Boarding News

Mr Jim Noble, Head of Boarding

Term 1 continues to throw up challenges and the torrential rain and flooding certainly made for an interesting week in boarding. The boys were looking forward to the Boarder Free Weekend to have a bit of a break before the last few weeks of the term. Unfortunately, flooding led to many boys not being able to go home, others being stranded at home once there and also the cancellation of AIC Sport and most of the planned recreation activities for the boarders. In the bigger scheme of things, these changed plans were insignificant when one considers the challenges faced by many people badly affected by the recent floods. 


In true boarding spirit, our boarders took everything in their stride and I am proud of the way they accepted the extreme weather situation and remained positive over the long weekend. After a lot of time spent indoors, it was great to see the sun out on Sunday and many of the boys and staff took the chance to have a look around and inspect the impact of the floods around our school campus. The ovals down the bottom of the school (the Des Connor Flats) had been covered by floodwaters, but this had receded by Sunday. In a wonderful display of community spirit, all boarders on campus met at the Flats at 3:00pm on Sunday to complete an ‘emu parade’ to pick up rocks, sticks and debris. The boys were fantastic and I am very proud of the way they chipped in to assist with the clean-up.


I’d also like to commend our Boarding Staff for all that they are doing to look after the boarders. We are blessed to have staff members who are so professional and caring in their roles. The boarding staff are also demonstrating great resilience working in a residential setting during these very challenging times. A critical part of providing the best care for our boarders is ensuring that our staff are well trained and this week we’ve had our boarding staff completing a course provided by the Australian Boarding Schools Association. It will be great to have all our boarding staff through this course and for them to be able to apply these learnings into their daily work with the boys.


Our Year 12 boarders are looking forward to the Senior Formal this Saturday night and all are hoping to stay well so they are able to attend the Formal. I spoke with all the Year 12 boarders last week to stress to them that they need to be mindful of their health (and the health of their friends) as the Formal approaches. It is a very special occasion and one that is much anticipated. We want all the boys to enjoy the Formal, so I reminded them to practise good personal hygiene and to limit their social interactions in the lead up to the Senior Formal. This will both help them personally to avoid catching COVID-19, but also look after the collective interest of all the boys in Br Terence Residence so that they can all enjoy the Formal together as a Senior group.


I hope all our families are safe and well at this time. As a boarding community, we are grateful that we’ve been able to carry on with very little disruption and I am so proud of the boys for the resilient and positive way they are going about their business. We are looking forward to the week ahead and hopefully the chance to get back into some sports and activities with some better weather.

Around the Grounds

La Valla  Residence

This week had many highlights amongst the chaos that is in the world at the moment and we are making sure that the boys take time to appreciate how lucky they are to be here at Marist. Of course, there are still challenges but we are part of a family and we have so much support when needed. The highlight of the week was the BBQ for Year 6-7 with our Year 12 boarders. The senior students catered for us all and it was a great opportunity to make some new connections. The Year 6/7 cohort have some natural athletes and it was nice to see them running rings around some of the Year 12s in a friendly game of touch football. The Year 12 students even seemed to be impressed by the younger ones!! Mr Temperly saved the weekend by bringing his Nintendo Switch in for the few students remaining on site. Anthony had never tried Mario Cart but blitzed the dorm and Cedric was a whiz at the golf game. Many of our plans were thwarted by the rain bomb but the boys were so well behaved, never left the dorm unsupervised and despite the lack of physical activity and being locked in, all generally got along really well. A busy time for assessment is approaching but we are confident with our team of tutors that the boys will be well supported in the weeks ahead.


Montagne Residence - written by Toby Forbes

Toby Forbes
Toby Forbes

The week has been a bit of a downer as the heavens opened. Many roads and places have flooded due to the rain. With sport, training and recreational activities cancelled, there has not been much to do. Mr Whitlock has done a great job keeping us active where possible. The Gymnasium has been our main source of entertainment, whilst also going to the pool before the lightning started on Saturday. Many people were looking forward to heading to Brookside, but as many roads were closed this was not possible.


At night, the Montagne boys were keen to get on a computer game called Shell Shockers and play a few rounds of that. We also watched Avengers on Sunday night and made a cake in a mug, before everyone left to play more Shell Shockers. Some of the boys had to move beds due to wet beds from rain coming through the windows and leaks in the roof. It's been a quiet but fun long weekend, ready for school on Tuesday!


