High Notes, Vol 8 No 18, June 22 2007

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From the Principal

High Talent
Congratulations to Joshua Weight ( Year 12) and Lachlan Street (Year 11) who were selected in the combined GPS 1st XI football team. Well done too to Daniel Campion (Year 11), Aaron Shuttleworth and Gehan Karunaratne (Year 12) for their selection in the combined GPS 2nd XI. Congratulations to the Hume Barbour debating team. The Sydney Region Trophy is back in our hands after an absence of three years at SGHS. Well done Blaise Prentice-Davidson, Anthony Morris, Michael Coutts and Kelvin Yu. Congratulations to the music staff for organising another successful Cabaret Night last weekend, despite the weather. The elements were not kind but the enthusiastic attendees were.

Library Fundraising
The Sydney High Development Committee has been running a fundraising telephone campaign recently, with the help of parent volunteers. So far, the support of our parents for the concept of building a state of the art library and performing arts space is solid. I trust all those parents who made pledges will honour them before June 30. We have a big target because we want to make a big difference to the learning environment for our boys. I really would like the funds on term deposit to exceed $550,000 by the end of this year with a target of $800,000 by the end of our 125th anniversary year. If you have not contributed specifically to SBHS Building Fund yet and you would like to make a tax deductible donation before the end of the financial year, please go to our website, click on ‘fundraising’ on the navigation bar and choose a giving option.

Talent Development Groups at High – High Societies
With the recent success of the Latin and Greek reading group and the da Vinci Decathlon teams, as well as the establishment of the Journalist Club, it is time that some more of our talent development and co-curricular activities were recognised. Mr Dolan has suggested listing and publicising these under the banner of High Societies. I think this is a good idea. We do not have enough profile for groups that do recycling, look after the archives, connect with Amnesty International, join together as an Astronomy Club, help out in the library or work hard in their own time for charities. Our joint Mathematics Enrichment Club with SGHS and UNSW is working well. More publicity of these sorts of activities would help to raise their profiles. One parent suggested recently that we ought to offer more opportunities to boys interested in science. His idea involved ’hands-on’ scientific / engineering inquiry groups exploring issues like the ‘Big bang’, designing circuits, building robots or mastering specialised software. I think boys interested in these areas should approach members of the Talent Development Committee or their Year Advisers or Assistant Year Advisers to discuss the possibilities.

Where Does the Money Go?
I was asked by a parent about how the school spent ‘general service contributions’. Network administration, systems support and infrastructure requires $220 per student. Direct expenditures by departments on consumables and equipment are $200 per student. Photocopying / printing hardware consumes $50 per head. Competitions and examinations cost $75 per student. Co-curricular programs are allocated around $100 per boy. Sport allocations amount to $100 per boy per season – summer and winter. There are many other costs for teacher sick leave, utilities and administration. Realistically, the school should ask for $800 in general service contributions. Our parking revenue is largely responsible for keeping the size of the contribution in check. Considering the opportunities and services provided for our students our current ‘contributions’ represent startling value for money.

Boggabilla Central School – Our Year 9 Inter School Visit and Community Service Project
The contact with Boggabilla Central was first made through the SBHS SRC in term 1, 2002. The SRC wanted to help with a specific project and to create long term links between the two schools. The idea was promoted by arranging visits based on mutually suitable dates. This process took a while to work out, but the visits happened each year. We are proud of our connection with Boggabilla Central School. Our strong relationship has been forged over five years. It is very heartening to observe how many students at Boggabilla qualified by 80% school attendance to come on the trip south. Their students and ours are more relaxed now in each other’s company. We really enjoy hosting their students in Sydney and have an equally good time when we are made welcome at Boggabilla and Toomelah. Originally, SBHS assisted Boggabilla with the purchase of some playground equipment. We then moved to helping to restore an old classroom to use as a crèche. Proceeds from Year 9 Mufti days are directed towards helping out Boggabilla with the refurbishment of building as an indigenous language centre. Mr Barris has been the chief organiser and supporter of the inter school visits. It would be great if Year 9 could establish additional fund raising activities so that we can take a large cheque with us on the return visit to Boggabilla later in the year.
Dr K Jaggar
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Da Vinci Decathlon 2007

