Martyn Smith, writing about Wesley College

(1974, for the 'Boarderline 74' magazine)

The overriding 'impression' that I receive from this first year as Housemaster of Adamson is the problem one faces in a community life like ours in, as John Kennedy and Mr. Prest both mentioned in their recent addresses, dovetailing the worth of the individual and his rights into the worth of the community and its rights.

No two situations are alike in House life.  There is always a varying factor, however slight.  Because of this it is not always easy to appear consistent, especially when to all outward appearances two situations are identical.  This truth, coupled with the dilemma described above, have provided me with the challenge, this year, of finding (and it's difficult) a path of action and guidance which meets the requirements of fruitful development and growth for all concerned.

Another impression I receive is the intense value that boarding life offers each of you.  It's not the kind of life that "makes or breaks" you, but it certainly moulds you - like it or not.  Here, in Adamson, each of you is constantly in circumstances where you must make important decisions about your own moral and ethical attitudes and physical and mental goals.  You get prods from others and you'll even get help and guidance if you want and ask it but, finally, it is you that decides in Adamson.

I believe we take a risk in pursuing this approach.  Some boys make decisions that are inappropriate and destructive to their own welfare and the welfare of others; some make them often.  For some boys this is damning but most, we believe, learn and most, we hope, grow in understanding social life and in understanding their own personally fulfilling participation in it.

The achievement of such an understanding, characterised by the Christ-like love and respect for our fellow and the attainment of joy in offering our talents to social living, are important goals in this place.

In conclusion, Rati Ram said to me, as he prepared to leave on Sunday night, that he considers this year the most enjoyable of his secondary schooling.  He was totally impressed by his acceptance in the House and the close friendships he made.  No-one here will doubt his sincerity.  His, perhaps, is the most rewarding impression for all of us.

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