The Village Green: Honouring the school’s past, present and future
The Regents Park Christian School’s Celebration and Dedication Evening occurs annually during a peculiar time of year: halfway into Term 1, just when the patterns and pressures of the school year are making themselves felt, and the memories of the year that had passed are slowly fading away. It is, in a sense, a junction between the school’s past and its future; it looks backward as well as forward.
The school’s new Village Green was officially opened last Tuesday, 13 March, amidst the school community’s recognition of its achievers from 2017. This was apt, as the Village Green itself can now stand proudly as one of the school’s proudest achievements, having been lovingly created over a two-year process.
The school was privileged enough to hear about this process from the architect himself, Mr. Shane Evans, who gave the occasional address at both the Junior and Senior presentations. Given the challenge of coming up with the design for a “Christian playground”, Mr. Evans was able to create a space based on ten words that reflected an understanding of what it meant to be a Christian. From these words, Mr. Evans and his team were able to choose materials and construct a space that honoured and promoted the school’s Christian ethos.
Some of these words – steward, ethical, God-honouring, safe, communal – were already apparent as students, parents and staff milled about the Village Green during the opening ceremony. This was led by Mr. Gary Brummell, Mr. Les Barnard and Pastor Mitch Levingston and attended by Councillor Kun Huang and Mr Luke Foley, Member for Auburn and Leader of the Opposition in NSW. As the Village Green was dedicated and the commemorative plaque unveiled, families stood together on the space, mixed amongst teachers, ex-students and friends of the school. It was a clear illustration of the way that Mr. Evans and his team desired for the space to function.
Later in the evening, during the senior presentation, Mr. Brummell announced his retirement at the end of 2018, after listing an impressive list of the school’s achievements in 2017, as well as plans for expansion in the future. One could not help but feel a sense of the school’s history in that moment – seeing both the past, the present and the future of RPCS crystallised in Mr. Brummell’s speech. It was a bittersweet moment for many in the audience, but it is already evident that the Village Green will stand as one of the many markers of Mr. Brummell’s legacy and leadership in bringing the school into the 21st Century.
Ms F Evangelista, Asst. Coordinator of English, RPCS