Ten years on, 30 members of Parade’s final year class of 2007 recently returned to the College to fly the flag for the remaining 270 who couldn’t make it back.

Ben Anderson, pictured here with his great mentor and Pathways Education Director John Nicholls, reflected on his time at Parade, in a Q and A conducted before the ’07 members in the Hickey Foyer.

When asked what Parade meant to him, Ben, an electrician by profession, replied: “Great memories, great people”.

“Thinking back on my time at Parade, I think about my mates and how much fun I had,” Ben said.

“When I reflect, my thoughts go back to how good the boys were and how solid were my friendships. The people I mixed with were great people, they all came out of this school and I just love the place.”

Admitting that in academic terms “I could have done more here,” Ben was a little disappointed he didn’t take full advantage of the myriad of opportunities on offer to him through his time at Parade.

“But Parade still set me up for a fantastic lifestyle I have now. I’m an electrician, I’ve travelled a bit and I’ve seen a bit of the world.”

Ben regarded John Nicholls as “a massive influence on me”.

“John didn’t know it, but he was the one who pretty much picked my career for me when he asked me what I wanted to do,” Ben said.

“VCAL helped enormously in developing my skills to get me into the workforce, so that when I did sit for a job interview after my time at Parade I was very well prepared.”

Amongst those of the class of 2007 in the room was Chris Kandilakis (thesedays captain of the Old Paradians’ Football Club), Jonathan Dib and Joseph Maugeri (now employed by the College as teacher and computer technician respectively) and Nathan Galatopoulos, who had jetted in from Byron Bay to be part of the night.

Nathan, who now operates a clothing outlet called Mr Vintage Australia in Byron, assisted the association in getting the message out to fellow members of his year by setting up a dedicated facebook page.

Also present at the reunion were members of Parade’s teaching fraternity – Marisa Cora, John Cornish, Anne-Marie Morello and Jim Seymour. Together they posed for the 2007 team photograph, as captured by Phil Carter.

The Parade College Principal Dr Denis Moore also attended.