The Da Vinci Decathlon is an academic interschool gala day run in the spirit of an Olympic decathlon, organised by the Knox Grammar School, Wahroonga. Each year forty schools are invited to participate and whilst the majority of schools are from the private system both Sydney Boys High and Sydney Girls High have represented the public system with great distinction over recent years. The Decathlon, now in its fifth year, has become a prestigious event on the school calendar and is eagerly anticipated by competing students.

Students are faced with a range of tasks with an emphasis placed on higher order thinking skills. Amongst the most keenly contested and challenging tasks are, Code Breaking, Engineering Challenge, Forensic Sleuths, Art and Poetry and Creative Producers. High was represented by four teams of eight students each. Years 9 and 10 competed on Tuesday 5 June and Years 7 and 8 on Thursday 7 June. The location for the competition was the impressive Lawson Centre at the Knox Grammar School.

Year 7

Jamian  Vuong Rodrigo Manahan Sam Marques Christopher Ooi
Jacky Yang Conor Stack Christopher Chiam Hung-Tin Lin

The Year 7 team making their first appearance at the Decathlon achieved a creditable 14th placing. They were able to register a top ten finish in three of the ten tasks. The boys displayed remarkable teamwork and a high level of enthusiasm throughout the competition and this experience will be of great benefit in the future.

Year 8

Samir Kinger Sam Beston Max Wei Vivian Le
Ashwin Rudder Dawen Shi Nikhil Autar Dominic Nguyen

The Year 8 team achieved an outstanding result placing second overall and registering a top ten finish in six of the ten tasks. Each student received a silver medallion to recognise their achievement and these were presented to them by Dr Jaggar at the Junior School Assembly. The boys were very proud of their efforts and proved to be great ambassadors for their school.

Year 9

Lachlan Chant John Wormell Declan Macrea-Steele Michael Do
Pravin Radhakrishnan Puneet Baweja Tadeusz Davenport Alex Saunders

The Year 9 team achieved a creditable 15th placing. Though clearly disappointed with their result the boys were able to register a top ten finish in four of the ten tasks. This was a highly motivated team which displayed good teamwork and high levels of enthusiasm throughout the competition.

Year 10

Thomas Nguyen Alik Belokopytov Patrick Desmond Kang Lim
Clive Chen Leonard Teng Victor Lim Alasdair Brown

The Year 10 team delivered an outstanding performance to finish third overall and placed in the top ten in five of the ten tasks. The boys were highly motivated to do well, several having participated in previous decathlons. Teamwork came to the fore as the right students were allocated to particular tasks with highly successful outcomes. The boys were awarded a bronze medallion to recognise their achievement and these were presented to them by Dr Jaggar at the Senior School Assembly.

All students received certificates to mark their participation in the 2007 Da Vinci Decathlon which were presented to them by Dr Jaggar at the Assemblies. A full breakdown of all the results can be accessed via the Knox Grammar School Website.

2008 Da Vinci Decathlon?
Any student (Years 7, 8, and 9) who finishes first in a subject at the Yearly exams 2007 automatically qualifies for the Da Vinci Decathlon Team in 2008.

On behalf of the participating students and the School I would like to thank the Knox Grammar School for their hospitality and generosity in staging the event and special praise must go to the Tournament Organiser Ms Lynette Schultz for her tireless efforts in this regard.
Tom Dolan
Talent Development Coordinator

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Year 7 Da Vinci Decathlon Report

On Thursday, 7 June, 8 boys from Year 7, Christopher Chiam, Christopher Oei, Conor Stack, Rodrigo Manahan, Hung-Ting Lin, Jacky Yang, Sam Marques and I (Jamian Vuong), represented our school in the Da Vinci Decathlon. We had many days of practice so we were ready to compete.

