Celebrating the success of 50 Knox residents who attained an A- grade average or higher in Semester One results was the purpose of a Reception held in the Senior Common Room on the evening of 10 August. Words of encouragement were offered by Dr Royden Somerville QC. Dr Somerville is a College Fellow and Pro-Chancellor of the University of Otago. Special congratulations to our two top scholars, Audrey Jian and Oliver Walne. Audrey took out the award for Health Sciences and Sciences with a 97.25% grade average, and Oliver took out the award for Commerce and Humanities with a 93.67% grade average. Outstanding results!
If anybody thinks young people today are politically apathetic they clearly weren't at the political forum held at Knox College on the evening of 30 July, where over 100 Knoxies gathered to hear political candidates from National, Labour, Act, Green, Maori and United Future parties outline their positions on all manner of topical issues, such as euthanasia, refugee quotas, mental health and climate change. The pre-election forum, organised by first-year resident Michael Daya-Winterbottom, was a great success.
28 July: On a cold wintry night over a dozen Knoxies took part in an overnight sleep-out in the Octagon to raise funds for the Dunedin Night Shelter. Organised by the University Volunteer Centre, the event highlighted the plight of homeless people in Dunedin and the crucial role played by the Night Shelter in helping to alleviate that plight. Just another example of Knoxies getting involved in the community.
Congratulations to first-year Knoxie Oliver Davidson, who recently competed at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles, and came away with a scholarship of $20,000 towards tuition at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
If one didn't have prior knowledge, who would connect the following costumed groups with the annual Knox Quiz, held on 12 July? It was great to see such sartorial flair on display for what proved to be a fantastic night.
During the semester break a group of Knoxies, led by Sub-master Luke Johnson, took on the Kepler Track. The stunning mid-winter landscape proved a most suitable backdrop for the Knox flag.
Congratulations to first-year Knox resident Elizabeth Reid, who on Friday 9 June, at the Southland Sports Awards, was awarded the trophy for Integrity, Commitment and Excellence stemming from her Alpine Ski Racing Career. An outstanding achievement!
During the break between the men's and women's basketball matches against Selwyn College on Thursday 1 June, a team from each college went head to head in a cheese burger eating competition. The rules were simple: A relay event, comprising three burgers per person; first team to finish, wins. Representing Knox were Dylan Finnegan, Paddy O'Brien and Aoefe Broad. Unfortunately, the civilised, refined dining tradition at Knox did not equip our team to prevail over the fast-food, barbarian dining habits of the Selwyn team, and we had to settle for a close second!
Two from two! Showing tremendous wit and improvisation, this year's Theatre Sports team of Jack Saunders, Faye McIntosh, Natasha Cox, Harrison Cooper and Kimberley Fenton took the honours for the second year running against Selwyn College. Well done, team!
On 30 April about 35 Knox Residents and College Fellows were treated to an inspiring talk by Dr Patricia Payne, as she reflected on her long career as an international opera singer. For over 27 years Patricia, a mezzo-soprano, sang in almost every major opera house in the world and with all the big names, including Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras. Now retired and living just up the road from Knox, Patricia is a College Fellow and a great encourager to music students residing in the college.
Over 30 Knoxies took part in this year's Relay for Life, raising over $1,500 for the Cancer Society. Thanks to Jack Saunders for coordinating Knox's involvement in this annual event.
In a conversation with the Master of Knox College, Dr Graham Redding, on Sunday 26 March, the Mayor of Invercargill, Tim Shadbolt, talked candidly to a group of Knox College residents about the various directions his life has taken ... from student activist, protestor and commune founder to political candidate and now NZ’s longest-serving Mayor. If his activist days were about rejecting the system, Mayor Tim said, his time as Mayor, first of Waitemata City and now of Invercargill, has been about making the system work. His work ethic, trademark humour, inclusive outlook, commmitment to social change and unpretentious manner have remained constant throughout. Still remembered for towing his concrete mixer behind the Mayoral Daimler in the 1983 Waitakere Christmas Parade, Mayor Tim said that humour has been his most effective political tool. That humour was very much to the fore as he regaled the Knox residents with numerous stories from his life. The Knox students went away from the talk having been both entertained and inspired. Mayor Tim’s talk was the first in a series of Knox College after-dinner addresses by guest speakers on the theme “Pathways travelled, lesson learned”. Other speakers include Laura Harris (OUSA President, 2016), the Rev Dr David Clark (Labour MP, Presbyterian Minister, and former Warden of Selwyn College), Dr Patricia Payne (retired internationally acclaimed opera singer) and Professor Sir David Skegg (former Knox student president, Rhodes Scholar, distinguished academic and Vice-Chancellor of the University).
