Speech Night 2011
Speech Night is always a significant event in the College calendar and marks a time in the year when we can formally celebrate the success of our students. This year the event was held in the College Hall, with a social gathering afterwards in the College Dining room. My thanks go to Fr Des Connolly, our guest speaker, Brother Francis our Chair of Trustees and Geoff Holt, who presented the Colleges’ newest trophy for Sailing.
Fr Des is an Old Simmarian and left the College in 1980. In 1984 he followed his call to become a Montfort Missionary Society priest. After 6 years of higher education he was ordained priest in 1992. and celebrated 25 yrs as a Montfort Missionary this year.He worked with the L’Arche community in France – adults with profound learning difficulties. This was the beginning of such work Opening a house for asylum seekers while at Ashurst, Opening a Food bank with the St John of God Brothers in Darlington, followed. He later became a founding trustee of the Medaille trust which he now chairs, dealing with the massive problems of trafficking women and children and men into this country, setting up safe houses for victims. He started too, the Ollao project in Euston for destitute migrant workers, now run by the St John of God Brothers.While being parish priest in Fordingbridge the Poitiers Project started, another venture of Fr Des – a food and furniture delivery service for poor and needy families in Southampton and Portsmouth. Operation ‘See Again’ was then started by Fr Des which was a charity for eye surgery to the people of Cambodia. In his next parish he founded the Holy Family Foundation to support respite care for families and children with learning difficulties in Georgia.
Mr Holt is a former student at the College and is pictured here with Brother Francis. Geoff kindly donated signed copies of his latest book to the recipients of the Sailing trophy, Alex Roberts and Edward Bailey. Geoff is the 1st Quadriplegic to sail single-handed around GB and across the Atlantic Ocean and is the UK Sailing and Disability Sport Ambassador.
Marylouise Wiltshire (Head Student) and Eric Saboya (Deputy Head student), take stock of the evenings awards. Both are to be congratulated on their presentations to staff and parents at the College.
Eddie Zambra and Peter Jennings resting on the Founders Memorial Garden after a busy evening marshalling traffic onto and off the site.