Captains’ Corner | College Captain, Jake Laherty

My final full term at Terrace has come and gone. That said, did it really? Term 2 may have technically been my last full term at Terrace, given the COVID disruption that happened in the midst of Term 3 – and yet, with everything that has happened this term, I can hardly remember that little hiccup.

In the space of the last nine weeks, our Year 12s have been through the wringer – we finished all internal assessments with the conclusion of IA3s, then took a bit of a break. Then we realised we had no time to take a break. We had our Formal cancelled, then rescheduled. We had our final sporting seasons put in doubt, then resumed with flair. And of course, we had a whole exam block transition from casually distant, to looming, to underway, to concluded, only to return to the revision grindstone this week. Term 3 has been a big one, and perhaps that is why the hiccups and road bumps along the way don’t swim to the surface of my memory so immediately.

However, I would be remiss not to discuss how proud I was of the College’s reaction to the most significant road bump of them all – the COVID lockdown. I remember day one of the lockdown vividly because it was the Saturday of the BBC round. Parking around Miskin Street was a nightmare, so I had parked over the hill, at the other end of Miskin, and walked a good 300 metres up and over the hill to reach the flats. At that point, I was already pretty late, so I quickly stressed and struggled to kit up, find my 3rd XV Rugby team, and begin warmup. All the fields were being played on, so the team spent 15 minutes wandering BBC for a place to spread out, eventually finding a spot beside a cricket field over the creek. Naturally, right as we began stretching, a notification on the Terrace App informed us the season had been indefinitely cancelled. So, it was immediately back across the creek, through the flats, and up and over the hill again for me. That Saturday, I spent more time looking for a park than I spent anywhere near a rugby ball.

There are 1700 odd stories of similar disappointment that could be recited to you by the other boys of this College. Likewise, we all shared experiences getting tested over the following days, navigating online school, negotiating cancellations, fighting misinformation and confusion as on-campus life returned. The middle of our term gave no reasons for Terracians to be enthusiastic – and yet, I never once saw that trademark spirit dip. Not in the thumbnailed faces that stared at me through a Teams meeting, nor at the lunch tables on the first Monday back, and certainly not from the Old Boys' Grandstand at the first Rugby game back.

If it was COVID that taught me lesson number one of this term, it was that spirit surrounding Rugby that taught me lesson number two. At the start of the season, everyone who cared to wager on GPS put the GT 1st XV at short odds to come in ninth place by the season’s end. Then, in Week 1, Joe and his boys began what can only be described as a mission to prove them wrong. In front of a small crowd, they left Ipswich reeling. Then, in front of a bigger crowd, put State High in a similar place. In what was shaping up to be the biggest crowd yet, they looked to give BBC a run for their money. Then, in a brutal series of blows, the boys lost the chance to prove themselves against the green and black and make history on Ross Oval in the space of a single press conference. They didn’t let that stop them, though, so when the Grammar round came to pass, the boys made statement number three in front of one of the biggest crowds Tennyson had seen since March last year. The following week at Churchie, in a halftime deficit hardly anyone could see past, they clawed their way back, only to lose to a dubious two points on the final buzzer. One must only look at the heart of that team, the palpable passion of Captain Joe Liddy and the endless hours of dedication put in by all 23 of the squad to see that the underdog spirit and passion that has underpinned Terrace for so many years is far from lost.

Finally, perhaps my favourite individual highlight from this term was House Choir. Our Year 12s organised and starred in perhaps the best musical performance Brisbane has seen since Adele came here in 2017. And, not to mention the scores of younger boys who dressed up, learned actions and lyrics, and took time out of their Friday night to make the show happen.

If COVID showed the unwavering spirit of Terrace and Rugby underscored it, House Choir showed me just how much fun that spirit can be.

Term 3 2021, then, was one to remember. We had a big term gents, and we have an equally big one in three weeks. So...

Answer the Call and get some rest.