An only child, born in Richmond, William John Dunne was a student of Parade College East Melbourne through the dark days of the Second World War. He saw fighter planes whirr over the rooftop of the “Old Bluestone Pile”.
A more friendly, engaging character there never was, Bill, then a Cathedral choirboy, quickly forged schoolyard friendships - amongst them Kevin Dynan and John Eder, one of the touring Vienna Mozart choirboys offered shelter on the outbreak of world hostilities.
Such was the respect Bill commanded amongst his school chums that in 1944 he was elected Head Prefect (Captain) of the College.
Bill might have completed his studies at Parade in ’44, but in truth he never really left. Forging what would effectively be a 70-year love affair with Parade and the Old Paradians’ Association, the indefatigable old boy helped build the network in the immediate post-war years. He’d pedal his pushbike from place to place, sourcing contact details for fellow former students and scrawling their details onto library cards safely tucked away at his home in Hampton.
Bill, who died on New Year's Day 2014, dedicated so much of his life to Parade's interests. Perhaps his greatest achievement was rebuilding the College’s enrolment records, particularly those of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries which were discarded years ago.
“Bill was an exceedingly good person, terribly loyal," said his old friend Noel Purcell. "They coined that word to describe him I think, because he was loyal to his family of origin, his family of choice, his wife, his kids, his work, the Church, everything.
“He was a very straight, true and loyal bloke. He never took a false step in his life. He was an utterly good man and everyone who knew him would die by his side for his integrity".
Peer Year 1944