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Valedictory Dinner 2016

November 4, 2016

The Valedictory Dinner held on 27 October was one chock-a-block full of emotion – first of all sadness as we said goodbye to our beloved third-years, joy as we made the most of our last chance to party with them, but also excitement for the great things we know they will do in the future. As the wine glasses clinked and the chants were cheered, we reveled in giving our Valedicts a proper, St Andrew’s send-off.

Like always, this year started with an outstanding chapel service from our dear Rev. From there, third years were treated to their own private pre-drinks and canapés in the Reading Room, whilst the rest of the college gathered to do the same in the Highlander. After plenty of small talk was exchanged, most of which surrounded the relief of having just finally finished the semester’s assignments (no one would dare to touch on the coming exams though!), the bagpipes led everyone up to the dining hall.

The dinner started with an acknowledgement of the country from Ms Siobhaun Smith. Wayne then addressed the college, the Rev led the first grace – after which, of course, the Drew’s cheer could be heard most likely all the way from Wesley. The 2016 Students’ Club Secretary gave an exceptional ‘Commonwealth of Australia’ speech, which included some hilarious rhymes describing the ins and outs of her year-group. Lucy certainly set a strong sense of appreciation as well as nostalgia for the very special Valedicts. Following Lucy was 2016 Students’ Club Treasurer Jake Carr with a fabulous “To Scotland” speech full of witty comments on the many unique individuals of the fResher 2014 Class.

Following Lucy was the Ode to the Haggis. Carried by third year Tessa Cowley, third year Andy Hughes delivered a hilarious and moving Ode, full of individual adaptations that always make the Ode unique.

After the Haggis was Wayne’s heart-wrenching vocalisation of his gratitude and admiration for Senior Student Xander Jackman and everything he has done this year. Xander then delivered a fantastic reply speech “The College”, biding his final goodbye to the special place his year called home. He and the rest of the House Committee will certainly be missed!

After a delicious meal of either salmon or steak, the college was delighted to hear a stupendous speech from 2017 Senior Student Lachie Mactier, who gave the “Valedictory Address and Toast to the Men and Women Departing.” Lachie’s capturing of the crowd certainly left no doubts on his abilities for next year.

Finally it was time to move on to the main event – the end of year awards. Lachie had the honour of announcing these awards, and in doing so recognised some tremendous individuals for their excellence: whether it be on the sporting field, in the arts, or just in overall contributions to the Students’ Club. The results of some of the most highly-anticipated awards were as follows:

  • Sub-Committee of the year –Home Brew
  • Sporting Blues:
    • Rosebowl Blue: Nicky Fenaughty
    • Rawson Blue: Tom Sutcliffe
  • Rawson Sportsman of the Year: fR Zac Von Appen
  • Rosebowl Sportsman of the Year: fR Maddie McCathie
  • Team of the year: Rosebowl Rowing
  • Palladian competitor of the year: fR Alex Raine
  • Palladian group of the year: Debating Team
  • Full Colours:
    • Charlie Hunter – bagpiping
    • Xander Jackman – Exceptional Service to Students’ Club

After the long list of prizes – it’s tough when there’s so much talent in just one college– it was time for the annual third-year video. Produced by 2016 Social Secretary Tom Wallis, this video really made you realise how much you would miss the third years –if you hadn’t already, that is! Full of hilariously embarrassing photos and videos clips, this video was a great way to remind not just the third years but the whole college of the memorable times this year group had experienced at Drew’s. It certainly brought tears to a number of eyes!

Finally, the time came for the third-years to symbolically leave this college by doing as those decades and decades before them had done – take a sip from the Loving Cup. As the cup was passed around the third years everyone remained silent – a difficult task for the fReshers – again leaving the college plenty of time to shed a tear or two in reflecting on the significance of saying goodbye. It has been a true honour to spend time getting to know this year group and it cannot be stressed enough how much they will be missed. We can only hope to see them all back next year at Highland Ball!

As our closest friends turn into Alumni and go out into the big world, it really makes you realise how special this place is. Where else can you develop such diverse friendships and networks where no matter how far away you go, they will always remain? It really makes you look forward to coming back for a ten-year reunion, reminiscing on the time you and your team won the grand final, or you forgot the words to the Haggis but everyone just laughed! Andrew’s is such a special place to make memories and no matter how long our third-years will be away for, it is certain they will always be cherished.

  • Hilary Shannon
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