Our students and staff bid farewell to Mr Houghton on his final day as acting Principal. Our student representatives (SRCs) presented Mr Houghton with a bouquet of flowers. Year 10 students Nawal and Tayeba delivered the following emotional Farewell Speech to him in turns:
"Good afternoon, respected principal, teachers and my fellow students.
I am highly honoured to deliver this farewell speech. Today is our last assembly with Mr Andrew Houghton. I take this time to welcome our new Principal Mr Fazeel, and on behalf of all students I bid farewell to our amazing and exceptional Principal Mr Houghton.
Dear Sir, it gives me great pleasure to tell that we truly recognise, respect and appreciate all the valuable skills and knowledge you imparted. This includes your immense contribution to our Muslim community as our honourable Principal, your acute respect and admiration of our values and especially efforts in building a strong Australian-Muslim identify for us and our school. These is one of the things we’ll never forget. We also want you to know that you have been the heart and soul of this school and your efforts will always be in our hearts!
Time flies, I know this now for sure. The five years you have spent here seem like a dream – one we would all want to last. I remember whenever we faced some challenges, you stood with us. With your vast wealth of experience, you solved our problems in a snap. Throughout your stay in the school, you have been an outstanding mentor, and more of a leader than a principal. Sir, you were always tolerant and eager to help when we find it hard to cope with something or to agree on something. Indeed, your exceptional qualities have inspired us in so many ways. We will always remember you, and the sweet little memories that we had together will remain in our hearts.
Thank you for your passion. Thank you for your friendly and always welcoming demeanour that made us feel we belong here, and you belong here with us. You have taught us that being ‘strict and harsh’ will never make a student feel comfortable and welcomed around school, rather leniency and kindness and a dignified approach is the way to go. Permit me to use this medium to ask for your forgiveness if we have ever hurt your feelings knowingly or unknowingly in the course of the time.
Sir, during our assemblies you have talked about how life is like a ‘blank canvas’ that we need need to paint. You have been our inspiration and motivation in painting our canvas as students. You yourself have worked tirelessly, now it is another chapter finished in your life and you are on your way to creating more memories, helping others paint their canvas of life with splendid colours of their dreams. Well Sir, the school may have ceased to be the canvas for you but it is the one you have successfully painted with love, knowledge and precious memories. If you do go to your new school I hope you start your canvas fresh, paint a new journey with different people but always remember our canvas, I hope this one will always be slightly better, unique and special!
Nawal Sultan and Tayeba Sukiya