Principal's Address: Phillip Day Memorial Scholarship Dinner 2011

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Principal's Address
Sydney Boys High School
at the annual Phillip Day Memorial Scholarship Dinner
Held on 31 May 2011

Thank you all for coming tonight to gather to celebrate Phillip Day’s life and to support the Scholarship established in his name. Thank you in particular to Con Barris for his organisation of the evening and to Mary-Ann Cradock who has helped the fundraising effort in many ways.

Phil Day was a well-organised person. He was also not shy in giving his opinion about a range of issues. He even managed to organise and advance his considered opinion about how he would be remembered by his colleagues, his students and the school he loved so much. Several memorial options were discussed with him in his last days. He gave his approval for a memorial plaque and the establishment of a scholarship in his name. I am glad that together we have been able to fulfil his wish.

Soon after Phil’s funeral in February 2007, monies were collected and a memorial plaque was fixed to the wall on the stairs leading from the foyer of the main building. The Phillip Day Memorial Scholarship Trust Deed was executed on 4 July, 2008. The remaining funds of $16,000 held in a school account were transferred to the SHSF Inc. to establish the Phillip Day Memorial Scholarship Trust Fund. In general terms, the Trust Fund is to apply its income in perpetuity, for the promotion and encouragement of education at SBHS, in the manner outlined in the Deed. Twenty-five per cent per annum of the balance of the income of the Fund, is applied annually in funding a scholarship for a student of SBHS, who is a talented all round student with special needs or commitments, financial or otherwise, arising out of his participation in activities organised or promoted by SBHS, in various areas of academic, sporting, cultural, performance, service, leadership or associated endeavour.

Applications for the Scholarship are invited from current students and from those joining High through our Placement Committee process for Years 8 to 12. To retain its DGR status for tax deductibility, the Scholarship Fund must be a public fund and its associated scholarship must potentially be accessible by a segment of the public. The Scholarship is advertised annually in metropolitan newspapers. A committee comprising close colleagues of Phil’s, considers scholarship applications and recommends a successful applicant to the Principal.

The inaugural Phillip Day Scholar, selected in 2008 for 2009 was Alexander Belokopytov, who graduated in 2009 with a great academic and co-curricular record. He was later awarded a Maikin Scholarship at UNSW and subsequently took up a prestigious scholarship to study in the USA. In 2010, Terence Pham joined the school in Year 9 and was awarded the Scholarship for his academic ability, talent in three sports and necessitous circumstances. This year’s Phillip Day Scholar is a Year 8 student, Jesse Nixon. Jesse is a talented all-rounder, who was on the Academic Achievement List in Year 7 and participated in rowing, rugby, three school carnivals, two music ensembles, school service projects, parking, academic competitions and the da Vinci decathlon. Jesse is here tonight and he will share his feelings about the scholarship with you later this evening.

In order to preserve the balance of the Fund, yet at the same time to commence a scholarship, the School decided in 2009 to finance the actual Scholarships of $1200 each and it then receives a quarter of the Fund income as an annual disbursement from the Foundation each September. The income at this time does not cover the full cost of the Scholarship.

Since its establishment, the Fund has benefited considerably from the proceeds of the inaugural Phil Day Scholarship Fundraising Dinner in 2009 and from subsequent donations from Old Boys and well-wishers. It also has retained interest earnings each year. The current balance of the Fund is $42,700. It is our intention to raise the profile of the Scholarship by awarding it for a number of years to one person or to multiple people. To do so, we have to grow the Fund until it is self-sustaining. The purpose of my rather protracted recount of the context of the Trust and Fund is to assure you that funds raised through our dinner or other activities will be directed to the Fund securely and used for the purpose intended. It is my intention to underwrite and subsidise the Scholarship award until the capital reaches a self-sustaining amount. Ideally, we want to achieve a target of $80,000 so that @ 6% interest, one quarter of the income would finance a $1200 scholarship.

So here’s the thing. We need your support to get to our target. The cause is worthy. Please give generously and spread the word about the Scholarship and Fund to students, Old Boys and others.