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May 2018 Volume 25. No. 1

Autumn Gala Feature Pg. 8


Principal’s Message Dear friends of St Bernard’s College Welcome to this edition of The Strand magazine. In the last edition of The Strand magazine, I made reference to the College’s Celebration of Excellence, which was to be held on Wednesday 6 December at the Melbourne Convention Centre Plenary Hall. I can report that the evening was a wonderful success, attended by several thousand members of the College community. The evening — ran to a very tight 90 minute schedule! — Highlighted by awards for excellence in various forms, student performances and presentation of audiovisual vignettes of the year that was. In addition, a display in the expansive foyer of the Convention Centre featured students’ works in the visual, creative and technical arts. Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and one which I am sure will become an anticipated one each year in the College calendar. A fresh initiative for 2018 has been the introduction of a new a new House system for the College, the previous system having been in abeyance for some time.






House systems have a strong potential to contribute to the sense of belonging and fun that helps to engage young people in their school. The new House system had its first big “run” at a whole school Sports Carnival at the Keilor Park Athletics Centre. It was the first time St Bernard’s had attempted a whole school Sports Carnival for many years. While there were some teething problems with the logistics of conducting such a large-scale event, the benefits in terms of student engagement and school spirit were clearly evident on the day. In particular, I note the way in which the Year 12 students entered into the spirit of the day and had an opportunity to present themselves as models to the junior students. While whole school events are difficult in a school as large as St Bernard’s, our first attempt has shown that it is an effort worth making, which complements so well the very many small-scale clubs, activities, and opportunities presented on an almost daily basis to St Bernard’s students. Discere et Agere

Adam Taylor Principal







Walk for Justice On Sunday 25 March, 10 students, 3 teachers and 3 parents attended the Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees, as well as the liturgy at St Patrick’s Cathedral. It was a great turn out and a fantastic show of support for all refugees and asylum seekers globally. The boys represented the College in an outstanding way, and we would like to thank them for giving up their Sunday and coming along to show their support. We heard from a number of guest speakers about the plight refugees and asylum seekers face, particularly on Manus Island and Nauru, as well as a united voice from a number of religious figures in Melbourne, urging for changes to current Government policies. The message of the day was timely and clear Australia IS RESPONSIBLE for these people. Instead of spending millions to prolong their despair, Australia should #BringThemHere and #LetThemStay

Opening Mass On 23 February the College celebrated the Opening School Mass for 2018. The mass was then followed by the commissioning of College leaders and a fantastic speech by the 2018 College Captain Jasper Brettell.


World’s Greatest Shave

As part of the Student Council’s 18 in 18 movement, they envisaged at least 40 members of the St Bernard’s community to shave their hair, and beat the record amount of money raised by our school, $17,400.

Why? Blood cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in Australia, claiming more lives than breast cancer or melanoma. The event was a resounding success with the boys raising over $30,000, whilst showing great support to those going through an extremely difficult time.


Congratulations Ben Carroll Congratulations to Old Collegian Ben Carroll (‘93) on his recent promotion to Minister for Industry and Employment. The member for Niddrie has always been a strong supporter of the College and often returns to pass on his knowledge to students at St Bernard’s or at Parliament House. Carroll will focus on managing the transition of the auto industry in Victoria. The College community looks forward to seeing what he can achieve in an always challenging portfolio.

Edmund Rice Day On Friday 4 May St Bernard’s College students were involved in our annual Walkathon as a part of Edmund Rice Day. This day involves a walk in solidarity over a 10 km loop to celebrate the story of our friends in the community of Embulbul (Kenya), aimed to resemble the distance of which some students at Brother Beausang Catholic Education Centre (BBCEC) have to walk to school, and often the distance travelled to obtain water. All students and the community should be congratulated on raising a phenomenal amount of $58,000.

Valete Mass and Dinner House Athletics Book Launches 6

On 9 March, St Bernard’s held its first House Athletics Carnival under the banner of its new house system. With track, field and sporting events such as basketball and soccer on offer -houses McAuley, Rice, Avila, Mackillop and Nagle battled it out to see who would take out this year’s top spot. In what was a fantastic day of colour and spirit at Keilor Athletics Track, Rice were successful in winning what will be the first of many under the new format.