What a great effort from the 20 Knoxies (including Ella Neighbours and Claire Johnson pictured below) who spent time down at the local New World supermarket on 25 March raising over $600 towards guide dog training.
About 80 people gathered in Ross Chapel on 15 March to pay tribute to the fifth Master of Knox College, the Rev Peter Marshall, who had died just a few days earlier in Wanaka. Friends and colleagues of Peter from his time as Master, together with his sons David and John, spoke of a man who was wise, progressive, unflappable, practical, hard-working, humble and caring. We remember a man who embodied servant leadership, and whose period as Master will be remembered for the strengthening of the College in every respect.
A good debate is both entertaining and thought-provoking. This year's Great Debate for the Master's Cup (12 March) delivered on both fronts as teams from the Junior Common Room and Senior Common Room debated the Moot: 'This House believes that Donald Trump is good for politics'. Congratulations to the Junior Common Room team of Aoife Broad, Caroline Moratti and Polaiu'amea Kirifi (pictured below) for their well-earned victory. Looking good for the upcoming Nevill Cup Debate against Selwyn College.
Competition for the Nevill Cup got underway on 9 March with a hard-fought victory over Selwyn College in Chess. Victories to Conor Bliss, Alex Hearn and Sophie Smeele secured the win.
Of the 159 first-year students at Knox this year, 41 are recipients of University of Otago scholarships. Add to that number the 6 recipients of the Knox Foundation Scholarships, and a staggering 30% of this year's intake are scholarship holders. Pictured below are some of those scholarship holders at a reception organised by the University of Otago on 1 March at the Uiversity Staff Club: Oliver Donaldson, Jack Pirie, Caccia Armstrong, Emma McClean and Elizabeth Reid.
A fun-filled Orientation Week set just the right tone for the start of the 2017 academic year. Highlights of the week included a Roman feast, a Garden Party and a beach battle (pictured below). By the end of the week new friendships were already being forged, and a strong sense of belonging had been established.
Those who have heard Knox Sub-Master Sammy Se'au sing know what a beautiful tenor voice he has. But few people know he is also a seriously good composer. Rest assured, that won't stay a secret for long. The word is out. Sammy has just been appointed Resident Composer for the NZ Secondary Schools Choir for 2017. That means his music will be sung both here in NZ and on the world's stage when the Choir goes on tour. Well done, Sammy!
Over 50 people gathered in the Great Hall on Sunday 30 October to honour the Rev Dr Selwyn Yeoman, Knox College's seventh Master (2013-14). Tribute was made to Selwyn's vision for life-in-community, his pastoral care of students, and the encouragement he gave to students to attain academic excellence. Tribute was also made to the contribution that Selwyn's wife, Natalie, made to college life. The highlight of the occasion was the unveiling of a photographic portrait of Selwyn.
The pressure of exams does not stop the KCSC Vice-President, Natasha Cox, from doing something to help others. Pictured here with her friends Lauren (left) and Tori (centre), Natasha coordinated a Christmas charity fundraiser at Knox. Natasha's fellow Knoxies gave generously and helped her assemble over 30 gift parcels for sending to children in impoverished and war-torn countries through an organisation called Samaritan's Purse. A great team effort!
This year's Annual Dinner and Prizegiving was notable for the fine entertainment and several excellent addresses. The newly elected KCSC President, Buck Finucane, proposed a toast to the Leavers, the outgoing President,Cam Gerlach, proposed a toast to next year's Returners, and the University of Otago's recently retired Chief Operating Officer, Mr John Patrick, gave an insightful after-dinner address. Of the presentations, a particular highlight was the awarding of the Patricia Payne Cup for musical performance, which went to Christina Wilson. Dr Payne, a world-renowned opera singer and a Fellow of Knox College, was on hand to present the award (pictured below), and in so doing share some of her experiences of singing with the likes of Pavarotti on some of the world's biggest stages. A wonderful evening.
On Sunday 9 October, the College was pleased to host the Ambassador of the Philippines, Dr Jesus Domingo, during his visit to Dunedin. Pictured here with the Master of Knox College, Dr Domingo was a guest of one of our Submasters, Nicole Macaballug. He attended Chapel and Sunday Dinner.
