As always, the Valete evening was a highlight of the academic year. With a high number of Valetants this year, the night was even bigger than usual.
The whole College first gathered at 5.30pm in Christ Church with the College faculty, members of Council, and the parents of the Valetants, for the Valete Service. During the Service, the Valedictory Address was given by Daniel Puckridge who focussed on the importance of a sense of family in the dynamics of College life.
Before the final blessing at the end of the service, the leadership of the College was ritually handed over from the leadership group of 2019 to those appointed for 2020.
Following the service, people gathered on the Gleeson Lawn for the annual College photo and pre-dinner drinks, before entering a transformed David Hogarth Dining Room for the Dinner.
During the Dinner, each Valetant was honoured with a few words from a fellow-student and presented with both a Certificate of Valediction and an engraved College plaque.
In his toast to the College, outgoing President Fletcher Thomas, spoke with passion and gratitude for all that Aquinas had been for him and his fellow-Valetants. By way of reply, the Rector drew on the inspiration of Siya Kolisi to speak to the purposes of Aquinas.
The evening concluded with warm appreciation to Student Club Secretary, Makayla Seigert, and College Registrar, Stephanie Hamra, who had organised the evening, and to all who had helped