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Betty wins Woman of Distinction Award

The Old Paradians’ Association has acknowledged the sizeable contributions to College life of Elizabeth Stella, in naming her the 2016 recipient of its Woman of Distinction Award.

OPA President Lewis Derrico made the presentation to Elizabeth at the Association’s recently-convened Luncheon with the Ladies at Melbourne’s RACV City Club on Bourke Street.

In doing so, Lewis assured that the Association understood the substantial contributions of women “for without that support, we would not have had the extent of past successes within the Old Boys”.

“We would not have had the depth of opportunities that were given to our community,” Lewis said. “We would not have had the strong bond, the caring and camaraderie of the social groups that existed.

“We as Old Boys are fooling ourselves if we think that we can solely contribute with energy to the cause of the Parade Community. There is a partner and family that allows us to participate, to contribute and to build on the camaraderie within the old boys’ network.”

Elizabeth Stella is the wife of the late Rene Stella, himself a final year student of the College in 1953 and a former President and secretary of the Old Paradians’ Association who also served as Chief Architect of the Old Paradians’ Planning Teams at both East Melbourne and Bundoora.

She is also the mother of Catherine, John and Anthony - Catherine having followed her to CLC, and John and Anthony having upheld the traditions by following Rene to Parade.

As a wonderful ally to Rene, Elizabeth, on her own initiative, organised and hosted dinners, lunches and social drinks for Old Paradians’ Association Committee members and their wives, together with the Christian Brothers, at their Rosanna home for many years.

Elizabeth was also a regular to the Old Paradians’ Association Ski Lodge on Mt Buller where committee members so often gathered.

Lewis said that Rene and Elizabeth Stella had been a committed “pair” from early student days “but Betty Stella was much more than a staunch support for Rene and his dedication to Old Paradian activities”.

“Betty’s daughter Catherine wrote: ‘I am humbled to have been associated with such genuine giving and caring people throughout my life. I am blessed to have such inspiring parents and such a wonderful role model in my mother Elizabeth’.

“Catherine, the Parade community shares your sentiments and we thank the Stella family for their immense contribution to the growth of the Parade.”

The award, one of a number instituted in the OPA’s Centenary Year of 2014, serves to honor those women who for a significant period of time have given much for the cause of the many who make up the vast Parade community.

Women eligible for this Award include: those involved with Parade College, whether board member, administrator, teacher, support staffer, Ladies’ Auxiliary member, volunteer and mother; and those involved with the OPA through its member entities and associated activities.

Nominations for a worthy recipient were sought throughout the Parade community for names of potential candidates whether living or deceased. The Old Paradians’ Association Committee then met to consider and finalize its selection.

Elizabeth was presented with the award as her daughter Catherine, son-in-law Geoff and son John watched on.

Those in attendance at the luncheon also heard from Guest Speaker Dr Kim Power, co-founder and President of the Sunflower Foundation - a small Australian based charity which devotes its energies to supporting the education of girls and young women in developing countries.

Guests learned of the tremendous work of the foundation under the watch of Dr Power and her husband and Old Paradian Dr Paul Power, the secretary and co-founder.

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