It’s 50 years ago to the day this Sunday – Sunday, February 4, 1968 – that Parade College Bundoora was formally opened.

His Excellency, the Governor of Victoria Sir Rohan Delacombe, completed the task before an audience of 3000 people – amongst them representatives of Federal and State Parliaments, local government and the Church – who watched on from the College quadrangle.

That afternoon, Archbishop Knox blessed the buildings; the foundation stone having been blessed by the Old Paradian and Bishop Arthur Fox ten months earlier, on Sunday, April 9, 1967.

Present for the formal opening was Brother JS Nash - the immediate past Principal of Parade who represented the Provincial of the Southern Province of the Christian Brothers. Mr A. Jarman MHR represented the then Prime Minister John Gorton.

An unnamed correspondent reporting the formal opening for the 1968 edition of The Paradian wrote that “in the course of his address, His Excellency paid tribute to the numbers of Old Paradians who ‘have contributed to the real meaning and value and vitality of all walks of life’ and expressed the conviction that present Paradians will do their best for Australia because ‘this is well understood by the boys and Christian Brothers’.

“His Grace, the Archbishop, reminded the boys that ‘they are receiving much, and much will be expected of them’ and recalled the fate of so many millions who, living in sub-human conditions, have such opportunities denied them”.

The Paradian correspondent added that when the formalities for the afternoon were completed, “those present were able to inspect the school and must surely have been impressed by the magnitude, design and finish of the new Parade”.

“Old Paradians, having experienced the limitations of the ‘Bluestone Pile’ at East Melbourne, had obvious cause to envy a new generation of Paradians, blessed as they are with a magnificent building complex sited in ample fields, dotted with stately gums, and enjoying the prospect of further development as the future unfolds,” wrote the correspondent.

“It is one thing to receive the fruits of nearly one hundred years of faith and endeavour; it is another to be worthy of such a legacy. The Paradians of 1968 and the future will prove to be so if they heed the call of their Archbishop on Opening Day to be generous and unselfish in seeking to destroy the injustices in society; to win for themselves the title of ‘creators of peace’.”

Michael Formaini, a Form V student in that year and President of the Railway Club for boys interested in railway topics, recalled fronting up for the first day of classes on February 6.

“The kids started on the Tuesday after the formal opening. I remember the buses took us on a circuit around what later became the Garvey Oval to get us to the College’s bus bay,” Michael said.

“I remember the Principal, the late Br Greening, delivering an interesting address and I can remember sitting in the classroom looking out across the paddock – there was no Greensborough bypass back then.”

SAVE THE DATE: The Old Paradians’ Association is planning a 50th Anniversary Celebration of Parade College Bundoora, to be held at the Bundoora Campus on the evening of Saturday, October 13, 2018. All former students of the College, particularly those schooled at “the new Parade” in the 50 years since 1968, are welcome, together with their wives/partners.