As a new school, we have limited experience in handing over significant responsibilities to a replacement. 2017 sees some significant changes within the school leadership.

Earlier this year we commenced farewelling our Foundation Chaplain, Rev. Duncan McArthur. Staff, friends and students took the opportunity to reflect on the generosity of time, energy and spirit he has offered the school community. Duncan remains as emeritus School Chaplain as our new Chaplain, Rev. Paul Hodge, undertakes his journey to ordination.

Earlier this month Mr Bruce Little, Foundation Head of Primary School, informed me that, after sixteen years of dedicated service, he has decided to step aside from his leadership role at the end of 2017. Once again, we have seen a record of exceptional service to the school. Once again, we have seen a professional who has chosen to step aside so as to allow a replacement to take the Primary School into the future. Bruce will stay on in a position that recognises his skills and experience and will continue to serve the students and families of St Columba.

Earlier this term it was announced that Mr Geoff Lancaster had accepted the appointment as Deputy Principal at our sister school, Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School, commencing in Term 4 2017. Geoff’s ten years at SCAS has seen him develop as a key figure in the school’s academic rise. As teacher of Software Design and Development and Head of Innovative Learning, Geoff has achieved exceptional results through dedication, innovative thinking and a strong sense of Christian service. As parents, Geoff and Katie have been supportive and valued members of our community. (Note: Kindergarten families will be relieved to know that Katie will remain at SCAS until the end of 2017).

All three have chosen their time and the manner of their leaving, seeing that the time was right for change and renewal. We will offer varying forms of farewell to these servants of SCAS and reflect on the words of the song “Wond’ring Aloud”:

“And it’s only the giving
that makes you what you are.”

I admire these men for their service, their professionalism and their integrity. I thank them for their companionship and their generosity of spirit. And as my tenth year of principalship approaches completion, I hope that when my time to move on comes, I will have their clarity of vision they have shown for their future and not feel, as J. Alfred Prufrock did:

“I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker.”

We wish these three great servants of SCAS all the best for their future endeavours, whether they be in the local community, at SCAS or in other schools.