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REMEMBERING ADRIAN CALLINAN

Adrian Callinan, a final year Parade College student of 1941, and father to Old Paradians Paul (1970), Chris (1972) and Damian (1982), has died on the day before his 93rd birthday. 

The son of Andrew James Callinan who completed his schooling at the Old Bluestone Pile in 1898, Adrian was a member of the ’41 “Leaving A” class. He was a contemporary of Lewis “Chips” Grant, who succeeded the inaugural Head Prefect (College Captain) Ian Fraser when the latter joined the workforce half way through that year. In August 1943, LAC Grant was killed in an aircraft training manoeuvre in Port Pirie.

A most capable sportsman, Adrian featured in Parade’s 1st XVIII football, 1st XI cricket and intercollegiate athletics teams through Leaving. A posting for Adrian Callinan in the December 1941 edition of The Paradian reads: “One of our Combined Sports reps., must be congratulated for his fine efforts on sports day.

Adrian’s wife Kathleen Marie Callinan predeceased him in 2008. Kathleen’s father Jack Purcell was also an Old Paradian, having completed his final year at East Melbourne in 1915.

Adrian is survived by his children Annette, Paul, Chris, Michelle and Damian and their partners, together with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Funeral Mass for Adrian Paul Callinan will be offered at St Mary's Catholic Church, Grimshaw Street, Greensborough, this Wednesday, July 5, commencing 10.30am with a private cremation to follow.

No flowers by request, with donations if desired to Motor Neuron Disease.

The following tribute to Adrian, together with this image of father and son, was posted by Damian Callinan on Facebook over the weekend.

 

The last drizzles of colour cascaded from mid-air only to disappear in less impressive drifts of smoke. Horns from boats on the harbour and distant cheers replaced the cacophony of the pyrotechnics and we were able to resume our phone conversation. The sulphurous hangover lingered as I stood on the balcony and detailed the magic of my night thus far.

He hung off my every word in much the way I had done when he read to me of a night in my childhood bed. I loved the longer narratives of Arthur Conan Doyle and the word plays of Bennet Cerf, but it was the magical worlds of faeries conjured by WB Yeats and the canny lasses of Robby Burns that made me sit up and clutch my spare pillow. The accents and oratorial poise he summoned, seemed to take me directly to fog shrouded isles and moonlit corn rows. I loved those nights.

But on this night the roles were reversed. The noise and clatter of a Sydney New Year’s Eve faded in the background as I spoke to him on the balcony of the Opera House amidst the revellers whose post operatic party we had crashed. Still in the glow of a preview performance of ‘The Complete Works of Shakespeare' in the Playhouse, the English Lit teacher in him swooned at descriptions of analysing the Bard's text in rehearsal; the Actor in him delighted in hearing tales of my improvisations during the constructed mayhem of the piece and the Father in him swelled with pride.

It remains one of the most profoundly happy conversations of my life.

He gushed with envy and I told him how his passion for literature and theatre had fundamentally shaped who I am. His last words on that night were . . . ‘I am so proud of you’’.

A couple of nights ago, in a lucid moment amidst fits of delirium, I held both of his hands and his eyes locked onto mine and he said it again. They were his last words to me …

‘Farewell Adrian, if we do meet again, why we shall smile: if not, then this parting was well made'.