The exchange began in the Chapel with a welcome from Reverend Warner Wilder, a short service and musical performances from both schools. At this stage the mood was a little apprehensive, with the students cautiously eyeing each other up. By the end of the day, this has changed dramatically!
The two school groups were then split up, with half of each cohort joining each other. One group made their way to the Great Hall for bonding exercises and a tour of the school, while the other group headed off to Otahuhu College for the same. Halfway through the morning, the two groups swapped over.
At 12.00pm we hosted one group to lunch in the Dining Hall, the other group was provided with lunch at Otahuhu College. After lunch everyone reassembled in the Chapel for a closing hymn followed by a short talk from Reverend Wilder, including a thank you to those involved, especially the students themselves, who were magnificent in the way they entered into the spirit of the occasion. The atmosphere was light years away from that at the beginning of the day. Barriers had melted away and the mood was relaxed and jovial. The singing of Amazing Grace was out of this world and the talk was regularly punctuated (every second sentence!) with loud cheers and clapping. This had absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the talk but rather an expression of how they felt about the day.
It was indeed a very special day. I am grateful to Mrs Nano Tupou, Otahuhu College Year 12 Dean, Mrs Rosemary Carrington and Mr Onosai Auva’a for the huge part they played in the organisation of the day, and to Mr Paul Stanton, our Food and Beverage Manager, for feeding the troops at lunchtime.
Comments from a few of our students are below:
"This experience was really beneficial, as we got to make heaps of new friends, and realised that we did so much of the same activities and subjects, just in different environments. The exchange was definitely a highlight of the year so far."
"At first I was skeptical about how much fun it was going to be but by lunch I had made new friends and I had an absolute ball!"
"The Otahuhu exchange was most certainly one of the highlights of my time at King’s. We developed friendships with people that we wouldn’t likely have met otherwise."
"The 2016 Otahuhu College exchange was one of the most memorable days of my time at King’s so far. It was a unique experience. After a morning of bonding, an absolute highlight was the afternoon Chapel Service. Beginning with the song, Amazing Grace, which was sung with such passion, it was a strong testament to the love and unity shown increasingly throughout the day."