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The making of men



The School’s recent strategic planning exercise brought together a broad range of members of the Churchie community to determine our goals for the boys, staff and Old Boys for the years ahead.

 
Necessarily, this process involved exploring our mission as an independent school in the Anglican tradition, our long-standing four tenets and our overall vision for a great future. Throughout the many months of deliberations, surveys and consultation, it became very clear that the time-honoured phrase, 'the making of men', stood at the forefront of our thinking and is, therefore, expressed prominently as our mission statement in Our Strategy 2018 – 2022.
 
An investigation of Canon Morris’ writing, notably his memoir Sons of Magnus, reveals no instance of ‘the making of men’ as a phrase, although it is very clear what Morris understood to be the vital mission of education in a church-founded boys school. Morris wrote of the need for faith, courage and integrity. He wrote, ‘We are a church school, so chapel and parish, bible and prayers must be part of our practice and our lives. We are founded for learning, and that can only come with hard work, so slacking and shirking and cribbing must be cut right out. We are to be strong and leaders of our nation, so hardship and pain and poverty must be courageously borne; be honourable, of course, and don’t be extravagant.’ Thus was the image of a faithful, honourable, decent and hardworking man that the Founder sought to make of every boy who attended Churchie.
 
Robert Cole, in naming his 1986 book about the history of Churchie, The Making of Men, firmly established the phrase when he noted the Founder saw education as a forging process, one in which ‘boys were made men’. Morris would establish a place of learning that would imbue new generations with a sense of the essence of life in the context of Christian ideals.
 
Proving its enduring quality, the making of men serves as a defining mission, or a call-to-arms, and clearly remains every bit as potent today as it has been in recent decades.
 
Today, while we view the mission through a contemporary lens, the traditional values remain uppermost. We seek for our boys to grow as men of character and service. We wish for them to be honest, forthright and wise. We ask them to serve others with generous hearts and to bring their gifts and talents to bear for the benefit of others. We expect them to have open minds to questions of faith and would hope that, ultimately, they might choose to develop in their relationships with God.
 
We seek for our boys to become leaders as well as to serve, to be scholarly and open to the hard work of truly learning, and to be relentless in their pursuit of knowledge and truth. We wish for them to grow in breadth and depth by pursuing their great passions in the arts, sport, languages and cultural endeavours, and to acknowledge and celebrate these gifts in others. We want them to always build others up, rather than to diminish, and be an endless source of goodwill and encouragement in a world that will benefit greatly from such optimism.
 
It is these things that occupy our minds today when we accept as our mission, the making of men. It is our intent that our boys will be imbued with this mission and that it may sustain them throughout their lives and destinations.