It was both a time for solemnity and celebration, as the HSC class of 2014 were officially farewelled from TAS at several events in Valedictory Week.
As has been the tradition for the past few years, after the conclusion of formal classes on Wednesday morning, all boys and key staff travelled to the coast for 24 hours to spend their final time together in House groups. On their return on Thursday, parents joined their sons for a light lunch on the Chapel Lawn, before the Valedicts processed through a guard of honour made up of the entire school from Transition to Year 11 and their parents lining the drive from the Chapel to the Memorial Assembly Hall. At the end of their final Assembly, Year 12 shares some special reflections of teachers, before, that night, attending House dinners at various venues in Armidale.
Valedictory Day commenced with morning tea on the Chapel lawn before the Valedictory chapel service in the Memorial Assembly Hall; the symbolic candle ceremony and final rendition of the school hymn were moving moments for the boys as well as their parents.
At the Valedictory Day luncheon and presentation in the Dining Hall, special guest Harry Warrick (Senior Prefect 2007) reflected on his first seven years in the big world, and his path as university student, coffee maker, political journalist and the random discussion that led to his current position with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection – a path which has required him to make his own judgements.
“I owe that power of thought to TAS. A place that promotes the freedom to express one’s ideas and thoughts and always promotes the individual as the most powerful tool in seeking success,” he said.
“What is left for you to pursue on your own two feet is the desire and passion to say ‘yes’ and go on that journey that takes you outside your comfort zone. Who knows where you will end up, but you have a ripper of a time going on that adventure, which really for all of you starts today.”
All that was left was the Year 12 Formal at the Armidale Bowling Club, where boys, parents and staff celebrated the milestone together in style. Students sit their first HSC exam on 13 October.