A wonderful night took place at the Old England where around 50 old boys gathered to celebrate their 40-year school reunion. Some came from long distances to get to the event. Damian Hehir and Mark Elder made the trip from Queensland, Paul Street came down from Canberra and Brendan Evans came across from Western Australia.
The group remembered those classmates who had passed away since leaving the College in 1983. We were able to respectably observe a minute’s silence for Peter Benetti, Paul Campese, Darren Chappel, John Cincotta, Paul Fenton, Barry McBrearty, and Peter Williams. Barry McBrearty was represented by his son Jack, godson of Damien Hehir, at the gathering, which was terrific.
College Captain Ryan Irwin spoke to the group. He spoke so beautifully about the journey, gratitude, friendships, and pride in his association with Parade. Ryan spoke fondly of playing footy at the school with Johnny Cincotta who dominated in the wet and his close friendship with Darren Chappel. I was able to give the group an update on OPA activities and events and extended an invitation to get involved.
Ryan was joined by some fellow prefects on the night. Former Parade College Principal and CEO and Director of Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA), Andy Kuppe. Matthew O’Brien travelled from Warrnambool; he has forged his career in education, currently, the Principal of St Joseph’s Primary School. Phil Goulding has had a career in aged care and community services after a leadership role at the Children’s Hospital. Mark Elder has been practicing Law while Marcus Barber supports businesses as a strategic futurist.
It was great to have former staff members Trish Joss (Miss Rooney), John Joss, Joe Marchio and John Nicholls in attendance. The boys remembered Miss Rooney fondly from her days at Alphington. Building billy carts and billy cart races were a highlight with Trish. We intend to publish photos of these days in what is 50 years since Trish started working at Parade Alphington. Damian Hehir remembered John Joss telling him to give Accounting away and take up Graphics!
We received an apology from Br Laurie Collins, John Ramsdale and Thomas Plustwick.
Members of the winning 1983 Herald Shield caught up again after their reunion dinner earlier in the year. Paul Fahey, Mark Beers, Martin Heffernan, Matt O’Brien, Marcus Barber, Peter Barnes, Damien McInerney, Glen Turner, Michael Vear, Chris O’Halloran, Michael Newell and Mark Elder. They were able to share stories of their great win, the first the College had secured.