In the continuing series asking 2018 head boys of the 10 KZN10.com boys high schools what they have learnt for their year as student body leader, here’s St Charles College head boy Matthew Mortimer, who also captained the first hockey team and played first team soccer and basketball plus second XI cricket.
Featured image: St Charles College head prefect Matthew Mortimer with Saints Scrummies.
It’s unfortunate that the nature of life and competing commitments limits our ability to be in more place than one on any given Saturday but it also has its benefits in one sense.
Geographically, in terms of home and office, Saints is relatively close by, so I’ve been able to get there more than many of the other KZN10.com schools.
It’s not ideal – and I always harbour a sense of guilt that I am unable to give each of the KZN10 the “in-person” attendance they so obviously deserve, but it is what it is.
The upside is that it affords the opportunity at those of the KZN10 I am able to visit more than others, the opportunity so observe certain boys in a variety of game situations – when things are going well and when the chips are down.
And what I have noticed with Matthew Mortimer is that – be it the first team basketball, hockey or soccer – the Saints head boy is always in the engine room of the team, supporting, cleaning up when the playing pattern threatens to get messy, playing the facilitating role for team-mates to shine.
Now that’s leadership material.
Enough now Jono, let’s hear from Matt himself.
Jono: Hi Matthew, great to have you on KZN10.com
“Morning sir, I appreciate your interest in my experience.
Matthew, what was the biggest takeaway in terms of what you have learnt as head of school?
“The biggest takeaway would definitely be a growth in my people skills, having to interact with people on many different levels throughout the College.
“Some days you will find yourself in a senior management meeting and the next you will be placed in an environment with some of the juniors in the College.
I learnt that you have to adapt to the various situations that you will be placed in.
“That said, I think this is what adds to your growth as an individual.
“Your mind-set and approach to the various situations can vary from time to time and this is something that has helped me to grow.
“On some occasions I have found myself outside my comfort zone and this has led to learning more about the world in itself – and the way in which things operate.
“I am truly grateful for this; these skills will be of great value in the future.”
Jono: As head of the learner body, what was your highlight of the year?
“My highlight would have to be our College’s Old Boys’ Weekend.
“On the Friday night, at our Old Boys’ Annual Dinner, and before our Saturday fixtures, we had our traditional first team rugby and hockey jersey and shirt handover.
“To walk into the Marquee as our names were called by director of sport Mr Rowan Irons, to see our Old Boys demonstrate their love and pride they have for our College was truly amazing.
“The Saturday was just as special: The Saints Old Boys, including those who couldn’t make the Dinner for various reasons, were out in full force to support all the boys, not just the first hockey and rugby teams, and right from the very first early-morning first game.
“That shows commitment – I know that they had enjoyed a very late night with their old – and new schoolmates from later years.
“Perhaps, of all the wonderful moments experienced over that weekend, the one thing in particular I will never forget happened on the Saturday afternoon.
“The tunnel formed by many of the Old Boys before the first XV rugby side ran out onto Old Orchards – and then the current boys and their Old Boys standing together singing the school song after the game.
“I have long been a proud Saints Boy but I had never been so proud to be a Saints Boy like I was on that Saturday.
“To look around – and see the entire huddle in full song after the game, with grade eight boys bound tightly, arm-in-arm, shoulder-to-shoulder, with our Saints Old Boys is just a glimpse of what the day was about.
“But, at the same time… It captured perfectly what it means to each and every one of us – to be part of something very special – one of the Brotherhood of St Charles College, to have the privilege and the distinction to wear the Saints badge and the Saints colours.”
Jono: Phew! I was there. You’re recalling some goosebump moments, Matt.
I am ready to run on to Old Orchards right now, in this moment, but let’s leave it at that. Some things are best left to the imagination at my age.
So, Matthew, in summing up, what would be the one best piece of advice you would give to the head boy of next year and his prefect group?
Matt: “To remember the individual that you are.
“You were selected for your position of leadership for the person that you are and not the person that you are going to become.
“Probably the most important aspect I would urge the leadership group of 2019 to keep uppermost in mind is the following:
“Make the most of it, have fun.
“It is your last year of school.
“If no one remembers you at the beginning, make certain that, by your example, they will remember you at the end.”
Jono: Phew again. Thanks Matt. In your responses to my questions I have learnt much from your experience as a school leader.
Go well. Continue to lead. We are all leaders in our sphere of influence and I know that you have nailed that important concept in your own outlook on life.
“Thank you for the opportunity to get involved sir, I really do appreciate it.”
There you have it folks.
St Charles College head prefect 2018
Fideli Certa Merces
To the faithful one a certain reward