Our first session consisted of the Engineering Challenge, Art and Poetry, Science and the Games of Strategy. Sam and I went off to compete in the Games of Strategy whilst the others were working on the other subjects. After the session, we had been told some of the results for session one. To our surprise, we came second in the Engineering Challenge.

Our second session started shortly after the first. This session contained the subjects Creative Producers, Mathematics, Forensic Sleuths and English. For Creative Producers, we had to advertise the Caveman Olympics. Yet again, we came sixth in Forensic Sleuths. Then, it was lunch. It was extraordinary. There were 4 pizzas to a group, which meant we all got half a pizza! Then came the extra boxes. At the end, we were all so full, we were about to burst.

Finally, we had our third and last session. This consisted of General Knowledge and Code Breaking. We saw that most of these questions were easy. We were confident of the answers we were jotting down. We came fourth in Code Breaking which made us very happy. Overall, we came 14th in the whole competition.

We all had fun and had a great time. We did the best we could and got so far. Congratulations to the team! Thanks to Mr. Dolan and Ms Eggleton for all their help.
Jamian Vuong 7R
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Year 8 Da Vinci Decathlon Report

High sent 8 Year 8 students to the academic gala day. The highly successful team consisting of: Samir Kinger, Dominic Nguyen, Ashwin Rudder, Samuel Beston, Max Wei, Nikhil Autar, Vivian Le and Darwin Shi was able to manage a highly creditable 2nd placing on overall point aggregate being edged out by hosts Knox who were captained by the winner of Australia’s Brainiest Kid in 2005. The boys represented Sydney Boys very well and combined well as a unit.

The Da Vinci Decathlon comprises of ten subjects: Engineering Challenge, Art and Poetry, Science, Mathematics, English, Creative Producers, Forensics, Code Breaking, Games of Strategy and General Knowledge. There were around 40 schools represented in the Year 8 division. Some schools had travelled many kilometres as there were schools from Bathurst, Central Coast and the Blue Mountains. Other schools included: The Kings School, Sydney Girls and Scots College.

The day started behind schedule because of the terrible weather and flooding in North Sydney as many schools arrived to the venue soaked and late. The competition had finally started after a 20 minute delay with Engineering, Science, Art and Poetry, Games of Strategy being the subjects in the first period. We had around 85 minutes to break into sub-groups and work on the problems. In Engineering we had to build the tallest possible structure using only 2 sheets of paper, 6 straws and 50mm of masking tape, that could support a weight, sadly we did not attack this problem with great intensity and failed to achieve a placing in the top 20 for engineering. In Art and Poetry we had to write a poem to do with “war” and the poem had to be integrated into an original artwork. We did a very respectable job with Art and Poetry and finished 7th in that subject. After the disappointment in Engineering, our team attacked the remaining subjects of the day with great intensity, commitment and teamwork. The disappointment in Engineering was a learning curve for the inexperienced team and we did exceptionally well in the remaining subjects.

Also in the first session there were Games of Strategy and Science. We did exceptionally well in both placing first in Science. The Science sub-group had to devise 5 questions to ask Energy Australia about Earth Hour and they also had to design an experiment on how they were to collect reliable data if an event similar to Earth Hour was to be held again. The sub-group was the most composed and planned their time well which was a major factor in the outcome. While all this was happening, Dominic and Dawen were sweating it out in the Games of Strategy section. Thankfully, Dominic worked out the chess puzzles and Dawen only dropped one game of mastermind. We finished 6th place in Games of Strategy and we were well placed after the first session.

In the second session, the subjects were: Maths, English, Creative Producers and Forensic Sleuths. We came 2nd overall in Maths and English, 13th in Forensics and 21st-50th in Creative Producers. In Creative Producers, teams would nominate 2-3 people to devise a commercial in ten minutes on a designated topic. The topic for Year 8 was “eels for profit and fun”. In Maths, there were 13 problem solving questions that had our top mathematicians anxious as the questions were very hard and some required up to 3 pages of working out! English was about word origins, word structure, grammar, analogies, acronyms, spelling, unscrambling and messages in illustrations. We were destined for a top 3 finish, all we had to maintain was a placing in the top 20 for the two remaining subjects.

