April 20, 2017

Address to the College during the visit of the King and Queen of Tonga to Newington for the opening of the Tupou College Centre, 18 July 2016.

I acknowledge it is wonderful to have the King of Tonga at Newington. Your father remains one of our famous Old Boys.

More importantly, the presence of you, the Queen and the Princess highlights the very special links with Tonga that had at its origin our founding Headmaster Rev Dr James Egan Moulton. We are so blessed with a long and exceptionally close bond with the Kingdom of Tonga and its people. We learn so much about humanity from our Tongan brothers and sisters. We are in awe of your love of family, love of community, your kindness and generosity and your love of your God.

I acknowledge it is wonderful to have my twin brother Rev Feleti Atiola the Principal of Tupou College here today. You can see that we are identical twins. It is also wonderful he can be joined today by his Chairman Lord Tangi. We are so blessed with our close relationship with Tupou College. We were delighted to attend the sesquicentenary celebration of Tupou College only a few weeks ago. I congratulate the Principal and Chairman on their most impressive new initiatives at Tupou College. They have such a strong vision for Tupou College. We are fully committed to support them on their journey.

I acknowledge the valued leadership of Mr Cameron Quince who has driven our Tupou College relationship.

I acknowledge our many special and distinguished guests that have joined us today. This includes our two distinguished church leaders;

Rev Dr ‘Ahio – President of free Wesleyan Church of Tonga
Rev Park – Moderator of Uniting Church of Australia (NSW/ACT)

Today we officially open Tupou College Centre, Drama Centre, Davidson Health Centre, Pearson Cadet Centre and Newington Challenge Headquarters.

I publicly thank Ray Hudson (Architect), Cadence (Project Managers) and Watpac (Builders) for their delivery of a first rate facility. We continue to follow the impressive and dynamic 2009 master plan developed by Ray Hudson, our wonderful College Architect. I thank the project control group led by Mr Phil Holey, Chairman of Property Committee, for their oversight of the project.

It is an exciting time to be at Newington College. Our strong focus on learning is creating an outstanding educational climate for discovery, challenge and building firm foundations for life. To support this dynamic educational journey, the College counc

This investment, on this occasion, is bricks and mortar. Yet the investment is designed to promote excellent learning spaces for teachers and boys. People, relationships, community and inspiration by human interaction are the corner-stones of the Newington Way.

The shortest passage in the Bible is just two words – it is from John Chapter 11 verse 35. It is the reaction of Jesus when he heard one of his best friends, Lazarus, had died. The words were “Jesus wept”. We naturally often highlight the miracles of Jesus or his good deeds or wise words or his impact as the Son of God. Yet this passage highlights the humanity of Jesus with just two powerful words. Jesus wept.

Both Tupou and Newington have had a much loved teacher sadly die this year. For us it was Diana Organ. We have been weeping together. Both teachers were enormous contributors to their school communities and will be greatly missed.

We wept with the sad passing of Curtis Potter, a recent Old Boy of Newington and son of Mr Graham Potter. We wept with the sad passing of Fran Hudson, wife of our College Architect, only a month ago. She was a great friend and contributor to the College.

The Bible passage also highlights our close relationship with the people of Tonga. A love of humanity is a foundation stone of our relationship. We pray together. We celebrate together. We weep together and we give thanks together.

I conclude by again saying how delighted I am that the Royal Family and the senior representatives of Tupou College are here today. Our gesture to name a building in recognition of our close brotherhood is a great honour to us.

Today, we weep together with joy and gratitude. Our sense of community, humanity and compassion to the glory of God drives our very being. Our new facilities must serve that vision.

Dr David Mulford

June, 2016