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Amazing Opportunity for Four Students to Travel to Scotland - you can help by donating Airpoints DollarsTM

posted 1 Mar 2018, 18:51 by OC Web   [ updated 3 Apr 2018, 21:39 ]



An amazing opportunity has arisen, thanks to Air New Zealand’s AirpointsTM for Schools Programme, for four Ōtaki College students and two staff to travel to Scotland later this year.

To make this happen the College is seeking donations from the public of Airpoints DollarsTM. You can donate any Airpoints Dollars you don’t need, or put your expiring Airpoints Dollars to good use, by visiting www.airpoints.co.nz/schools and going to Ōtaki College. Points can be donated from 1st March to 1st May. You can also make a donation of Airpoints Dollars via the Airpoints Store (www.airpointsstore.co.nz).

The College requires 17,600 Airpoints Dollars to turn this amazing opportunity into reality.

Through the generosity of AirpointsTM members, the students will gain the opportunity to see the world. They will travel to London and then onto Scotland to visit Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen. They will experience at first hand the overseas side of the connections that have been forged between two colleges and two countries as a result of bravery of one man, Captain Archibald Bisset Smith, who lost his life in WWI in an epic sea battle.

Following on from the 100 Year Commemoration of the sinking of the merchant navy vessel SS Otaki and the unveiling of the College’s SS Otaki Centennial Monument by the Governor General last year, the College applied to Air New Zealand’s Airpoints for Schools Programme and was one of the 20 schools selected from over 100 applications. Air New Zealand appreciated the global relationships that had been developed between a small rural college in New Zealand and a Scottish college established in Aberdeen in 1750. The educational opportunities afforded to the four students travelling to England and Scotland convinced Air New Zealand that Otaki College should be one of the lucky 20 schools that went through to the final stage.

Part of the itinerary for the students in London will be visits to the Maritime Museum and the Imperial War Museum. They will see the Victoria Cross posthumously awarded to Captain Bisset Smith. We are hoping they will have the opportunity to meet Sir Jerry Mateparae, the NZ High Commissioner in London and Mr George Raukawa Fergusson, a former British High Commissioner to New Zealand.

In Scotland they will visit Robert Gordon’s College and see Otaki Shield, the award gifted to RGC by the family of Captain Bisset Smith. It was this award that prompted the New Zealand Shipping Company to offer passage to and from New Zealand to the winner of the award, the Otaki Scholar. This tradition has carried on ever since, except for the years during WWII. Our students will be meeting School Captain and 75th Otaki Scholar, Cameron Stephen, and discovering what it is like to be a student at Robert Gordon’s College. Cameron will be visiting New Zealand in July of this year.

Principal, Andy Fraser, said "I have no doubt that this will be a trip which opens up a new world of possibilities to the students involved. By donating your Airpoints Dollars you will become part of their journey.”