Members of the class of 1998 have turned out in near record numbers for a boisterous 20-year reunion at the Bundoora campus.
Seventy-three former students filed through the gates of the College for the gathering in the Hickey Foyer, before retiring to the Frank Mount Social Room for what proved to be a late night by the Garvey Oval.
One of them, Justin Kelly, truly relished the opportunity to reconnect with old friends.
“It was a great night catching up with the lads, reminiscing about the old days, discussing what everyone is up to now and perhaps having one too many,” Justin said.
“It’s fair to say fun was had by all - we even managed to have a few games of flicks later in the evening, which was a massive throwback to old ERC lunchtime days.
“It was great just to chat with some of the fellows who, for whatever reason, you may have lost touch with and knowing that you can pretty much pick up from right where you left off.”
Danny Bearzatto, a Prefect in that final year, deputised for the College Captain Walter De Backer, currently domiciled in New York in addressing the gathering.
Reflecting on his days at Bundoora and the friends that he made, Danny echoed the view of all in the room when he said of ’98: “While there were the odd warring factions early on, by Year 11 and Year 12 we all came together, and 1998 was a great year involving a great bunch of blokes”.
“I made quite a few friendships and it’s been great to see everyone’s life progress on Facebook,” Danny said.
“We were a really tight-knit bunch of guys who were there for eachother through pretty tough times for teenagers . . . and it’s as if we’ve never left.
“That’s because Parade was all about mateship and learning to see the good in people. That’s what Parade meant to me.”
Members of the class of ’98 heard from OPA President Lewis Derrico and waxed lyrical with their old teacher Jim Seymour. Apologies were accepted from former students Ryan Rampling and Adam Tatangelo, both living in Western Australia, Nathan Barker now in Sydney, Shaun Darmody, in Seattle and Matt Galgano who is currently overseas.
Apologies were also accepted from teachers past and present John Joss and John Nicholls, and the Parade College Principal Dr Denis Moore.
To view all images of the 1998 Reunion, go to the Gallery section of this site.