Principal's Blog - 19 April 2018

14 Apr 2018

Dear members of the Marcellin College Family,

I hope you all enjoyed a restful and enjoyable Easter break and I welcome our boys back for what promises to be a term full of challenges and possibilities. During the term break I was fortunate to attend a lunch for Old Collegians from Marcellin Camberwell. This group of about 75 men attended our College on its original site in the 1950’s and 1960’s. We enjoyed a wonderful day which commenced with mass followed by a lunch in the College’s functions room.

I was struck by the regard these men had for their school and for each other. Some of these past students had not entered the gates of Marcellin for 50 years or more and yet their memories both fond and less so were still vivid. Most striking was the ease with which they interacted with each other. Even though it had been decades since many had seen each other they appeared to take up where they had left off. Laughter, reminisces and the sounds of easy conversations filled the room to the point where many did not wish to leave at the end of the day. The bonds of friendship that were renewed and rekindled on the day spoke volumes about the culture of Marcellin in those early days. A culture which I believe prevails today. The camaraderie I felt in our functions room was as familiar to me as the friendships I experience in the Marcellin yard of 2018. It is not always a perfect yard as boys develop their social skills and EQ. But I can say it is a healthy, energetic and engaging place where boys develop relationships that may last as long as those of the boys from Canterbury Road.

Our gathering last week also served as an opportunity to launch a revised version of a history of those fledging days of the College from 1950 to 1960. Below is an extract from a short address I made in gratitude to the people who had so tirelessly and with great attention to detail attended to this task:

I am here today to show my gratitude and the gratitude of the entire Marcellin community to a group of men who have worked over a considerable period of time, particularly in the last 12 months, to revise and bring to life a history of the earliest days of our College.

Led by one of the earliest Students – Brian Milane – this group of dedicated and passionate Marcellin Old Collegians includes Peter Ruddock, Richard Olive, Leon Magree, Terry Dynes, Bill O’Shea, John Walsh, John Bartley, Brian Buxton, Austin Byrne and Jackie Krelle (Marcellin College Archivist); this generous group of people poured over the original history of Marcellin College, by James J. Fitzpatrick (A former teacher of the College), through countless meetings, research efforts, discussions and drafts to produce a far more historically accurate and thoughtful document.

Others too provided their insights and collective memory toward the revision of this document particularly with regards to the staff of the College and the context of events and in identifying the Brothers and other religious persons in photographs, including Br. Nello Facci, Br. Mark Needham, Br. Tony Paterson (Provincial Archivist) and Br. Bill Dillon (formerly Br. Stanislaus).

Thanks also to Lyn Rawson for her carefully researched database of Marcellin College alumni which was relied on as a most important factual source of data. And finally to Chris and Michael Mirabella for providing the many technical services required to set up the printed and electronic formats of this book.

I am grateful to the original writer of this document James J. Fitzpatrick, who with few resources and little training in historical method completed valuable work in piecing together this early history. This work provided our Heritage Group with the raw material to produce a far more factually accurate history of the first 10 years of Marcellin.

Even though it is clear many have cast their eye and their memory over this document there is one man whose drive, expertise, memory and dedication should be recognised and applauded. Brian, on behalf of our College I would like to thank you for the leadership you have shown, the knowledge you have brought and the interest and enthusiasm you have engendered in this project.

If you are interested in a acquiring a copy of this unique and informative publication please contact the Colleges’ Foundation Office.

Mark Murphy