Grandparents and Special Friends Day St Bernard’s College welcomed over 300 Year 7 Grandparents and Special Friends. Our guests were welcomed by our Principal Dr Adam Taylor and then took part in a Liturgy. This was followed by morning tea which was beautifully hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary and some of our VCAL students. The Year 7’s then had the opportunity to take their guest for a tour of the College.


Kenya Immersion To start off 2018, a group of staff and students made their way to Kenya as part of the College’s Immersion program. The students visited Br Beausang with the boys absolutely loving their time in the Primary classes, engaging in lots of conversations, games and stories. They had many fans following them constantly. They also joined the secondary classes in an opportunity to connect with students closer to their own age.

The change between the relationships they were able to forge with primary and secondary students have been a great ongoing conversation since they returned home.

St Bernard’s College Foundation Autumn Gala Dinner It was a fantastic evening on Friday 27 April at the St Bernard’s College Foundation Autumn Gala Dinner. Enjoyed by over 170 guests, the night was highlighted by the induction of Michael Perrett into the College’s Hall of Fame. A well-deserved accolade for a person who has given so much to St Bernard’s.

The attendees were also treated to great speeches from current College Captain Jasper Brettell, leader Mikhael Touma and a student musical performance.


Michael Perrett Michael Perrett has contributed more to the prosperity and community spirit of St Bernard’s over the past 65 years than most people can ever imagine. He has epitomised the St Bernard’s spirit and set the blue print for those after him as to what it means to be a ‘Bernard’s Boy’. He began his connection to the College when he commenced at St Bernard’s in 1953 and has continued his long-standing support of his much loved Alma Mater today, where he is an integral member of the College’s Foundation and Old Collegians Committee. Upon Matriculation in 1961, Michael became a driving force in the success of the Old Collegians Football Club and Old Collegians Cricket Club. Over a 10-year period between 1963 and 1973 Michael cemented himself as one of St Bernard’s best of all time. His football career had many highlights. He played 103 consecutive games between 1963 and 1968, in which time he was part of two premierships in 1963 and 1964. He was the first player in SBOCFC history to play 200 games, guiding the club from E grade to A grade with Grand Final appearances in each section.

In the summer months Michael turned his hand to Cricket with great success. He again owns a piece of SBOCCC history where he opened the batting in the club’s first ever game in 1968. Shortly after retiring, he turned his hand to administration with similar success guiding the Old Collegians Football Club as president to an A grade premiership in 1975 and a B grade Premiership in 1991. His greatest achievements however come in the form of connection and community to the College. He has been President of SBOCA between 1967 – 1971, a committee he still sits on today. He was instrumental in his tenure as Director of Development at the College in laying the foundation for sustainable ongoing success of St Bernard’s helping make it one of the most sort after secondary schools for boys. He has always been greatly supported by wife Joy, sons Stephen ’89 and Chris ’92 and daughter Jacqui.

Echoes From The Archives THE HISTORY OF OUR COLLEGE Our Schools history really began with the arrival of the Christian Brothers at Essendon/Moonee Ponds in 1917. They taught only at St Monica’s Boys school, and lived at the site of the present Christian Brothers College (The Strand) in a double storey house. Since about 1920, the Christian Brothers had been presenting boys from Grade 3 to the Intermediate Examination (Yr 10) at St Monica’s School. But they had gone no higher, and any boy wanting to do Leaving (Yr 11) had to go to St Kevin’s College Toorak. In the year 1939, Archbishop Mannix decided to establish a central scholarship class (Yr.8) in St Monica’s buildings. The school was called St Kieran’s and its first class opened there at the beginning of 1940 with a high percentage of successes. In 1940, the Head Superior of the Christian Brothers agreed to permit the Brothers at Essendon prepare pupils for the Leaving Certificate Examination.

