1h1a6012.jpgLooking ahead

Apart from the month of celebrations that lead up to, and out of, her birthday, my wife's favourite day of the year is 22 June. Even as I write I am reminded of the comment she made this morning about it still being dark at 7.00am. The shortening of the daylight hours, the cold temperature and the winter coat that sometimes forms can create a feeling of pessimism, but come 22 June, that all changes. Despite the fact it is officially still winter, Antonella knows that the days will start to get longer. She feels the hope of spring, the smell of the pink bud jasmine and that we have reached hump day in the return to summer.

I know how she feels. The winter of COVID may be coming to an end. Ms Knox quoted Aristotle in her communication to you the other day when she was cautionary about the worst being behind us. Aristotle opined that 'one swallow does not a summer make'. My thoughts are more akin to Churchill after Alamein; 'Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.' Certainly, in terms of numbers, COVID infections are dramatically down in the College. There are the green shoots of normal budding everywhere. The Music department is about to undertake a tour of the Wheatbelt and Southwest, the first tour in more than two years at CBC. A CEWA meeting the other day indicated that protocols for interstate and international travel for schools is well-developed and should be released soon. For CBC Fremantle, the opportunity to reinstate the Canberra Tour, the AFL Tour, the Singapore Tour, the NASA Tour, The Italian/Arts Tour and overseas Immersions is exciting, and will rejuvenate the school experience for so many young people who have had their secondary school journey adversely affected by the restrictions. I so look forward to waving the first party off at the airport!

If the current drop in infections continues, we are looking at placing back on the calendar some of the key events lost this year. House Week, Share the Journey, Edmund Rice Day and a few other celebrations are being considered at the moment. A Year 12 Mother and Son evening will be held on Tuesday 16 August to attempt to compensate for the restrictions placed on our Mother's Day attendances. Balancing interruptions to timetable with the significance of celebrating community is always a conundrum, but I am sure that we can achieve a resolution.

If the current drop in infections continues, we are looking at placing back on the calendar some of the key events lost this year.

The reason I am so sure is that probably more than anyone I have been at the epicentre of our community since COVID visited. I felt blessed to work at this school before COVID. That blessing is far greater now. Time and time again, on a daily basis, I have been uplifted by the response of all around me. I recently received an email from a parent congratulating CBC for not putting out its hand for Jobkeeper. Many schools across Australia did, laying off staff from day one and pocketing the money when in retrospect they didn't need it. Our recently retired Business Manager made sure we kept everyone on. Staff offered to give up sick leave if it helped a colleague. Parents offered to pay a bit more if it helped other parents who had been adversely affected. Fee collection during COVID actually went up, such was the esprit de corps of our families. Everyone did their best during remote learning, working together to plug gaps and keeping the community together through social media and Teams. Recently, teachers have given up their DOTT periods to help with the staff shortages due to infections. Parents volunteered to assist in the Canteen, front reception and Catering. Even on the occasions that there were differences, and I can assure you this has been a time where passions have run high, I hope everyone felt listened to and accommodated as best we can. It is not always the case. The last couple of years have seen massive schisms develop in society. Families have been split, friendships lost and relationships damaged. I sincerely hope that hasn't been the case for members of our community. The reality is that despite any difference of opinions, for all people of goodwill, bonhomie and reason, the things that unite us are always far, far, far greater than the things that divide us. As saccharin and corny as that might sound, it is a truth that I have experienced all my life … with the possible exception of the 2018 AFL Grand Final result.

I hope your spring is on your horizon. I hope that the worst is certainly behind us. But if it isn't, I'm sure of the strength of this community and that whatever challenges come our way we will continue in the spirt of Henry V: 'Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.'

God Bless you all.

Mr Domenic Burgio