On 20 June 2022, three Gibson/Webb exhibitions were awarded at the Awards Ceremony in the school chapel. The recipients were Abbey Moody, Lily Pringle, and Millie Trusttum.
The Gibson/Webb Exhibitions are named after the Gibson sisters who founded Rangi Ruru, and Betty Webb, a past President and Patron of the Old Girls’ Association. These are awarded each year by the Rangi Ruru Old Girls’ Association to direct descendants of Old Girls in their senior year at Rangi Ruru who show outstanding endeavour and citizenship. These are girls who have maintained a sound level of academic achievement, and demonstrated qualities that make the school and the community a better place in which to live. These qualities might include courtesy, reliability, persistence, sensitivity to the needs of others, as well as strengths in academic, sporting, or cultural areas.
Above: Abbey Moody, Felicity Williams and Millie Trusttum.
Right after the ceremony, RROGA past president Felicity Williams chatted to these three outstanding senior students about what they are doing right now, and what their futures might hold.
Tell me about your hopes for the future, as well as your current interests and passions.
Music is the leading and dominating factor of my interests and my life. Classical singing is my absolute love – I am Head of Resolutions, Rangi Ruru’s senior choir. We work so well as a team, and we were lucky enough to be offered a place to compete in the Big Sing Finale 2022, something we are all very proud of. I am also a member of the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir – a group that I have found some of my best friends in. In October 2022, I will also sing with the New Zealand Opera as part of the Christchurch Chorus for the production of Verdi’s opera, Macbeth. I take music as a subject at school, focusing on performance and the study of musical works and theory, and it is my favourite class. On Friday mornings, Rangi Voices, the junior choir, rehearses. I go to their rehearsals as a student assistant – choral singing is such a big part of what I spend my time doing, and I like to work with them as young choral singers. Perhaps some of them might develop a love for it, as I have.
I also play the violin in the Rangi Sinfonia. While I no longer take violin lessons, I wanted to be able to keep orchestral music in my life, and so Sinfonia is something I enjoy being part of. Outside of music, I love the fine arts and humanities. I study Classics, Art History, Shakespeare English, and Painting. My favourite medium to work with is oil, and I am lucky that in taking Art History and Classics, I can deepen my practical skills in painting by understanding the techniques of classical and renaissance artists.
In the future, I am hoping to study a Bachelor of Music with a focus on classical creative practice. I am looking forward to where this next stage of study will take me, as I am thinking of going to Auckland to pursue music, specifically, classical voice. A dream and goal of mine
would be to work with the New Zealand Opera again, and to make a career out of my voice. I would love to travel overseas for this – I will have to wait and see where it could take me.
I’m currently a year 13 boarder and started at Rangi Ruru last year. I chose to move to Rangi Ruru because of the opportunities for my sporting passions – water polo and athletics (javelin and discus). Last year in water polo I was so stoked to be a part of the team that won bronze at the New Zealand secondary schools competition and made history being the first South Island Girls’ team to win a medal at this tournament since 1987. This was so exciting for us all as we were such a close-knit team and had been training hard leading up to the tournament. To see everyone’s hard work pay off was so special. I have also recently been named alongside another Rangi Ruru student, Aggie Weston, in the New Zealand Youth Women’s team to attend the Youth World Champs in Serbia next month. I remember a few tears were shed after the team was named. Athletics is my other sporting passion and I have recently come back from competing in Australia in the javelin. I remember one of my first experiences when I first moved to Rangi Ruru was at the Apollo high-performance centre where I met Valerie Adams, I think I froze a bit, but I also felt very inspired and welcomed into the Christchurch throwing community.
Outside of sports I have enjoyed carrying on with piano lessons at school where this will be my seventh year of playing. I love the piano as it provides me with a bit of an escape from my sports and is such a beautiful relaxing instrument to play. Another of my interests is painting, particularly realist painting. Recently I have been able to be involved in the creator’s room which is an exhibition of artworks by New Zealand young artists. This has been a new experience for me but very exciting. After school, I intend to continue my athletics in the United States at university where I also hope to study veterinary science. While this will be a huge move for me, I am extremely looking forward to it.
Lily says: I am looking forward to going to Dunedin next year to study law. One of my passions is playing hockey and I am excited to continue to play in Dunedin next year. Now that the borders are open, I hope to travel sometime too.
What do you enjoy about Rangi Ruru?
I absolutely love the whole atmosphere at Rangi Ruru, coming into a new school in Year 12, I thought it was going to be quite hard but everyone was so kind, and I quickly felt very comfortable. I have created some very special friendships since being here, which I think reflects how amazing the people are. There is a large culture around encouragement here at school which I love, everyone is supported and there is no segregation between year groups like at many other schools.
The opportunities here have also been amazing and have helped me to push myself outside my comfort zone. From coaching for the first time to being included in different groups like
the sports council, I feel as though Rangi Ruru has helped me grow in confidence while making me feel supported in anything I do. The range of sports options at school is incredible with so many social teams allowing people to get involved in something new without being competitive. I was able to give football a go in a social team this year, having had no previous experience, and I found it so much fun being able to try something completely different. The involvement of students in sports at Rangi Ruru is huge because of this wide range and it’s so inspiring and motivating to see so many athletes reaching high levels in their sports. I have treasured my time at Rangi Ruru over the last two years and I couldn’t imagine myself being anywhere else.
Probably the thing that I love the most about Rangi Ruru is the people. I have met so many wonderful friends and teachers who have become key figures in my life. The staff in the music department, in particular Mrs Kingsbury and my voice teacher, Helen Charlton, have championed me and encouraged me to take the opportunities and the risks – to be my best and achieve my goals. I am very grateful for them and wouldn’t be where I am without them.
The culture of the school is also something that, at the end of this year, I will miss dearly. There is such a sense of family and sisterhood. The environment is the perfect one to feel and be supported in and the school gives its students the opportunity to find their niche and thrive within it. I love being part of music at Rangi Ruru in particular – the department really is like a second family. We work so closely together and the sense of community that we share is something I value greatly.
I really enjoy the sisterhood we have at Rangi Ruru. As it’s a relatively small school I have been able to get to know not only my year group, but the older and younger girls really well too. I also enjoy the different themed weeks and activities based around these. They are always heaps of fun and it’s a great opportunity to enjoy ourselves and connect with each other. While looking forward to next year, I will definitely miss being at Rangi Ruru.
Below: Lily Pringle.