High Notes, Vol 19 No 21, July 06 2018

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to our Open Table Tennis Team for their fourth consecutive victory in the CHS Table Tennis Competition. Well done to Joshua Lam, Roy Lin, Dickson Mai, Adam Masen and Alex Yeung, all from Year 10. The run of victories at CHS level by the table tennis program at High is very impressive. Thank you to Mr Cipolla for his management of the team.

End of Term 2 

Term two is always very busy and stressful on staff who have to make deadlines for setting, marking and reporting on assessment tasks and examinations. I value this process highly and acknowledge the heavy demands that it places on busy people. I thank all staff for their efforts. Once again their timely submission of marks and comments has enabled us to issue reports on time for each Year group. Thank you also to Rachel Powell for relieving me as Principal for nearly all of June and managing reports for Years 8 and 10. The feedback I have had was uniformly positive. Thank you also to Peter Loizou who filled in again as Deputy Principal while Rachel was in my chair. As always, he handled the added responsibility well. I wish all staff a restful break.

Straggler Reports

Some students have not yet made an appointment to discuss their progress and pick up their semester report. Sheets will laid out several times during the first week of next term on the Waterhouse desk to accommodate students who are ready to make appointments.

Valé Keith Kent (SHS-1939)

Keith Kent passed away last Thursday, aged 94. I first met Keith when he walked into my office in 2003. ‘G’day Boss’ was his opening line. He had long since retired after 43 years working as a train driver for State Rail. He started out in 1940 sweeping the platform and finished his career as a respected Southern Aurora driver on the overnight express to Melbourne. He said that following his wife’s death in 2002 after 57 years of marriage, he had begun to think more about his past and what experiences had shaped him. He remembered fondly the holiday camps that he was taken on to Jervis Bay with other students from High and a dedicated teacher. He felt that he gained a sense of self-worth and belonging from those experiences that he carried with him throughout his life. He said they left him with the desire ‘to be a good man’. He passed me an envelope with $1000 wrapped in an elastic band. He said that I would know what to do with it. He didn’t ask for a receipt and wanted to remain anonymous.

Keith was born in Waverley and died in Waverley. Over the years, Keith came many times to see me with his envelope of cash. He called from time to time to tell me to bet on a particular horse at the races, even though he knew I was not a punter. He was a very astute gambler. He gave more than $15,000 to the school over the years, some of which he won more recently backing Winx. He had lived in a rented Housing Commission flat in Ramsgate Avenue Bondi since 1952. He did not have a telephone or TV before 2003. He lived a life of extreme frugality. I gave him copies of The Record from his school years. He told me stories of the personalities he played sport with. I invited him to presentation nights and other school functions. He came occasionally, dressed in a sweater and said he felt out of place. He lived independently until the last couple of years of his life.

Keith Kent was a great supporter of Sydney High. He was one of our ‘Living Legends’. He was interviewed by students at a luncheon a few years ago in Bondi Junction at the RSL Club - his favourite social venue. He has left an oral legacy of what life was like for High students living through the Great Depression. His cheery good humour, stoicism, wonderful philanthropy and down to earth perspective on life will be missed – not to mention his highly reliable betting tips! He is remembered with his picture hung next to the front office counter and his name engraved in stone on Anzac Parade as one of the major donors to the construction of the Sir Roden Cutler Gates. He was indeed a good, kind-hearted man.

Dangers Surrounding The Online Game ‘Fortnite’

Many concerns have been raised about this game millions of young people use. This game is available on Xbox One, PS4, PC, Mac, iOS, Nintendo Switch and Android. The National Crime Agency in the UK has intervened to make adults aware of the dangers.  Fortnite features a text chat which cannot be turned off, so it is important that parents understand the broader risks associated with the game and enable safe playing. Fortnite has been described as featuring ‘violence’ in a ‘very cartoonish’ way and has grown immensely in popularity with users as it is highly addictive. Parents are advised to turn off the voice chat system in the game through the settings menu to ensure children avoid inappropriate contact.

The step by step guide to disabling the voice chat function can be viewed here: https://www.pwrdown.com/gaming/fortnite/disable-voice-chat-fortnite-battle-royale/ 
Dr K A Jaggar

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