Last week our proprietor board, Carmel College Auckland Limited, farewelled Ian Langley. Ian has been a member of CCAL for 13 years, however his connection to Carmel College has spanned over 50 years to date. His four daughters attended Carmel, and his late wife, Maureen Langley, was the Board of Trustees Chair from 1993 to 2004 and who our school atrium is named after. Despite standing down from CCAL we know Ian will continue to assist and be present as he has granddaughters currently attending Carmel, and he still has a few more pieces of custom made furniture under construction for the chapel.
When Ian gave his reflection to the Board about his involvement at Carmel, he said the one thing that stands out to him, the one thing that we all need to ensure not only exists but flourishes, is community. In reflecting on some of the community projects and events that he has been involved in, from the building of the fitness trail, of which some equipment still remains around the boundary of the school, to the big school fairs that were held on the Oak tree lawn which included truck loads of donations from The Warehouse, cars being given away, and skydivers landing on the field, the importance of having these events and projects was not only to raise money for the school, but it was to have the community of Carmel here, together on the school site.
In Ian’s reflection he also paid tribute to a previous Principal of Carmel who had an undeniable faith and personality that captured and encompassed a true woman of Mercy, Dame Sr Pauline. He fondly remembered the friendship that he shared with Sr Pauline who enjoyed the marmalade that Ian would make from the grapefruit that grew outside the convent, and the little jobs that she would have him do for her when she moved out of the convent at Carmel and into Lady Allum.
When listening to Ian’s parting words, we cannot overlook, or take for granted that it is our community, the support and involvement of parents, grandparents, whānau who have either been associated with the college for generations, or who are new to our community that is the special ‘something’ that makes our school what it is. We are a community where our faith has brought us together in a space that seeks to provide opportunities for young women through a Catholic education in a Mercy tradition. As a community we want to explore and have available opportunities that will lead to our young women to be empowered to challenge and shape the future.
Ian, we thank you for everything that you have contributed to our community. I do not know how to express in words just how much your hard work, dedication and passion to the college has meant to so many over the years. There are so many little things, like the house banner stands that you made, that have become part of the furniture, but we hope that you know how much your contributions, and wise counsel on the CCAL board, are truly appreciated.
May you meet mercy each day;
In the light of your heart, at the hands of loved ones,
In the eyes of a stranger and the needy
And if by chance you do not at first meet it,
Then search your heart for it. Listen patiently for word of it,
And it will tap you on the shoulder,
A quiet surprise, a small gesture, then tender look,
given and received in the encounters of your day.
Mary Wickham rsm