Dear members of the Marcellin family 

On the 7 February this year I had the privilege to attend the Marcellin College 70th Anniversary Mass and Lunch. As a newcomer it was a wonderful opportunity to have a very early introduction into the history and traditions of the College. I had the great fortune to be asked to speak briefly at the beginning of the celebration and I thought this week, as we publish the 70th Anniversary edition of the Eagle, would be a good time to include my words from that day. 

A very warm welcome to all. 

What a wonderful occasion we’re celebrating today and how appropriate it is that we began the day by celebrating Mass together. Without our Catholic faith, there would be no Catholic schools. So, our Mass today was an opportunity to thank the Lord for the many blessings bestowed on this community. And a wonderful celebration it was.  

As most of you would be aware, I’m a bit of a Johnny-come-lately to the Marcellin scene. But already I’ve experienced the hospitality and warmth of this community. People have been so friendly and welcoming – which speaks volumes for their tolerance because I’m from Sydney – and they’re still nice to me! However, I have worked in Melbourne before and I do have a lengthy background in Marist education and through my association with the Marist network I was aware of Marcellin’s strong reputation as a deeply Marist school. I was fortunate to also visit a few times. So, my prayer in Mass this morning was certainly one of deep gratitude. Gratitude for the willingness and foresight of the Marist Brothers in setting up Marcellin College. Gratitude for the people, beginning with the Marist Brothers in 1950, who have educated so many young men over these past 70 years. Gratitude for the parents who have entrusted their sons to our care. Gratitude for the networks, the lifelong friendships and the comradery that have been built up over many decades. Gratitude for the outstanding legacy that has been left to those of us who are part of this community now. And gratitude for the opportunities that will present themselves to build on that legacy over the coming decades. 

I wonder if those Brothers who started to teach the 117 students who turned up at Camberwell in January 1950 could have envisaged the journey that Marcellin College has taken since. The expansion to Bulleen in 1963 and the continued growth to a college of 1,450 young men today. A college with magnificent grounds and facilities and contemporary, state of the art learning spaces. 

That’s is all well and good. But I think the greatest attribute of Marcellin College is it’s Catholic and Marist culture. In many ways this is the enduring thread that has been woven through all eras and all people who have been part of this community. This is our DNA. This is how people know us. And we see it here today in all of us gathered. From the new kid on the bloc to those who were at here at the start and all those in between. 

So, enjoy the occasion. Enjoy each other’s company and I look forward to meeting many of you during the course of the afternoon. 

Happy anniversary Marcellin College 

John Hickey