Until then there had been no St Bernard’s College but because of the growing population and the previously mentioned expansion, it came about that in the first months of 1940, a new school was constructed beside the Brothers’ house. The previous head of St Monica’s School, Brother Cregan then became head of the new school which he named St Bernard’s. Archbishop Mannix blessed and opened the new school in July 1940.

SBOCA Business Breakfast

St Bernard’s Old Collegians once again hosted a successful Business Breakfast held at Moonee Valley Racing Club. The theme for the morning was “Facing the Challenge” with the keynote speaker being Essendon Coach John Worsfold. John spoke about his formula for facing challenges that confront individuals and organisations. Firstly creating a positive culture and mindset ensuring that everyone within the organisation was on the same page and heading in the same direction.

Ladies Auxiliary 2018 marks the 70 Year Anniversary of the Ladies Auxiliary. The group has welcomed and provided hospitality for guest and students alike with various initiatives and events. Last year we farewelled Jenny Goring as President of The Ladies Auxiliary. Jenny was President for the last three years and has dedicated endless hours of service to the College. We are extremely grateful for her efforts and leadership over the past three years. We are happy to Welcome Silvana Elasmar as the new President. Silvana stepped up from the position of Vice President into this role. She has quickly taken over where Jenny left off and maintained the high standard of welcome and hospitality as has been accustomed by the Ladies Auxiliary.


Secondly being clear on the end goal and having strategies in place to ensure the goal is achieved. The morning was brilliantly MC’d by Old Collegian Francis Leach once again. The Old Collegians would like to thank major sponsor of the event Catholic Super for their wonderful support.


Keilor St Bernard’s Athletics Club The club had a good year on the track with the under 20 boys winning back to back yellow zone premierships and then the State Shield final again.

Eight juniors made the trip to Sydney for the National Junior Championships with Wilson Cram being the most successful winning the under 16 pole vault.

Riley Caines who won men’s Club Champion for the year ably led the team supported by Patrick Matthews Alex Sykes Jai Keighery Tim Petersen Dominic Miesen and Lachie Feain. The boys are looking forward to helping Men Division 2 rise up next season.

Elias Kahsay, Kye Gillingham, Mitchel Langborne and Dilan Egodawatte between them won 10 medals at the State Youth and Little Athletics Championships. With Elias and Kye finishing 1st and 2nd in the under 15 800m. Mitchel also represented the State in the National Little Athletics Championships on the Gold Coast in 800 and 1500m. David DeVries just competed in the National Masters Athletic Championships winning a bronze medal in the hammer throw.

The womens division 2 team won the Yellow Zone premiership and were 2nd of the 11 teams in the State Shield Final. The men’s and women’s 40 plus team were runners up in Yellow Zone and finished 6th and 8th respectively in the Shield Final and the under 14 boys who finished 2nd in Yellow Zone finished 4th in the Shield Final. Cathy Matthews won the female Club Champion for the year. We had 2 competitors in the Senior Nationals this year and 3 others who could not make it due injury or other circumstances.

SBOCCC In February this year the St Bernard’s Old Collegians Cricket Club celebrated 50 Years of Cricket. We had a Gala Ball at Essendon Fields where players and supporters gathered to celebrate all things St Bernard’s Cricket. It was a fantastic evening where past players reminisced on their playing days and took pride in how far the club has advanced over the 50 years. It was proudly noted we are playing the highest level of cricket out of all Old Collegian Cricket Clubs in Victoria. We also took the time to announce the ‘Teams of the Half Century’ for each of the 4XVI’s. The teams can be viewed on the clubs website We also awarded Terry Davis the ‘Snowdog of the Half Century’ for his outstanding contribution to the cricket club. The club has completed its second season in the Victorian Sub-District, narrowly missing out on finals in the 1st, 3rd and 4th XI’s. We are planning and looking forward to a successful 2018/19 season. Brendan Davey President

The Club has contributed to the building of a hammer cage at Keilor Park which we hope will soon be completed. The Club Is now looking forward to doing well in the Cross country season Ron Stobaus


