Aquinas College hosted a very special event on Saturday 29th October to honour and farewell 19 Valedictory students who not only have completed their degrees, but have made a significant contribution to the life and spirit of the College community during their time with us.
Thus, on a warm afternoon, students, Valete parents, staff and invited guests, all splendidly attired, gathered for the Valete Mass and then enjoyed a delicious array of canapes served on the lawns before the commencement of the formal tea.
Under the leadership of Lisa Puglisi who did an incredible job of organising and attending to the logistical details of the function, the Valete student committee delivered an outstanding evening. The Marquee was decorated in beautiful cool tones of white and silver, reminiscent of a winters evening whilst the place mats, Valete booklets and printed menus were edged with a blue snowflake pattern, echoing this theme.
Brother Paul, Head of College, welcomed everybody with the opening speech, imparting words of wisdom to our Valete students as they embark on the next stage of their lives. As is tradition, the Master of Ceremonies is a first year student and Erin Scott was chosen for this role which she handled with great poise and composure.
Guests were seated at round tables and served with the main course of either chicken breast on a polenta cake, jus and pea puree or veal saltimbocca with a tasty reduction sauce, rosemary crusted potato and broccolini. This was followed later in the evening with a desert of black sesame ice-cream, chocolate dipped wafer and poached rhubarb.
A special thankyou to our wonderful kitchen staff who provided the catering for the evening, along with a very able band of past students who worked tirelessly throughout the night waiting on the tables.
The students particularly enjoyed a video clip capturing all those classic Aquinian moments throughout the year, from the various sporting events, social occasions or simply hanging out together. And, the naming of the Aquinian of the Year, awarded to Matthew Smith, was met with rousing approval and applause from the students.
However, the highlight of the evening were the speeches about each Valete, prepared and read by a fellow student and whilst interspersed with good humour, all were genuine and heartfelt reflections of an outstanding group of young men and women.
The Chair of the Board, Dr David Brookes then handed a glass etched Valete trophy and a valedictory certificate to the following Valete recipients: Alexandra Boileau, Carly Braithwaite, Patrick Bush, Renee Clark, Hanna Crowley, Brittany McEvoy, Brodie McHugh, Patrick Miller, Matthew Munday, Jordan Owen, Claudia Pace, Andrew Preece, Kieran Reynolds, Matthew Seals, Craig Shirley, Ammy Singleton, (absent) Danika Spilsbury, Dane Treloar and Jordan Wray.
The Aquinas community sincerely thank the Valete students and their families for the endless contributions they have made to our College over the duration of their residency. There is no doubt, each will go on to achieve outstanding things and we look forward to hearing about them in the future.