In the third session, the two subjects were General Knowledge and Code Breaking. We finished off well by placing 12th in General Knowledge and 8th in Code Breaking. It was now time for the results. We waited in anticipation, knowing that we would come in the top 5. Much to our surprise, we were awarded second place and we received silver medals. We fell short by just 130 points to Knox but we were still proud of our accomplishment. Thanks to Mr Dolan and Ms Eggleton for their efforts in enabling us to participate in this excellent competition. We look forward to going one place better next year.
Samir Kinger

In next week’s edition of High Notes we will feature the Year 9 and Year 10 Da Vinci Reports
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Fencing - AJ Rae Shield

On Saturday 2 June 2007 two teams from our school competed in the AJ Rae. Shield.

Our first team was seeded 5th and we fenced Hills Grammar ‘B’ for the first match. The match started slowly. We led 5:3 after the first three minutes. Our second bout was a cause for concern, as our best fencer Amadeus Klocker lost our lead and finished with a significant margin for us to catch up. Patrick Duffy solved our problems in the third bout and we led the match from thereon to win 45:26.

The firsts lost their second match and ranked 5th once again. Our fencers definitely have potential, but we need to step up our training if we hope to knock over any of the top 4 teams.

After successfully attaining a place in the final rounds of the Schools State Senior Teams Championships our seconds (Julian Byrnes, Mitchell Hammer, Boris Zolotarev) were up against a highly ranked St. Aloysius. Our match started excellently with a 5:0 lead after the first bout. We kept a steady lead over the second bout which ended at 10:6 our way. Throughout the rest of the match, we were able to maintain a slight lead. However, our last bout proved to be a rough test. Despite our best efforts, the match resulted in a 41:43 loss.

The second match for the seconds was against another highly ranked team: Newington. Once again we maintained a good lead for the duration of the match. At the beginning of last bout of the match the score was levelled at 35-35. With only three minutes left to fence, the team fought courageously and gained three hits, unfortunately the opponents gained five hits; the score was now at 38:40 with only seconds on the clock. Sadly, time got the better of us.

Well done to Julian for fencing in the Under 17s Foil State Championships on Sunday, immediately after the AJ Rae.
Fencing Captain

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Thank you from the Canteen

Grateful Thanks from the Canteen Staff and Committee -

  • To Steve Saunders for his help in ‘re-conditioning’ and cleaning up our (old) new laptop
  • To the Prefects who diligently turn up for duty and so such a great job!

And lastly, a word about Foccacias…we know you love them, so please, please order in advance to avoid disappointment!!!
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Did You Know?

Did you know that since the Order of Australia was established in 1975, over 181 old boys of Sydney High have received awards recognising achievement or meritorious service? In the most recent Queen’s Birthday honours list six old boys were honoured: John Blackburn (1968) AO (Military Division) for distinguished service to the Royal Australian Air Force as Commander of the Integrated Area Defence System and Deputy Chief of Air Force; Hugh Ralston (1951) AM for service to engineering, particularly as a contributor to the advancement of innovative technology, to the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, and to the community; John Denning (1939) OAM for service to the welfare of veterans and their families through a range of roles with ex-service organisations; John Hynes (enrolled 1933) OAM for service to veterans through the 2/1 Field Regiment Association; Albert Selig (1936) OAM for service to the Jewish community in Sydney; and Alan Still (1945) OAM for service to the community through Rotary International as a provider of sponsorship for the education of children in Indonesia.

SHS Old Boys Union
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From the Office

Letters Re Absence/Lateness/ Early Leave
When your son returns to school from being absent he is required to provide a letter of explanation signed by a parent or guardian. If your son is going to be late for school a note is also required.

If your son has an early leave note he is required to have his note signed by either Mr Beringer, Mr Dowdell or Mr Prorellis before 8:55 am and handed in to the Main Office immediately after. Each letter should be signed by a parent or guardian with the name, date and roll class of your son printed clearly. Your son needs to pick up a leave pass from the Main Office before he leaves the school.

