Around 50 Old Paradians renewed acquaintances at the 2000, 2001 and 2002 Reunion held at the Old England Hotel, Friday May 20. They were joined by former staff members David McGrath and Jim Seymour. David traveled down from the Gold Coast for the event and Jim, enjoying his well-earned retirement, had just returned from pulling his caravan from far north Queensland.
Hosts for the evening were Old Paradians Association Vice President Andy Walsh (1971) and the Association’s Administration Officer Lexie Stewart. Andy stepped in for John Nicholls who was unable to attend the event.
Andy Walsh was able to reflect upon his Old Paradian experience. He spoke of his 50-year journey, the close connection, support and regular get togethers that his Club 71 group, class mates from 1971, have been able to have in that time. Andy’s 50-year reunion held last year had 60 of the 120 class mates in attendance. He encouraged those in the room to put the effort into staying connected, to get involved in Old Paradian events and the work of the Association. Andy reflected on what an impressive group of men they were and was so happy to join their Reunion. Parade and the Old Paradians have a long association with the Old England Hotel. Andy said he had his 10 year reunion there 40 years earlier!
A minute’s silence was held for the 12 Old Boys from 2000, 01, 02 who have passed away. Andy commented on the most respectful silence demonstrated by group.
Andy then invited Daniel Spitty, Vice-Captain of the College (2002) and Daniel Giddings (2002) College Captain to reflect upon their school experiences and what it means to them to be Old Paradians. The two Daniels have remained very close over the years. They both played for the Old Paradians Football Club, both installed as life members of the Football Club on the same day, were best man at their respective weddings. I understand that they have become fathers about the same time as well!!
Andy was able to bring David McGrath to the microphone who reflected on the wonderful legacy of Br Denis Moore who employed David in 1995. Of course, Brother Denis was Principal of the College for the graduating years of the reunion. In fact, the class of 2000 were first to wear the current blazer that begun the phasing out the traditional Parade green blazer.
Paul Cutri, College Captain 2000 and Darren Fantone, College Captain 2001 were also very happy to be in attendance.
A great photo of the 3 College Captains from the Reunion leads this report.