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Five times a double win for St Patrick's with twin influx

Lucy and Alex Vanderhoek, Brooklyn and Joshua Rushton, Tiarna and Leila Kunst, and Meg and Gracie Stevenson make four sets of twins starting Prep at St Pat's next week.
Lucy and Alex Vanderhoek, Brooklyn and Joshua Rushton, Tiarna and Leila Kunst, and Meg and Gracie Stevenson make four sets of twins starting Prep at St Pat's next week. Renee Pilcher

EVEN something in the water would not explain the world-leading position held by Gympie's St Patrick's School Prep intake this year.

It is doubtful if any other random sample of the parenting population anywhere could match the huge incidence of twins due to attend school for the first time, than at St Pat's next Wednesday.

Against odds comparable to winning a lottery, St Pat's has scored 10 twins out of 54 in its 2013 Prep Year intake.

"Double the joy and double the work," was Patricia Vanderhoek's summation of the experience of parenting her twins, Lucy and Alex.

"I wouldn't change a thing," she said.

"Busy," said Deanne Learoyd of her experience with young Leila and Tiarna Kunst.

"I'm a bit sad to see them going to school. It's the end of an era.

"I enjoy being their mother, it's very rewarding."

"It's beautiful, very special," said Natalie Rushton, as she introduced her twins Joshua and Brooklyn to the school they will attend from next week.

"Wonderful, really rewarding.

"I love it," said Amanda Stevenson, whose twin daughters Meg and Gracie were featured in The Gympie Times a couple of weeks ago.

"I want to have another set," she said.

Faith and Lily-Rose Morgan-Frost were not in a position to be in yesterday's pre-Prep gathering at the school.

They are out of town on holidays, a teacher explained.

So they do have an excuse (or two) and they will be there next week, along with all their double-birth mates.

Counted together they have done a lot to boost Prep numbers at the school, helping it achieve an extra teacher for their year.

A quick Google search showed only one group in the world that came close to achieving the twinning rate of the St Pat's parents involved.

Mothers over the age of 45 or 50 often achieve high rates of twinning, but in some cases, this may be influenced by the use of fertility treatments.

For those who like to compare the figures, the St Pat's Prep 2013 year has at least 10 good reasons to consider itself a little above average.

Of 54 children in its Prep intake, 10 are twins - a twinning rate of one in 5.4, or 18.5%.

Even the central African nation of Benin, noted for its high twinning rates, can boast that only 27.9 twin babies out of every 1000 births - a rate of about one in 36, or about 2.8%.

One American website claims that 17% of mothers over 45 years of age give birth to twins, but that does not even match the new St Pat's world record.

Topics:  education family prep school st patrick's school twins

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