If you require leave for your son please, apply in writing and address your application to the Principal, Dr Jaggar, stating the reason and length of time of the leave. Your son must then present this application to Dr Jaggar for permission for the leave. Please remember to apply before the leave and not after.

The Principal must approve all leave applications.

Another email service for parents
Parents who supply the school with an email address can now have an updated report on their son’s attendance record can sent to them on a daily or weekly basis.

If you would like to have your son’s attendance record sent to you send your email address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please include your son’s name and date of birth in the email.

Sydney Boys High School Building Fund Appeal 125th Anniversary Library Project
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Parent-Teacher Interviews

for Years 7, 8 and 9

will take place on
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
3:00pm – 7.30pm

Please note the following arrangements –

  • Boys from all Years will be dismissed from class at the conclusion of Period 5 (2:15 pm) on this day. School Special buses will run to normal schedules and there will be supervision in the Junior Quad of boys waiting for these buses.
  • Boys in Years 7, 8 and 9 have been issued with details of arrangements for interviews. They should complete the Record of Appointments section in consultation with their teachers. It is the responsibility of boys to negotiate interview appointment times with their teachers.
  • Details of interview times with teachers should be recorded in the Record of Appointments section. Teachers will sign to confirm the appointment.
  • If a teacher is unavailable this fact should be recorded in the Record of Appointments section and signed by the teacher as confirmation.
  • All interviews will take place in the Great Hall and adjacent classrooms in the Main Building. A map and details of locations of teachers will be provided.
  • Interviews should not exceed five minutes’ duration. If there is insufficient time, a further appointment may be made for a later date, or contact by telephone arranged.
  • Timing of appointments should allow for movement from one location to another between interviews.
  • Tea and coffee will be available for parents throughout the evening in the Main Foyer.
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SBHS Debating

Don’t forget to check and then READ your email each week! Important information about social debates and GPS Trials are going out and if you don’t read your email you may miss out on opportunities to debate! IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING THE EMAILS PLEASE SEND A MESSAGE This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with “ADD TO Year X group” in subject line and indicate your name/your son’s name, Year group and home suburb.

Have been completed (apart from a few stragglers in Year 8)! Teams will be announced next week and the Debating Assembly will be held on July 20 during school time.

This is the last week of debating coaching for the term. There will be no coaching on Friday June 29. Coaching then continues in Term 3 until week 7.

Please endeavour to settle your account with the office by the end of the term. Boys will not be permitted to attend coaching in Term 3 if the co-payment has not been made. Your cooperation is appreciated!

The next Debating Supporters Group (DSG) meeting of the year will be held on Tuesday August 7 at 6.30pm in the Staff Common Room. This is an opportunity for parents to become involved in fundraising and events that assist us in further strengthening the Debating teams at High. Please come along!

6. GPS DEBATING DATES- please put in your diary

Round 1- July 20   - VS St Joseph’s College   - Away 
Round 2- July 27   - VS The Scots College     - Away 
Round 3- August 3  - VS The Kings School      - Home 
Round 4- August 10 - VS Sydney Grammar School - Home 
Round 5- August 17 - VS Newington College     - Away 
Round 6- August 25 - VS Shore                 - Home 
Round 7- August 31 - VS St Ignatius College   - Away 

Ms Jocelyn Brewer
MIC Debating

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Weights Room Holiday Training

With the school holidays fast approaching it is very important that all boys playing sport plan ahead and take this opportunity to improve their overall physical fitness. Take a moment to analyse your strength, flexibility, fitness, and sport skill. Any deficiencies should be made a priority over this period so that you make it easier for your coaches when training resumes in term 3. At the very least you need to maintain your current skill & fitness level. If you are unsure what you need to work on then ask your coaches for drills etc or drop in to the gym. I’m happy to give advice to all those who want it.

