The roar of applause was nearly deafening. One by one, students from Christ’s College — a boy’s school in Christchurch, New Zealand — processed down the stairs of the stage in Trapier Theater, shaking the hand of Kahu Treacher ‘24 following his surprise performance of his haka.
Treacher, who is a boarding student at St. Albans from the North Island of New Zealand, surprised nearly everyone in the audience as he quietly rose from his seat, walked to the center of the auditorium, and performed the traditional dance in response to the Christ’s College students’ rendition.
The assembly was a result of a meeting between Headmaster Jason Robinson and Matt Cortesi, Christ’s College’s Director of Character, Leadership & Service in July at the International Boys School Conference in New Zealand. Over lunch, Mr. Cortesi shared his plans to bring his school’s soccer team on an American tour over their spring break. Mr. Robinson eagerly invited the boys to visit St. Albans — an offer that was quickly accepted. Just a few months later, this lunchtime conversation manifested itself in an incredible day-long visit on campus at St. Albans.
Over the course day, students from Christ’s Church shared lunch, presented at an assembly, trained with our soccer team, and had dinner with St. Albans boys.
The assembly, which was attended by all Upper School students, featured an informative question-and-answer session, where the boys discovered their shared affinity for the rapper Drake, discussed similarities and differences between cultures, and got to learn about the school’s core values.
Mr. Robinson expressed his gratitude for the willingness of Christ’s Church team to visit St. Albans. Along with Mr. Cortesi, they implored the boys to reach out and make meaningful connections with individuals from different backgrounds — using the assembly as an example of what incredible results can come from being willing to open your mind and heart to a stranger.
You can view the Christ’s Church haka here
, and Kahu Treacher’s response here
. Photos from the assembly can be viewed here