As the academic year came to a close, the St James’ community came together to celebrate the Year 12 students’ school journey in an unforgettable two-day event on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 October. These Valedictory celebrations were a heartfelt send-off for our beloved graduates, marking the end of their journey at St James’.
A Bright and Early Start
The festivities kicked off on Wednesday morning with an early rise for the Year 12 students. They gathered at the School’s Stage 3 collaborative area, donned in their vibrant, multi-coloured t-shirts and were treated to a delicious breakfast lovingly prepared by the Canteen staff. The room was filled with the aroma of sizzling bacon and eggs as laughter and excitement filled the air.
Following the hearty breakfast, the students made their way to the Djinda Sports Centre for a Senior School Assembly. This was a special moment as the School Captains took the stage to bid farewell to their fellow students. They also had the honour of presenting Mr Pree, our Principal, with a gift on behalf of the Year 12 cohort. The tradition of gifting the School something meaningful was started by the inaugural Year 12 cohort in 2021. This year, they presented a beautifully crafted sailboat, in line with the School’s nautical theme, as a symbol of their gratitude and appreciation.
The morning continued with the final roll call led by Mr Hall, followed by the Year 12 students participating in the symbolic Passing Out Parade through the School grounds. They were met by the Orange Army, who had gathered to bid their departing Year 12s farewell. The morning concluded with a delightful cupcake shared with Pre-Primary students, creating heartwarming memories before the Year 12 students left the School grounds.
The Grand Finale
The celebration continued into Thursday, as students and their families returned at 4.00pm, dressed in their formal uniform, to the School’s Chapel. It was a momentous occasion as students were presented with mortar boards and their distinctive orange graduation sashes. Reverend John Taylor presided over the Eucharist service, creating a sense of unity for the graduates’ future journeys.
The festivities then moved to the Djinda Sports Centre, where families had the opportunity to capture precious memories with professional family photos courtesy of Fotomakers. While being served platters made by our Year 11 Hospitality students. This was not only a time for celebrating the graduates but also for recognising the support and love of their families throughout their educational journey.
As the clock neared 7.30pm, the Djinda Sports Centre underwent a magical transformation, with its roof adorned by a mesmerising display of a million fairy lights meticulously hung by Campbell Robertson and Marcus Waddington. The enchanting ambience set the stage for a captivating evening. Students, their families, dedicated staff and the Chair of the School Council gathered for a delectable buffet meal provided by Cherry Catering Services.
The evening was made even more memorable with captivating performances. Isaac Faithfull and his band entertained the audience with their musical talents while Brady and Georgia Jansen sang two songs, including ‘Landslide,’ a touching rendition of one of Mr Pree’s favourite songs. The room was filled with laughter, tears and countless conversations.
This extraordinary evening served as the perfect opportunity to come together as a community and celebrate the graduating class of 2023. As they embark on new journeys, we warmly welcome them as the latest members of the ‘Twenty-Three’ Alumni, a testament to the enduring spirit of St James’ and the indelible mark these students have left on our school.