St Bernard’s Football Club – Dawn of a New Era The Club has a very proud history now over 55 years as a thriving part of the wider College and local Community. The Club continues to grow and evolve and is entering a new era both on and off the field. The doors of the club are open to all comers across our Auskick Program, Junior Club and VAFA Senior Club which expanded this year to 6 teams,as the Under 23 thirds made their debut. This year a New Era has been launched, with the club expanding into the fast growing world of female football. The Junior Club lead enthusiastically by new President John Tormey and his hard working Committee are fielding two under 15 Girls teams this season. Already the girls teams have become a bright and enthusiastic part of the Club, and we look forward to expanding our female team numbers in coming years. The Senior Club is also under new leadership off field with past player, past Junior and Senior President Andrew Vinecombe stepping up this year as 2018 President. Andrew has brought with him some very focused and creative new Committee members, who are already instigating positive change, as the club continues to evolve and grow. A highlight of the club is the advanced Football Development Program, which fast tracks player development as both footballers and positive members of the community. Known internally as the Football Escalator, it helps players maximize their talents and be the best player and person they can be. At the top end of the program we have now seen multiple players surge into the St BernardsFC senior team and then go on to VFL and AFL careers. Currently 2015 Premiership Players Mitch Hannan and Ben Ronke are playing at AFL senior level, while Alex Boyse continues to impress in the VFL level and is knocking loudly on the AFL door. We also have multiple current senior players training with or on the lists at Essendon and Richmond VFL operations. In addition a large contingent of Junior Club players have progressed into TAC Cup ranks, and it only seems a matter of time before even more St BernardsFC players break out to the top levels. Its very encouraging seeing so many hard working young players take the Football Escalator to higher levels both within and outside the club. The Club can only do all this positive work with the full and very helpful co-operation of St Bernard’s College, and we are very grateful to Principal Adam Taylor, Facilities Manager Glenn Walsh and the Grounds Staff for their assistance.

In addition we are fortunate indeed to be supported and sponsored by many long time local community partners. These are lead by Major Sponsor Moonee Ponds Club, Platinum Sponsors Nelson Alexander, Strathmore Community Branch Bendigo Bank, John Fawkner Hospital and Ascot Construction Group. We also have a long list of other generous sponsors as listed on club website , and we urge the community to support those businesses that support our club. As this update goes to print the Senior club is performing very strongly lead by Senior Coach Mark Riley and his football department, with all 6 senior club teams in their respective top fours, and aiming to make a big impact for the rest of the season.


Rowing Victory Xavier Hughes and Tully Caddy, who won the “Male School Double Scull Year 9 Division 1” at the 2018 School Sport Victoria Rowing Regatta, representing St Bernard’s College.

Grumpy Old Men – Class of ‘64 St Bernard’s Class of ’64 have formed their own, unique, group – the so-called ‘Grumpy Old Men’ or GOM’64. We kicked off originally after about a dozen of us attended the 50th re-union at the College back in 2014 and figured that if we waited for the next 10-Year re-union then quite a few of us may well have fallen off the perch. I took it upon myself to get an initial group of about half a dozen together later in 2014 and – with the help of SBC through ‘The Strand’ we have now grown to 32 on our list. We have grown progressively and each year have two get gatherings – a dinner where we book a private room as we can always get 15 -16 on any given occasion. FYI, the group is now:- (Dr) Michael Kelly, (Dr) Michael Brignell, (Dr) Guiseppi Giarrusso, (Dr) Zenon Gruba, (Dr) John Scally, (Dr) John Chrystie, (Dr) Peter Glynn, (Rev.Fr.) John Corcoran, (Prof.) Lawrie Moloney – so much for the high-end guys, and then – Leo Jeffers (USA), Peter Fejes (USA), Jury Klymko (Canada), Paddy Forsayeth (North Qld.) Terry Lewis (63) (Canberra), Joe Pirronello (NSW), Chris Downey (WA), Tom Morgan (WA), Phil Tagell (Qld), Rob Crook, David Collins (1st XVII), Paul Collins (1st XVIII and 1st XI) Andrew Moloney, Alan Swanson, Peter King, Michael Brasher, Terry McEvoy, Peter Dunne, Alan Wilson, John McGlade (1st XVIII), Michael Sherry (63), Brian Shanahan, Ian Macdonald. Ian Macdonald


