer too shy to talk to one another. Now garrulous young men, enjoying friendships and being told to hurry up to get to class.
We began our Marcellin journey as individuals, and we finish it as a group of brothers, bound by our experience of Marcellin College. No two journeys have been the same, yet what we have in common is the Marcellin College experience and the Marist values that have shaped us – or perhaps it is more correct to say that continue to shape us.
About a year ago in my inaugural address, the College Captains; Andrew, Jack and I set out the challenge to the Year 12 cohort to consider what our legacy would be; both individual and as a collective. Tonight seems an appropriate time for us to stop and reflect on exactly what that legacy might be. It’s one thing for us to talk about how we see our own legacy but it is quite another thing to hear what others say our legacy is. To this end I asked students from various year levels to identify how the Class of 2017 has contributed to the Marcellin Community.
  • The junior boys told me that we had a profound impact in making them feel they as though they belonged at Marcellin. "A group of guys that are all brothers and make pastoral fun every morning, I hope our year level is like that in Year 12".
  • The senior boys told me we are an iconic group of leaders in the College who define what 'family spirit' is, and who are always positive and humorous.
  • Those boys about to embark on their Year 12 journey say we are a humorous yet studious group who demonstrate presence and have an ability to involve others and to create a sense of unity around the College.

Speaking to these members of the community it is clear that we have made our presence felt in a positive and substantial way. I know it is true to say we have been present for each other in the highs and lows of our Year 12 journey and each of us have reaped the benefits of the close friendships we have formed. Let us acknowledge tonight all those people who have been present for us this year, the people in our lives and at our College whose presence has sustained us through this formative year.
In our endeavours to strive for the highest we have required the support and guidance of many, none more profound than the loving support we receive from our parents. They provide us with moral and practical support; with love, patience and understanding. I would personally like to thank my own parents. Mum and Dad, no words can truly describe how grateful am I to have you in my life. Your support, guidance and unconditional love have shaped me as the person I am today. Throughout this year you have put your own lives on hold to support Isabella and me in every way possible. I wouldn’t have made it to school on time once this year if Mum hadn’t woken me up several times each morning and driven me, and I wouldn’t have survived this year if Dad hadn’t stayed up late with me each Sunday night assisting me with study and speech writing. You have both always encouraged me in all aspects of my life and inspired me to be the best man I can possibly be.
Our teachers and the staff of Marcellin challenge us to be true to the Marist Charism in our daily interactions. They teach us diligently and guide us with care through the years. They have challenged us when we needed to be challenged, gave credit when credit was due and did so with good humour and hard work.
I also wish to show appreciation to Mr Murphy and Mr Di Prato who set the example of hope-filled, relational leadership, and create an inclusive culture at our College. I am forever grateful for your trust, guidance and leadership. To my House Coordinator Miss Piva and Pastoral Leaders Mr Griggs and Mr Abbott, thank you for providing inspiration and true pastoral care throughout my time at Marcellin.
Last but by no means least, I acknowledge the boys of the Year 12 cohort. Over the past year life has hit us in a real way. Some of us have lost those who we love the most, people that love us unconditionally. Some of us have come to a greater knowledge of who we are and where we think our future lies, throughout these testing times the cohort has pulled together without question to support our brothers and be present in real and practical ways.
On a personal note, boys, I am deeply grateful for the way in which you accepted and supported me throughout this year. Whether I walked into a classroom, through the corridors, the yard or at various social events, I always felt your warm support, good natured jibes and quick witted humour. I will miss the lunchtimes spent playing soccer, as well as the lunchtimes spent with half of you cleaning the common room after the other half of you made a mess of it; walking into the library to complete an hour of study, only to leave the library after an hour of hilarious conversation; completed along with the Friday afternoons spent at the scoreboard besides the Bray. I will cherish these moments forever. To paraphrase the author Mark Twain, I’m glad I didn’t let my schooling get in the way of a good education.
We will soon be finishing our time at Marcellin College. The time has come for the eagles to fly from the Nest. Let’s remember boys that our legacy to the College does not end tonight. The way in which we conduct ourselves in the coming years in our chosen walks of life, will stand as a testament of what it means to be a Marcellin man.
Wherever we go, in all that we do, let us always, with virtue and courage, to strive for the highest. Virtute Ad Altissima
John-Patrick Daly

2017 College Captain