Abel Bincy credits being awarded Dux at St. John’s College to his parents, who emigrated from India to New Zealand to give him and his brother a better life.
“It feels like a big blessing. I am really grateful for such a well-recognised award, especially where my family come from.
“My parents come from a low-socioeconomic area in India where it's hard to make a good living and they came all the way here to provide for us so that we can work hard and succeed in life.”
He says this has been a big motivator in his drive to succeed.
The 18-year-old was presented the prestigious academic award at the St. John’s College prizegiving last month (November 16). His father Bincy Uthup and mother Smitha Bincy were in attendance.
Abel achieved First in Accounting with Excellence, First in Geography with Excellence, First in History with Excellence, First in Values, Ethics and Theology with Excellence and Excellence in Level 3 English.
During his time at St. John’s College, he achieved Level 1 and 2 with Excellence and was an Academic Prefect this year. He was nominated for the Best Asian Secondary School Student category at the Hawke’s Bay Multicultural Association’s Asians in the Bay Awards.
Outside of the classroom, he played Badminton and Cricket, and was heavily involved with pastoral and religious work including through the Parish, Young Vinnies, and Catholic Character.
“I'm proud to represent my Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church over the past few years.”
He says the school has been very supportive in his journey.
“It's a good environment. The teachers especially over these last five years have helped me a lot.”
He will now follow in the footsteps of his brother Alan, a St. John’s College old boy (2016-2020), who was the first in their family to go to university.
Abel was offered scholarships from four Universities, including the University of Otago Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship.
Next year he will begin a double degree in Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) at the University of Otago.
As for the future, Abel wants to go all the way and become lawyer, “work for a good firm and provide for my family”.
St. John’s College Principal George Rogers says: “We are incredibly proud of all that Abel has achieved during his time at St. John’s College and we look forward to following his ongoing successes in the future”.