The annual Auckland Rowing Association Awards were held this month, which celebrated both club and school crew successes in the greater Auckland region. Westlake Boys were a dominant force with both present and past students securing several awards.
Westlake Boys won the ‘The Male School Crew of the Year’ for their performance in the bU18 coxed 4. Westlake were also awarded ‘School of the Year’ for the school’s achievements throughout several key regattas where all age groups gained medal results; Westlake spreading their success by achieving the best results across all Auckland schools at the Maadi Cup.
The ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ which is not always given out was awarded to the Auckland Regional Performance Centre which had four out of eight rowers graduating from Westlake. The old boys in this crew were: Michael Brake, Cameron Webster, Sam Jones and Blake Bradshaw. Overall, an excellent evening, with many successes to be celebrated.
Westlake through to Regional Final
This month a record-breaking nine Westlake Boys bands competed in the North Shore Smokefree Rockquest heats at the Dorothy Winston Centre in Auckland. Our nine groups took on fierce competition from around the North Shore with 40 teams competing for 12 spots at the Regional Final in June.
Two of the nine bands, ‘Special Ed’ a year 13 group, and ‘6 Four’ a year 12 group secured themselves a spot in the regional final on June 9th. The bands have four weeks to write a seven-minute song and perform it, with hopes they will continue to the National Final in August.
Cultural Showcase for Christchurch Families
Westlake was one of the eight schools in the Pupuke Kāhui Ako (Community of Learning) who celebrated cultural identity while raising funds for the families affected by the mosque shootings. Over 400 students performed at Westlake Boys’ auditorium during the ‘Pupukefest’ concert.
“The goal was to have a positive cultural and social impact on the community and for it to be a symbol of us coming together,” a Westlake Boys teacher said.
Pupukefest provided a platform for our community to connect and feel a form of belonging and purpose, contributing to group solidarity and boosting cultural pride. A range of performances took place at the concert with Kapa Haka, African, Pacific and Korean performances being featured, to name a few.
Our Kapa Haka group also welcomed and congratulated 200 new New Zealand citizens at the ‘Citizenship Ceremony,’ this month.
Ka mau te wehi
Westlake’s Will to Give Back
Westlake’s Premier Basketball team spent the morning volunteering at the ‘Eat My Lunch’ headquarters in Auckland. The organisation offers kiwi kids lunches who would otherwise go without. The boys were up early from 6:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. preparing meals for people to buy and kids to eat.
Captain of the premier team, Dylan Wilkie, says “It’s an awesome feeling being able to give back. This is an awesome company which allows us to do an awesome thing.”
The boys team were feeling very humbled and privileged to be able to give back to the community who has supported them throughout their schooling and sporting endeavours.
Westlake students and staff also volunteered their time during their holiday break at the Harbour Hospice North Shore. The volunteers were seen felling trees, weeding, clearing debris, and shovelling mulch. Their enthusiasm and energy to help Hospice families in need was contagious as the students look to devote more time to Hospice with their awareness week coming up.
“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal”- Steve Maraboli.
Mother and Son Breakfast
Our 2019 annual Mother and Son Breakfast this past Thursday was sold out again, this year. It’s no wonder when baby pictures of Headmaster, David Ferguson, are being featured at the event.
The auditorium was alive with chatter, laughter and the smell of freshly baked frittata’s, croissants, cinnamon scrolls and more, which kept the audience entertained along with the guest speaker, Trina Tamati.
Trina has worked for Nike, PlayStation, the NRL Auckland Nines, and is now the Managing Director of Ticketek NZ. Her bodacious energy and words of wisdom had the audience in laughter, and fandom, as she explained she had conversed with the likes of Dwayne Johnson, “The Rock.”
Her core belief, “never give up,” had the audience chanting the three words by the end of her presentation. Her honesty was apparent as she alluded to disappointment and how it is inevitable as we experience life, but we determine our fate, and if we “never give up,” we ultimately can rise above.
The morning concluded with several lucky mothers walking away with awesome raffle prizes, and David Ferguson, urging students to walk their mothers to their cars, hold their hands, and kiss them before leaving.