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To all Old Paradians everywhere,

This is just a short note, on behalf of the President Lewis Derrico and fellow Members of the Old Paradians’ Association committee, to thank you all sincerely for being part of the journey through 2016.

In the seven years since members of the new committee first came together, we’ve tried to be true to the OPA’s core objective - to reconnect with all those for whose formative years were shaped at Parade.

Once again, the Association staged a series of events designed “to promote and foster a spirit of union and good fellowship” amongst its own, in keeping with its original Rules and Constitution of 1914.

Notwithstanding the reunions of final year Parade students of 1966, ’76, ’86, ’96 and 2006, a succession of functions punctuated the Old Paradians’ crammed social calendar.

In February, the OPA held its annual bike ride from Alphington-Bundoora to coincide with the College’s Open Day. This year’s ride involved players of the association’s amateur football club who beyond the finish line joined hundreds of visitors in viewing Parade at its pristine best.

In March and June, the Association convened Business Breakfasts at the Carlton Football Club, at which The Age’s seasoned sportswriter Rohan Connolly and Old Paradian Paul Banks (1987) delivered their respective keynote addresses.

The breakfasts bookended the annual reunion luncheon for the College’s Vietnam War veterans, held in the Frank Mount Social Room prior to the Parade-Whitefriars 1st XVIII match on the Garvey Oval in May.

In August, the OPA saw fit to honour the many women who have contributed so much to College life, in conducting a High Tea at Ballara Receptions in Eltham. Elnaz Tavancheh, a final year student of the College in 2014, capably officiated as Guest Speaker at the inaugural event.

Through the course of 2016, the association recognised those who had made substantial contributions to Parade College life. Accordingly, it declared Elizabeth Stella the recipient of its annual Woman of Distinction Award, and the late Phil McLaughlin its Honorary Old Paradian.

The association also inducted John Wegner AO into its Hall of Fame - the 15th Old Paradian so honoured since the Hall’s establishment in 2010.

More recently, Alex Fabiani, a final year Parade College student of 1976, was named this year’s recipient of the association’s Community Service Award, for his wonderful work for the less fortunate through the Community Service Kitchen at South Morang. Through the kitchen, Alex and his team of volunteers have over recent years served more than 27,000 meals to those who need them most.

To complete the year, the association saw fit to honor two great men - John Joss and John Nicholls – with Honorary Old Paradian awards - in recognition of their collective contributions of more than 70 years to the College as teachers.

I wish to extend sincere thanks to the President Lewis Derrico for his unwavering support and guidance these past seven years, together with fellow members of the Old Paradians’ Association’s dedicated committee, and all who believe in the association and what it represents.

Thanks also to Mirella Busso-Lee for her boundless energy, and to Parade College Principal, Dr Denis Moore without whose help the association would not function.

To all Old Paradians everywhere, I wish you the very best for you and your loved ones for Christmas and the New Year and let’s all ensure there’s strength in numbers into 2017 and beyond.

Tony De Bolfo
CEO Old Paradians’ Association

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