Posted on April 23, 2018
As all who have attended Celebration Evening will know, it is indeed a celebration of the activities, achievements, adventures, people and culture of our Tintern Grammar community. It is a very important evening for the whole school community and most particularly for our Year 12 students, for whom it is one of the final and most important rites of passage while they are still students. In recent years, this has taken place in the Robert Blackwood Hall at Monash University as part of a year by year agreement with Monash. However, for 2018 Monash have not been able to provide us with a suitable mid-week date and consequently, for 2018 we have had to move Celebration from its traditional mid-week slot to the evening of the second Saturday of Term 4 (Saturday 20 October). While this was not our preferred option, and we intend to return to a mid-week evening slot for 2019, we have exhausted all other feasible alternatives and this is clearly the best option available to us for this year.
To give a brief explanation, each year we nominate several dates to Monash that fit with; School’s holidays, Year 12 examinations, and various other significant School events and activities. When Monash have populated their calendar with their graduations and other internal bookings for RBH for the following year, they allocate us a booking from our list of nominated dates, from our most preferred to least preferred. For 8 years this has worked without difficulty. In 2017, for the first time, Monash was unable to provide us with a mid-week 2018 date that was possible for us. They have both apologised and explained that while it was not possible for this year, they believe it to be a single year issue and from 2019, they would expect to be able to accommodate us each year as they have for the nearly 10 years we have been at RBH.
Numerous alternatives were sought and considered by the Executive, and a sub-committee of Geoff Connor and Alison Bezaire were tasked with investigating those that appeared to fulfil our list of requirements, as well as being available. Numerous university and commercial venues were eliminated almost immediately because they were either unsuitable or unavailable. Of those available on our possible dates and feasible for us, Geoff Connor and Alison Bezaire visited two venues as realistic possibilities and briefly investigated one other.
In the end, each of these turned out to be one or more of impractical, unsuitable, or with travel time that was not feasible for our families east of the School. Consequently, the sub-committee could not in all conscience recommend an alternative venue. The only feasible mid-week option was then the CM Wood Performance Centre, which, while a known quality and operationally suitable, was not our preferred alternative. While we have kept this as a fallback option, we have been looking outside past practice for alternative possibilities. Of these, we feel strongly that RBH on a Saturday night is clearly the best option.
I appreciate that the movement to a Saturday night is a departure from past practice, but it ensures we will be able to maintain our memorable celebration of the year and our appropriately significant and dignified farewell to our Year 12 Leavers, as has been the tradition at our School over many years.
Factis non verbis