Vale Mark Babos 16/7/54 - 6/9/17 SBOC 1972.
An extremely generous & passionate man. Adored husband & father of Sandra, Madeleine & Susannah. Stephen Brown, who was the father of past students David and Matthew, Passed away 5 December, 2017, aged 65 years. Damien Burnside passed away suddenly on 31/3/2018 at the age of 27. Gerry Callahan ‘46, one of the greatest AFL footballers died peacefully in his sleep at home on Tuesday 27 of March, 2018. Gerry was a champion of the Williamstown Football Club and is featured on our Wall of Fame. John Chalabi born 25/12/1936 died on 13/2/2018 aged 82 loving Father of Richard Chalabi SBOC 89 and Mark Chalabi SBOC 91. Kathy Cockerell passed away peacefully on February 28 aged 74 Years. She was the wife of Carl and mother of Shane ‘90. Brother Peter William Cole cfc. Died on Friday, April 13, at The John Fawkner Hospital, Moreland, aged 83 years. He taught at the College but most notably was majorly influential in his work within Africa.

Barry Gwillim ‘47 passed away on 20 November 2017. Geoff Harris ‘70 passed away after a battle with cancer on March 17 at the age of 65 years. He was the brother of Ray ‘72 and Kevin ‘76. Geoff was a past player and committee man with the Old Collegians football club and through his career in the retail car industry a generous sponsor of the Old Collegians. Raymond Leslie (Ray) Jackson passed away on November 9, 2017 in the presence of his family, in his 74th year. At peace after suffering. Chris Lloyd Passed away at Bendigo Hospital Intensive Care Unit on 6th February 2018, Aged 48 years. Kevin Mills ‘62 passed away after a long illness on 29 April at the age of 73. He was the brother of Gerald ‘59, Denis ‘66 and Brendan ‘71. Nell O’Brien, who was the wife of Jack ‘47, passed away on 19/11/2017. Her sons John ‘68, Michael ‘70 and Anthony ‘78 also attanded the College.

We have lost another hero... Br Peter “Ace” Cole cfc It was very early in the school year of 1967 that I first met Br Peter “Ace” Cole. As a student I was visiting the other Year 12 classes to pass on a message to my fellow students. We were aware that there had been some staff changes but these staff had not been introduced formally. One of the classes I visited was being conducted by one of those Brothers who were new to the school. I was absolutely flabbergasted when he greeted me with the words “hello Frank FitzGerald, what can I help you with…”. Here was I being greeted by name, by a stranger who had obviously gone to great lengths over the school holidays to learn the names [via class photos I guess] of all the Year 12 class – even those he was not teaching in his classes. In that instant I understood that power and importance of remembering names , and while I had no where near the capacity of Peter Cole to recall the names of people, it was a message that I would impress on new teachers when later I worked as a School Principal. Having spoken to many others taught by “Ace” in a variety of schools over many years, my experience was anything but unique. In fact all felt they had a personal bond with this man who was more than just a teacher. And in so many cases Peter Cole had established a rapport that lasted long past the student’s time at school.

Each of these areas of ministry had their distinct character and challenge, to which Peter applied boundless energy and his unique capacity to connect and support. In recent times I have been meeting up with a group of gentlemen from diverse backgrounds for a monthly lunch. To our amazement we found that the one thing most of us had in common was that we [or members of our family] had been taught by Peter Cole – and this is over many years and different states in Australia! It became a focus of our group to put some dollars aside at each of the lunches to send to Peter in Africa to support his work over there. On a couple of occaisions it was our privilege to have him join us when he was on leave from Kenya. While the narrative in recent times around the Catholic Church and groups such as the Christian Brothers carries dark and tragic chapters, the life and work of Brother Peter Cole stands as a beacon and a reminder of all that is to be admired in those who live a life devoted to service of others. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to call in and visit Peter a few days before he passed away, and I know I spoke for many when I was able to farewell Ace with the words that you are our hero….. Frank FitzGerald

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