Hermitage Residence

We have quickly found ourselves at the midpoint of the term. Exam block dates have been released, and boys are revising assessment planners to ensure they are across key tasks. Much of the week, like many parts of Queensland, was well and truly rain-affected which saw the much-beloved post-dinner touch football put on hold. This has seen an increase in pool, table tennis, cards, gaming, basketball and indoor cricket. What has been most pleasing within the residence has been the involvement of a great number of boys across a number of Recreation Clubs and Term 1 2022 AIC Sport. Shout to our Year 9 lads, Toariki Netzler, Ben McAuliffe and Kalan Schnaubelt who are involved in Year 9 internal volleyball run by Mr Whitlock. The recent floods have impacted many parts of Ashgrove, and Monday afternoon saw our very own MCA ‘mud army’ take to ‘The Flats’ to commence clean up! A true sign of Marist spirit! A highlight of the weekend saw potential 2023 Year 7 boarders Jack (brother of Finn Kennedy) and Sam drop into to say hello and make themselves at home very quickly! They were quick to state how keen they are to commence at MCA. The weekend showcased the resilience of boarders who stayed in for the boarders’ free weekend due to many last-minute changes impacted by the weather. They just kept rolling with the punches with no hassle or dramas at all. Gathering in the Chapel on Sunday morning proved a good time for reflection even with our smaller number on campus. Here’s hoping for a dryer week ahead.


Fourviere Residence

The Fourvière faithful are to be commended on their resolve this week while a surreal natural disaster unfolded on our doorstep. Despite being couped up in the dorms from Thursday onwards, the lads who stayed in did well to occupy themselves within the residences with a mixture of gaming, pool, chess, table tennis and even the completion of some assignment work! With a deluge of almost 700mm falling on Brisbane, the Enoggera creek experienced flooding just shy of 1974 proportions. It was wonderful to see so many in the community rally together to commence the clean-up as the floodwaters began to subside on Monday. It is hard to say at this stage when the boys will be able to take to the fields again for some much-needed recreation time outdoors.


Br Terence Residence

This week saw the return of the afternoon BBQ’s in Br Terence Residence with our Year 12 boarders hosting the lads from La Valla last Thursday evening. Fletcher McMillan, Tom Doyle and Sam Miller led the way by cooking dinner for both residences who were then able to spend some valuable time getting to know one another and offering our youngest boarders their first visit to the senior boarding residence. After dinner, the boys took to Cameron Oval for a large game of touch footy that saw the La Valla boys play alongside the Year 12s. Over the weekend, there was still much anticipation for the upcoming Senior Formal with many boys attempting to stay dry while organising their attire for the Formal. Fortunately, all boys managed to make it back to the College safely after the weather took a nasty turn on Sunday afternoon. While many of our boys were able to make it home for the long weekend, the boys who remained on campus displayed a positive attitude throughout despite having limited opportunities for outside activities. At the end of the long weekend, it was pleasing to see that a number of our boys assisted with the clean-up of the Flats following the extensive flooding that had occurred over the weekend while also being able to celebrate Paddy Manning’s birthday on Monday.

Boarding Recreation Report

What a weekend! Besides the obvious, we did manage to squeeze a few recreational activities into the calendar. Friday started with the always popular, boarder’s arvo feast, before the Year 7-9 boys headed up to the gym for Round 2 of the internal volleyball competition. With many boys heading out on leave the teams were mixed up and the boys got the chance to play with many of the day students too. We have one more week of internal games before the two-legged tie against Laurie’s kicks off.


Between the deluges of rain, we managed to get the pool open three times over the weekend so the boys could burn some energy outside the dorms. There was also plenty of basketball and volleyball in the gym with the roads being far too dangerous to go off-site. We also had a Ping Pong World Cup on the gym mezzanine with Jock Baker pipping Joe Murphy to the gold medal after a topsy turvy finale. 


Monday finished off with everyone heading down to the flats to help clean up the grounds which had been littered with all sorts of debris. The boys did a great job filling bag after bag with sticks, stones, nails, fencing and everything in between.