The penultimate event in the Nevill Cup competition was Shakespearean Drama. This year, teams from Knox and Selwyn performed one of the Bard's earlier works, Titus Andronicus. Although the judges praised both teams for their performances, they made special mention of Knox's creative interpretation and strong character development, and scored the Knox performance a stunning 82 out of a possible 90. When Knox was declared the winner, the crew and cast immediately turned to Shaun Swain and applauded him for his leadership and creative genius. Rightly so. Shaun had poured heart and soul into this production (writing, directing, acting), and it was so good to see all his hard work pay off.
In Chapel on Sunday 18 September, the newly elected KCSC Executive was installed and the outgoing Executive was thanked and presented with a Knox lapel badge in recognition of their distinguished service to the College.
Congratulations to Meghan Stewart-Ward upon her being selected by UN Youth NZ to go on a Leadership Tour in the USA in February 2017. Meghan is one of just fourteen university students selected from around NZ to visit San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston and New York, attend meetings at the UN Headquarters, World Bank and US Congress, and compete in the prestigious Harvard National Model United Nations. Well done, Meghan!
If ever there was a classic Cameron Shield contest, then the women's volleyball match against Selwyn would have to be it. It wasn't just the fact that it went down to the wire and that the two teams were so evenly matched. It was also the quality of the play. Some of the plays were simply breathtaking. And then what made this game game even more compelling was that so much was at stake. Knox needed to win the game to stay in the running for the Cameron Shield. Sadly, it wasn't to be ... pipped by just two points in the deciding game. But what an occasion. Well done girls, and well done to all the supporters who turned out to cheer their team on.
At the end of a very colourful and entertaining campaign week a new Knox College Students' Club Executive has been elected. Congratulations to Buck Finucane (President), Natasha Cox (Vice-President), Matt Shepherd (Treasurer), Dylan Finnigan and Karen Lin (Sports), Faye McIntosh (Cultural), Tesi Clark (Social), and Mitchell Smith (Secretary).
On Tuesday 30 August, the College was shocked to hear of the sudden death of Ross Mobbs following a tragic accident whilst on holiday in Thailand. Just 30 years old, Ross had worked in the Knox and Salmond kitchens since 2009. About 60 staff and residents gahered in the Knox Chapel to pay their respects to a good-natured friend and colleague who had a ready wit, an adventurous spirit, and a love for travel. May he rest in peace.
The formula was simple: Win both the girls' and guys' football matches against Selwyn College to stay in the running for the Cameron Shield. Mission accomplished! On a cold, blustery day at the Caledonian ground (24 August), the girls eked out a 1-0 victory, thanks to some staunch defending and a firmly struck first-half goal by Dani Martin, and then the guys totally eclipsed their oppostion with a 3-1 victory, courtesy of a classy hat-trick by Isaac Snell. The looks on their faces say it all really ...
A wide variety of talent was showcased in the College's annual Concert on the Stairwell on Sunday 21 August. The special ambiance of the stairwell always adds to the occasion. College residents lined the stairwell from top to bottom as they enjoyed two hours of music, dance and poetry. Special highlights included a Knox anthem, "We Are the Chosen Ones" (written and performed by Jacobi Morris), an improvised jazz medley (Patrick Dunphy), a Bollywood dance routine (Prya Swami, Sudha Kandarpa, Rochelle Shaguna and Amrutha Prasanna), a sax solo (Sam Harrison), and a stirring rendition of "O Sole Mio" (Rocky Fidow and Sammy Se'au (pictured below)).
There's nothing new about Knox and Selwyn girls taking on each other in a game of rugby. What was significant about this year's match (18 August) was that, for the first tme, it was part of the Cameron Shield competition, with valuable points at stake. It was an epic encounter. Although Selwyn, scoring two tries to one, emerged victorious, both teams can be very proud of their effort. No quarter was given or received. A joy to watch. And congratulations to Natalie Quinn for scoring a late try to take the match down to the wire.
In an after-dinner address to Knox residents on Sunday 7 August, geologist Dr Hamish Campbell made a convincing case for Zealandia (which includes New Zealand) to be recognised as a continent. The difference between Zealandia and other continents, he said, is that the vast majority of Zealandia lies under the ocean and therefore does not constitute a surface land mass, but the geological composition of Zealandia is exactly the same as for other continents. Zealandia extends across the Tasman Sea to within 25 kilometres of Australia. Dr Campbell was a resident of Knox in 1971 and is a College Fellow. He is a senior scientist with GNS in Wellington and a leading authority on tectonic plates. Also attending Dr Campbell's address was Professor Graham Virgo, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University in the UK. Professor Virgo was visiting NZ as the NZ Law Foundation's 2016 Distinguished Visiting Fellow. Whilst in Dunedin he dined in the College as a guest of Professor Peter Skegg, a College Fellow.
