Weekly eNews

School wide

A word from the Headmaster, Ross Featherston


On Monday, at Valedictory Day, we farewelled the Class of 2016. Our young men finished their time at BGS with the same dignity and class they displayed throughout their time at the School, along with a good, healthy dose of emotion. It was superb to have the whole School involved in the Beating of the Bounds ceremony, where every boy from ELC through to Year 11 had a chance to witness this rite of passage and thank our Year 12s.

Old Brighton Grammarian Rob McGauran (1976) shared five pieces of sage advice with the Valedicts – advice that rings true for us all:

  1. find your voice
  2. have a crack
  3. be curious
  4. be engaged and generous
  5. and, most importantly, be loving.

There is no doubt that BGS’s Class of 2016 leave behind a strong legacy. We are so proud of the boys and wish them well for their upcoming examinations, and for their lives beyond the School gates.


Student achievement: Dan Canta’s The Swim Kid documentary premiere

BGS’s Dan Canta, who became the youngest Australian male to swim the English Channel at age 16, has become the subject of a fascinating new documentary: The Swim Kid. The Swim Kid premiere will screen on Wednesday 9 November at 6.30pm at Dendy Brighton.

The Swim Kid is a story of internal strength, a battle of the mind, body and soul, mateship, and a will to succeed against all odds. Dan was inspired by fellow BGS student and mate Robert Connor Dawes, who passed away following a 16-month battle with an ependymoma brain tumour. Dan dedicated his history-making Channel swim to to Connor and helped raise money for the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation.

Just as he does with everything, Dan has worked tirelessly on this film and we’re delighted to support him and celebrate his achievements.

Check out The Swim Kid preview here, and while you’re on the website, make sure you book your tickets.


Student achievements: HPE Week results 

BGS HPE Week 2016 - medals

Congratulations to all the boys who got involved in HPE week this year, especially those who contributed House points by finishing so highly. One of the highlights of the week was seeing Ben Durkin running off scratch in the BGS Gift final to win on the line as he chased down boys who had a 10-meter head start on him. Hancock House were competitive throughout and the placings in the BGS Gift and winning the SS House Touch proved to be vital points in the race to win the House Cup. Thanks to all the PE staff and Heads of House for their hard work. Here are the results:

Crossfit Games

Year 7 and 8
1st Tom Howard (Dixon)
2nd Luca Mcnab (Hancock)
3rd Graeme Gouws (Rofe)

Year 9 and 10
1st Nick Phillips (Armstrong)
2nd Tom Murray (Dixon)
3rd Luke Hart (Crowther)

Year 11 and 12
1st Jack Mason (Hancock)
2nd Harry Hynes (Crowther)
3rd Dane Obelt (School)

Tug of War

BGS Health and PE Week tug of war

1st Crowther
2nd Dixon
3rd School
4th Hancock
5th Armstrong
6th Rofe

SS Touch
1st Hancock
2nd Crowther

MS Soccer
1st Dixon

BGS Gift
1st Ben Durkin (Crowther – Year 11)
2nd Joel Tyler (Hancock – Year 8)
3rd James Mitchell (Hancock – Year 10)

BGS HPE week 2016 - run


Make sure you check out more photos from HPE Week on the BGS Facebook page by clicking here.

Peter Whitehead
Head of Faculty HPE & PEB


Senior Big Band at St Andrew’s Jazz Sunday

Last Sunday 16 October, the Senior Big Band performed at the annual St Andrew’s Jazz Sunday. This year, the event featured a Jazz Service at 10am, followed by a number of big bands performing on the steps of the church. This was followed by a performance by the Creole Bells Revival Band later in the afternoon.

The Senior Big Band has had a fantastic year and the performance was a great way for the boys to conclude the year as they performed a fantastic set that featured swing, blues, Latin and funk charts. Thanks and congratulations to the Year 12 students who were a part of the ensemble over the past few years, helping it to achieve the success it had over that time: Lachie Collie, Phillip Guo, Eric Jiang, Nick Moran, Alex Nicholas and Nick Semmens. We wish them all the best for the future.

Senior Big Band 2016

BGS Senior Big Band St Andrews Jazz Festival

Jamie Ransome
Director of Music


APS Athletics

Brighton fought hard on the weekend to finish third for the second year in a row in the APS Athletics. Outstanding performances included Aaron Leferink setting two new APS Records running 10.91s in the U16 100m and 21.74s in the 200m breaking a 33-year old record. Aaron also won the long jump, 4×100 and 2nd in the 4×400. Andrew McGrath our school captain as well as our athletics captain, won the Hurdles and long jump, finished 3rd in the 100m, 4th in the 4×100, 5th in high jump and 6th in 200m, and Jackson Sweet won both the U14 high jump and long jump, and finished third up an age group in the U15 triple jump. The Tonners all dug deep on the track Saturday and the school is immensely proud of their achievements.

Have a look at more photos here.


Did you know?

Monday this week was Valedictory Day, with a full day of activities to acknowledge the boys whose years at BGS as students were coming to an end and their transition from students to Old Boys was celebrated.

One of the most moving parts of the Valedictory Day celebrations is the ‘Beating of the Bounds’ ceremony, in which the valedicts and their families are taken to the various sections of the School (moving around the boundaries of the School) and reliving the boy’s memories of the times they spent in those parts of the School.

The Beating of the Bounds was introduced 1944 by the Headmaster of the time, Canon Philip Wilson and in those days was held every alternate year with a Chapel Service held in the intervening years.

Nowadays, Valedictory Day culminates in a magnificent dinner for parents, valedicts and staff at the Melbourne Cricket Club, Members’ Dining Room. During Canon Wilson and Robert Rofe’s Headmasterships, a father and sons’ dinner was held at the School at which a guest speaker addressed the gathering, songs were sung and the only liquid refreshment was soft drink.

When Michael Urwin became Headmaster in 1996, he changed the function to include parents, and the beverage selection was also updated.

Andrew Biggin
Alumni Relations Manager and Executive Officer
Old Brighton Grammarians’ Society


Open Garden event to support Will Murray

On Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November 2016, BGS family the Kuleszas will open their garden, St. Mervyns, at 3-5 Black Street, Brighton to the general public via Open Gardens Victoria. 

Entry price is $8 (children U18 free), and the Kulesza family will donate their full share of the proceeds to the Will Murray Trust.

Designed by Andrew Stark, St. Mervyns is a beautifully maintained formal garden with highly stylised plantings of buxus, laurel, magnolias, gardenias, jasmine and ornamental pears. Andrew Stark will be in the garden all weekend.

To find out more about St. Mervyns, visit the Open Gardens Victoria website by clicking here