Tai Hang (Henry) Lai - Hong Kong
I still remember the first day of arriving TGS boarding, I was so nervous and anxious, and everything was so strange to me. Early on, I felt scared because I needed to speak an unfamiliar language and meet ‘strangers’ at the same time. But the word ‘stranger’ disappeared very quickly - these strangers became not just friends but also family. TGS is my other home - in Australia.
When I first arrived here, I was placed in a satellite boarding house, Green House, where eight boarders lived including me. We got along with each other in less than a week. The bond between boarders is something truly amazing that can’t be described. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what race you are, what language you speak, everyone gets along with each other and everyone takes care of each other; that is the beauty of boarding; that is what makes boarding special.
Boarding not only made me life-long friends, but also made me a better person, a young man who is ready to contribute to the future society. I still remember vividly a quote that Mr. Wilson once said, “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” I think this quote is really meaningful, so meaningful that I even set it as the background on my phone. It has become my motto and one I plan to live the rest of my life by. Even though I’m leaving at the end of the year, the boarding life here is something I’ll never forget. I’m confident that all the lessons I have learned here will lead me on a path to success.
Wing Kiu Lydia(Elise) Wong - Hong Kong
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory” Dr Seuss
I can still remember the day in 2012 when my dad dropped me off. I was the only ESL girl in the Year 9 cohort!
Everything was so different from what I had been used to. TGS was at least five times bigger that my previous school and I had never lived in a foreign country away from my family. I lived with a homestay family for nearly two years before I came to boarding. When I moved into Crowder House in Year 10, I suddenly realised that there was a whole world out there that I had never explored. I was exposed to so many different words and expressions that I had to come to grips with in order to do well at school.
My life in the boarding house was absolutely amazing. Boarding life is so colourful. I needed to learn how to live with other girls in a dormitory, accept everyone’s personalities and try my best to be a better person. I’ve made different memories in the boarding house. There have been joyful experiences, for sure, and sometimes, there have been hard times that I’ve needed to get through, like homesickness. However, every single moment has become the best memories I have ever had in my life.
I definitely think that coming to Australia has been the best choice for me. It has made me stronger, has taught me how to cope in different situations and to practise tolerance in an international environment. I’m grateful that God and my parents gave me the opportunity to attend TGS and boarding. I will never forget the time I’ve been in boarding and TGS.
Grace Oura - Cairns
Grammar School as a boarding student. I still remember my mum and I driving up to
Townsville on my first day of boarding; I was sitting nervously in the car having never experienced boarding before. However, as I arrived, I saw so many smiling
faces and happy people. Being an only child, I thought that living away from home would be hard for me to get used to, but I was definitely wrong about that. If I had known what to expect, I would have loved to have been a boarder earlier. Being a boarder may be one of the best things that ever happened to me. Boarding is like living in a big family. We are together through thick and thin and help each other. I cannot put into words how much the friendships have meant, especially when I suddenly lost my father. Meals are also a big part of my life. I cannot thank the cooking staff enough for providing a variety of treats six times a day: breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper. I was also introduced to jogging, which is now one of my favourite hobbies! The experience as a boarder would not have been complete without the passion and dedication of staff, whether the ladies with our laundry, the cleaners who keep our rooms tidy, Mr Wilson and Ms Therese for always thinking about what’s best and also putting so much effort in for us, and of course the Boarders’ Tutors who offer support after school. - I am missing boarding already....
Ka Lok (Eric) Leung - Hong - Kong
A wise man once said, “You are put onto this world to help others, and if you can’t help them at least don't hurt them" This is the quote I’m sure many of my fellow boarders will remember for the rest ofm their lives. Travelling to major cities across the world is not an issue; however a place like Townsville was a whole new level. My first impression of Townsville was strange as it seemed so empty compared to Hong Kong. However, this perspective quickly changed as I stepped into the gates of Grammar boarding for the first time. Boarding at Grammar is truly something special that cannot be expressed by words. It is the sense of bonding and community within boarding that makes it special. When I first began my journey in what is now a heritage listed building, School House, I had just started boarding as a little Year 8 boy. Although having previous boarding experience under my belt, my first day of boarding at TGS was still nerve-racking. The moment I stepped into School House, I knew this was going to be the place where I had to spend the next six months with 13 strangers. However, the word ‘stranger’ was tossed out the window the second I stepped through the door. Everyone just smiled and waved at me, and then came millions of questions asking my name and home town. At that moment, I thought I was a superstar. Believe it or not, that first day pretty much set the tone of Grammar boarding for me. The sense of community and family was seen on a daily basis. The kindness and care that 150 boarders offer to each other is just magnificent. In boarding, the boundary amongst year levels and the fear of a Year 7 talking to a Senior simply just does not exist, since boarding is just a big family. Boarding over the five years has been a blast. However, the memories and friendships are something that I will treasure for the rest of my life.