Finding Your Happy Place


This week while interviewing a beautiful young man and his family for 2024, I was reminded of Golf Pro Chubbs Petersen's wisdom and the important advice he gave Happy Gilmore. During the interview, the young man explained to me how he loved to sing and that singing brought him to his 'happy place'. How important it is – especially at this point in time with COVID-19, Ukraine and all the other problems in the world, and in our personal lives – to find a happy place.

Since I was ill, most mornings it takes me around 30 minutes just to get out of bed. I'm pretty much stiff and sore all day, every day. Dealing with the vagaries of COVID-19 hasn't helped, but luckily, I am surrounded with family, colleagues and parents who more than make up for my personal woes. Finding my happy place has become even more important in order to recharge the batteries and, as I have written before, it always happens in the embrace of my grandchildren, the golden find in an out-of-the-way op shop, the perfect flight of a delicately drawn golf shot and a meal on the verandah at Nunzio's with my beloved wife.

I have always found CBC Fremantle to be an uplifting place. Now approaching my 15th year, it has been a love affair. This school and community have provided me with a deep sense of meaning and belonging, but this year I just feel that I love it even more. In speaking to a couple of Principal colleagues, their thoughts were that the staff and students at their respective schools are feeling a little flat. Not surprising given the uncertainties and massive changes to school life. Some students have lost opportunities that may not be able to be experienced again. Tours, immersions, camps – a host of extra-curricular opportunities all taken away, sometimes at a moment's notice. And yet the gentlemen of CBC Fremantle overcome, pick themselves up and move forward.

1h1a9596.jpgMy happy place at the moment is in the College Cloisters – before school, during breaks and after school. The beaming smiles when the mask comes off, the sparkle in their eyes, the warm greetings, the joy of the cricketers, the brotherly affection in the boys' embraces, the adaptability of their attitude and circumstances. Once a week, the Jazz Orchestra assembles in the Cloisters for an open-air, socially distanced rehearsal. The setting on these warm afternoons has been perfect, and a small audience always enjoys the session. The opening ceremony of The Rite Journey was held this week, and instead of being a fizzer, the teachers and Year 9 gentlemen threw their all in to the occasion, and the video we have produced for their parents is reflective of the best of CBC. The positivity of the Year 7 boys, despite their camp disappointment, has improved the whole place. They have made the Cloisters their home and lifted the ambience of the entire College. And in the backdrop, the gradual peeling back of the ugly overcoat of the Chapel to reveal a sublime limestone structure that will soon be returned to its former glory. This important building, on whose wandoo floors every CBC boy has trod since 26 January, 1882, is indeed an important part of this settlement and its sacred space an integral part of this College. To see it in a few months' time, cleaned, repaired, pointed and renewed, will be as proud a moment for me as any in my career. To know that it will be overlooking all that joyful commotion, all that excitement, all that is good about this community, will provide Blessed Edmund Chapel with its own happy place.

To all members of our community, stay safe, thank you for the love you show us and the trust you place in us, thank you for the gift of your sons and may you find solace to all the world's craziness in a happy place of your own.

Mr Domenic Burgio