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Lemon trees for budding students


Reception students at Blackfriars Priory School at Prospect and St Paul’s College at Gillies Plains have been presented with citrus trees to mark the start of their education journeys.

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Blackfriars reception student Clark with his dad Brenton.

At Blackfriars, 25 Reception students, seven of whom started school in Term 3 last year, were given lemon trees during a Rite of Welcome liturgy in Blackfriars’ Chapel of St Albert the Great.

St Paul’s student Cien Zhao receives her citrus tree.

St Paul’s College also welcomed new Reception children at a Rite of Welcome celebration, one of four ‘rites of passage’ run by the school, by presenting them with a citrus tree. The plants are symbols of the academic, social and spiritual growth the young people will experience throughout their journey at St Paul’s College.

Blackfriars’ assistant principal Religious Identity and Mission (APRIM), Angela Collins, said she hoped the boys would grow and flourish during their time at Blackfriars – “just like the lemon trees”.

The trees were blessed by school chaplain Fr Peter Nguyen OP before being presented to the boys and their families by principal David Ruggiero.

Families were also given pop sticks – which could be “planted” with the lemon trees – and invited to write down words encapsulating their hopes and dreams for their sons.

During the Rite of Welcome, Mr Ruggerio, who is a Blackfriars old scholar, told the boys “you’ve got your family with you today”.

“Your family will be there for you for the next 13 years of your life as a student, and many years after,” he said.

“And your teachers and your friends and us, as a school, are here to support you in becoming who you’re called to be. Whatever you’re called to be in this world, you do it in a way that gives honour to God and gives honour to who you are and that’s what being a Dominican is all about; being the best person that you can be.”

The 18 new Receptions are among 38 boys who have joined Blackfriars’ Primary School this year. The school’s Early Learning Centre (ELC) has welcomed 26 new boys and girls.

In 2023, Blackfriars is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a series of events, including a Platinum Jubilee Ball, planned throughout the year.


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