Every Name has a Story

Every Name has a Story

Thursday, 16 August 2018  | Narelle - MECS Principal

I’ve always thought that my name is uniquely Australian! It certainly belongs to a particular time period – all the Narelles I know were born somewhere between 1965-1975. My son, Darcy was born around the time Colin Firth played the role of Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and many people asked whether he was named after this fictional character. Sadly not, we just liked the name and I thought it was something a bit different! My daughter’s middle name is Daisy-Anne – named after her great grandmother, Daisy on her dad’s side and my mother, whose middle name is Ann.

This week we have been celebrating the 45th Birthday of MECS! As I have been sharing with different student groups throughout the week, I have been reminding them of the significance of our name! Mount Eveyn Christian School. Mount Evelyn tells you where our school is, and the reference to ‘school’ tells you what we do, but it is the ‘Christian’ bit that tells you the important part of the story.

This is the bit of the story worth knowing and sharing!

MECS began as a dream in the mid-1950s! Christian parents dreamed of education with a Christian perspective for their children – and grandchildren. In the 1960s, they organised themselves and were very active in raising funds. In 1964, the pioneers formed their Association of Parents for Christian Education, Mount Evelyn and accelerated the pace of work to establish a Christian school. In 1970, they purchased our wonderful six-hectare school property. Their dreams were realised when they opened Mount Evelyn Christian Primary School on the 3rd February 1973 – a full 19 years after the very first fundraising effort. The school opened with three teachers teaching 80 children in grades Prep to 6.

MECS is now a thriving K-12 school with over 650 students enrolled. We have an applied learning campus called Ranges TEC which caters for another 60 Year 10-12 learners. Our school property is beautifully maintained, with facilities and resources our founding families could only have dreamed of. God has been faithful to this school community and we are abundantly blessed in so many ways.

We have two main reasons for operating as a Christian school. The first is that we believe that Jesus Christ is to be Lord over every single part of life, including the education of our children. The second is that God has given to parents, the responsibility of nurturing their children. Their education is a major part of that.

Christian parents understand that their children are gifts from a generous and creative, loving, heavenly Father. Because the education of children has such a significant shaping role, parental responsibility must play a part in that education. This responsibility cannot be hand-balled to governments, businesses, or even churches for that matter. It belongs primarily with parents and this is why MECS emphasises the vital role parents play. The school’s job is to empower parents in their God-given responsibility. We are a parent-governed Christian school because, in the first place, schools ought to be accountable to the parent community they serve, rather than to the government or to the church. It is to parents that God has given the responsibility of nurturing their children. In response to this, our parents have the vision of Christian education and set the direction for the school through the Association and Board.

The MECS community should be proud of the way it has maintained this vision over the last 45 years. Many organisations start with a clear vision to serve Christ in all things, but fall away over successive generations. It takes a committted effort to ensure that over time this doesn’t happen. The way to do that is to make sure that each generation of parents, students and staff keep hearing the stories of what makes our school unique.

That’s why in our 45th year, we have numerous opportunities to celebrate our name and the story behind it, whether it be our students hearing from past students, parents and teachers in special assemblies and classes; parents joining together to affirm why they partner with MECS in a special morning tea; or staff celebrating the opportunity to serve in an environment that requires faithfulness to this vision. Later on in the year at our October EGM and Founders Afternoon, we also want to hear and celebrate the stories of our founding families and past leaders.

Thankfully, the ‘Christian’ bit of our name is still what is most important in 2018! It tells us who we are, and how and why we do what we do. It’s not just anachronistic reference to the ‘early days’ or a forgotten part of our history. Seeking the Kingdom of God in education is just as imporant today as it was 45 years ago.


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