Holiday Timetable
For the upcoming holidays the weights room opening/closing times will be as follows. Only those boys who are yearly or current term 2 strength trainers are allowed to use the gym during these times.

Week 1

Monday Wednesday Friday
11am-1pm 11am-1pm` 11am-1pm
1pm-2m Spring Training 1pm-2m Spring Training 1pm-2m Spring Training

Week 2 (Times below may vary and will ultimately be determined by week 1 attendance figures)

Monday Wednesday Friday
11am-1pm 11am-1pm` 11am-1pm
1pm-2m Spring Training 1pm-2m Spring Training 1pm-2m Spring Training

Spring Training
Sprint Training Athletic competitors take note that during the holidays there will be a 1hr sprint session immediately following the close of the weights room.
Weights Room Strength & Conditioning Coach

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Music Notes

Sydney Boys High Cabaret Night
Our Cabaret night held last Saturday evening was a wonderful success despite the turbulent weather which unfortunately kept many away. The Stage Bands, Senior Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble played with style and panache bringing the house down. From the colourful balloon filled hall to the sparkly skirt of Ms Miller, the night was filled with the many great jazz numbers performed by our bands providing a great accompaniment for the dancers.

Tutor of the Week – Ben Gurton (Trombone)
In the year and a half Ben Gurton has been working at Sydney Boys High he has played for “The Boy From Oz” with Hugh Jackman, recorded albums for Grinspoon, Belinda Emmett, Jimmy Barnes and David Hasselhoff. As well as playing trombone for “Australian Idol” and John Foreman’s show The Night In. He was also lucky enough to play gigs with Bob Mintzer, Bobby Shew and James Morrison. Last weekend Ben recorded a live concert DVD with Guy Sebastian and has been invited to join his touring band. Oh and he just got married!

Student of the Week – George Zu (Student of Ben Gurton)
George Zu (Yr 11), as well as doing a great job with all his school work and playing piano superbly, is a great trombone player. George’s attendance at rehearsals and concerts is exceptional. Ben Gurton writes: “Sometimes when we have lessons, I wish I had as good a trombone sound as him! And he’s really nice!”

Piano Competition
The Sydney Boys High School Piano Competition will begin in week 2 on Monday and Tuesday lunchtimes till week 4, to be held in the Great Hall. There are two categories this year; Junior (Years 7-9) and Senior (Years 10-12). The time limit for each performance is 5 minutes and the entry fee is $5.00 for all competitors. Please enrol by the end of term 2 so that times and performance pieces can be arranged before the start of the competition. See the music staff for application forms.

Music Tuition Scholarships
The music department is offering scholarships to students who would like to play: Oboe, Bassoon, Double bass and French horn.
Please see the music staff if you are interested.
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Rugby Supporters Dinner

High Rugby Friends Inc. invites you to attend the inaugural
Rugby Supporters Dinner
7:00pm Wednesday July 25
The Great Hall
Sydney Boys High School

Special guest for the evening is the coach of the NSW Waratahs Ewen McKenzie

Tickets are $40, which includes a two-course sit down dinner. Wine, beer and soft drink will be available for purchase.

This night is an important fundraising event for Sydney High Rugby, and the aim is to raise enough money to purchase a new scrum machine. If you are unable to make it, a donation would be much appreciated. Tables are for 8-10 people, however individual tickets are available.

If you have any queries, please contact:
Tom Miller (0415 973 574 – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or
Ben Friis-O’Toole (0414 383 857 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

To reserve your place:

  • To pay by cheque, fill out the slip and mail it to:
              High Rugby Friends, PO Box 664, Surry Hills, NSW, 2011
  • To pay by credit card, go to www.highrugbyfriends.com/dinner/

High Rugby Friends – Rugby Supporters Dinner     RSVP: July 15 2007
Name:  __________________________________________
Ph:    __________________
Email: __________________________________________
I am able to attend and require _________ tickets at $40 each totalling $___________.
I am unable to attend but would like to donate $___________.

(Cheques should be made payable to High Rugby Friends) 

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