Congratulations to ex-Knoxie and Olympic gold medalist Hamish Bond on the occasion of his stunning victory with longstanding team-mate, Eric Murray, in Rio. Hamish was a resident at Knox in 2004 and 2005. Knox staff have vivid memories of him returning mid-morning from gruelling sessions on the harbour to devour upwards of 12 to 16 Weetbix and a litre or two of milk before getting on with his day's studies.
Louise MacKenzie was farewelled by Knox residents at dinner on Sunday 7 August. Tribute was made to her administrative skills and pastoral care. KCSC President Cam Gerlach and Vice-President George Mohi led a musical tribute to Louise, and at its conclusion the whole student body gave her a standing ovation. It was a moving occasion. Pictured here is the College Master, Dr Graham Redding, interviewing Louise in her final Chapel service, held earlier in the afternoon.
The Breast Cancer Society will benefit from a donation of several hundred dollars thanks to a fundraising brunch held at Knox College on Saturday 6 August. This was a joint Knox-Selwyn initiative, supported by over 150 girls from the two colleges, who were asked to wear something pink and bring along a minimum $2 donation. Thanks to Lucy (Knox) and Kate (Selwyn) for organising the event, and to the Knox kitchen for doing the catering and entering into the spirit of the occasion by keeping the pink theme going with pink napkins, pink icing, etc. You can never have too much pink to brighten up a dreary, cold mid-winter Dunedin day.
Knox College is pleased to announce the appointment of Caroline Hepburn-Doole to the position of Deputy Master. Caroline comes to us from the secondary school sector where she currently works as Assistant Principal at Bayfield College. She brings a wealth of experience of working with young people. She will commence work here on Monday 26 September. We look forward to welcoming Caroline and her husband John into the Knox community at that time.
All those hours spent around the billards table in the Jace paid off for Ryan Howe, Kieran Leese, Wyatt Amerson and Cam Gerlach, when they each won their match against their Selwyn opponents to rack up the first points in the Cameron Shield for Semester Two. Well done lads!
It was a case of plenty of reds and greens on display as Knoxies got dressed up for their annual mid-winter Christmas dinner on Sunday 24 July. Pictured here is the KCSC President, Cameron Gerlach, with goods collected for the Presbyterian Support food bank.
Congratulations to our academic high achievers from Semester One. Thirteen students achieved an A+ grade average, including six first-year Health Sci students, and a total of 49 students achieved an A- grade average or higher. Encouraging results and a good foundation for Semester Two. Awards for the highest grade average in Humanities and Commerce went to Bronte Shaw and Natasha Cox; and awards for the highest grade average in Health Sciences and Sciences went to Harry Wynne and Will Tasker. The efforts of all 49 high achievers were recognised at a special reception in the Senior Common Room on 21 July.
Re-orientation week got off to great start with a Back To School Hop, in which Knoxies dusted off, and squeezed into, their old school uniforms, before hitting the dance floor. It truly was a case of the weird and the wonderful.
At dinner on Sunday 5 June the College said goodbye to its much-loved Senior Submaster, Nathan Dickson, who is leaving Knox to take up the position of Housemaster at an Anglican Preparatory Boarding School in South Canterbury. KCSC Exec member, Lucy King, spoke for many students when she said how much she had appreciated Nathan's listening ear and wise counsel. Other speakers echoed Lucy's sentiments, but also went on in a lighter vein to highlight some of Nathan's endearing mannerisms and characteristics, including his penchant for fine food, furniture and fashion. In regards to the latter, several students had taken up a "Nathan lookalike" challenge and appeared at dinner in various forms of "Nathanesque" nightwear, casual attire and formal dress. Five shortlisted candidates were asked to do the "Nathan walk", before Ploy Watthanakun and Faye McIntosh were declared the winners and given vouchers to Nathan's favourite cafe, No 7 Balmac. All in all, a wonderful evening.
The inaugural University of Otago inter-college poster competition was won by Sam Fraser, of Knox College. At a prize-giving ceremony on Sunday 29 May, the judges applauded Sam's creativity. Sam said of his winning poster: "It features a great friend of mine, Mitchell Smith, who I met at Knox College. The doves behind the picture of Mitchell represent the dominant image on the Knox flag – a dove, a symbol of peace and reconciliation. Below Mitchell is an image of the college itself. “UP THE DOVES” is a chant used frequently by Knox supporters at inter-college events. The colour pallet is blue and white, the central colours of the Knox flag."
