Class-led initiative leads to teacher shaving beard for charity

A LOCAL school teacher has put his beard in the line of fire in a bid to raise vital funds for those in the community who are currently without a home.

St Columba College teacher Andrew Harris had sported a beard for the past seven years until last Thursday, when he allowed some of his students to shave it off to support charity organisation Anglicare SA.

Year 11 student Antonio Mammone was given the honour of shaving his teacher’s beard following a conversation Mr Harris had with his year 11 physics students, earlier this year, who pleaded with him to shave it off.

“We were just sitting in class one day and we asked (Mr Harris) if he would shave his beard for money,” Antonio said.

“He initially said he’d only do it for charity, so we started the fundraiser later that day and the next lesson he came in with a bunch of charities to choose from.

“It just snowballed from there.”

Classes from right across the school’s senior years took time out of their day to view the shave.

Mr Harris said while he admits the beardless look will take “a bit of getting used to”, he was pleased to see so much support going towards the Anglicare initiative.

“Anglicare was a natural fit and when I read into it, I found that the work they do is something we’re really happen to support,” he said.

“They’re doing some really special work and winter is a particularly tough time for the homeless, so anything we can do, as a school community, to contribute is a good thing.”

Two of the most surprised onlookers were Mr Harris’ two-and-a-half year old twins, who he brought to school with him so they wouldn’t be shocked when he came home.

“The prospect of coming home looking completely different and them not having any idea who I am was, perhaps, a little bit too much,” he said.

“My daughter, Paige, was a little bit hesitant but my son was really keen to come over to me and have a pat of my face after the beard was gone.”

In total, students and teachers from St Columba College raised over $750 for Anglicare as part of the campaign.

Tom Staggard

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Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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