On Saturday 28 May, UN Youth Otago hosted a mock UN Security Council forum to debate the weighty issue of nuclear disarmament. Knox entered three teams. Representing Russia were Yoran Petrecelli, Melissa Simpson and Sam Harrison; representing the USA were Artie Piatine, Bronte Shaw and Claudia Miles; representing China were Jacobi Kohu-Morris, Natalie Merrill and Kai-Yin Davidson-Khor. All three teams performed well, with the "Russian" delegates being awarded the cup for the best overall performance. Another one that's slipped away from Selwyn (previous holders) and made its way into the Knox trophy cabinet!
Friday the 13th of May proved unlucky for Selwyn but not for Knox as the two colleges battled it out for the Somerville Shield and valuable Cameron Shield points in their annual rugby match, which this year was played at the Forsyth Barr Stadium as a curtain-raiser to the Highlanders-Crusaders clash. The final score was 19-12. The game was worthy of its stadium setting and was a great advertisement for inter-collegiate rivalry and the University of Otago. Although Selwyn outscored Knox two tries to one, Knox put in some huge defence, controlled large periods of the game, and dominated with the boot. First-five and man of the match, Dominic Clapcott, proved the difference between the two teams. He kept the score ticking over before breaking Selwyn hearts with a crucial drop goal and a 45-metre penalty. He was the epitome of composure under pressure. As the final whistle blew, the Knox team, led by their inspirational captain Joe Norman, raced over to their supporters, who had turned out in force and been in fine voice throughout the game. All in all, this was an epic encounter between two fine colleges, but in the end one team dug that little bit deeper to emerge victorious ... and that team was Knox!
Community service is an important aspect of the Knox experience. On Saturday 21 May six Knox residents volunteered their time to support Presbyterian Support's Buddy Programme, as part of Z Energy's "Good in the Hood" initiative. This initiative is where funding is given to local community groups based on the amount of tokens they receive from customers who purchase petrol at Z Energy petrol stations. The students washed car windscreens at Z Energy Mosgiel, and as they did so they spoke to customers about the buddy system and encouraged them to use their Z token to indicate their support for the programme. First-year Knox resident, Natasha Cox, said, "It was an awesome opportunity for us (Knox Students) to see what the buddy programme does and to promote it to the public. We did this volunteer work whilst also having fun along the way." Well done Natasha and team!
On Thursday 31 March, about 60 people were pleased to gather in the Great Hall for the unveiling of a portrait of Bruce Aitken, who was Master of Knox College from 1995 to 2012. Life Fellow and former Otago University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Skegg, acknowledged Bruce's extensive contribution to both the college and wider university life during his almost 18 years as Master. Special mention was made of the remodeling of the Ross Chapel during Bruce's tenure as Master, and of his strengthening of the cultural side of college life, especially in regards to music. Bruce Aitken was the College's sixth Master. His portrait, painted by ex-Knoxonian John Gillies, hangs alongside that of his highly respected predecessor, the Rev Peter Marshall.
On Friday 18 March, Knox chalked up its first Nevill Cup victory for the year with a win over Selwyn in the annual Debate. The Knox team of Hohepa Stablein, Bronte Shaw and Jacobi Kohu-Morris successfully argued against the moot, "This house believes that Donald Trump is good for American politics." It was a wonderful night's entertainment.
Congratulations to the Senior Common Room debating team of Peter Matheson, Jessica Palmer and Mel Redding in their victory over the Junior Common Room team of Jacobi Kohu-Morris, Bronte Shaw and Faye McIntosh. There was very little to separate the two teams as they debated the proposition that "This House would allow endangered languages to die." The high standard of oratory made for a most entertaining evening, and provided the Junior Common Room team with a good workout ahead of their upcoming debate against Selwyn College.
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2016 Knox College scholarships:
Each scholarship comprises a $4,000 discount on accommodation fees for the 2016 academic year. Thanks to the Foundation for Knox College and Salmond College for their generous funding of these scholarships.
As soon as exams were over, six Knoxies (Nathan Dickson, Julianna Costa, Allanah Hartley, Michael Ofman, Lucila Gatti and Huia Ackerman) left for Vanuatu on a ten-day community service trip. The trip was organised through the Presbyterian Church's Global Mission Office and funded by a grant from the Foundation of Knox College and Salmond College. The Knoxies were put to work in schools in Port Vila teaching, running events and doing basic building maintenance. The trip was a fitting conclusion to their involvement in Knox's 2015 Leadership Development Programme. A strong emphasis in that programme was on the concept of servant leadership, which several keynote speakers spoke about in their Sunday evening addresses.