When members of Parade’s final year class of 1989 belted out their own unique rendition of ‘Old Bluestone Pile’ on Friday night, the 171 year-old walls of the Old England Hotel’s appropriately-named Bluestone Lounge somehow managed to hold up - for this was a boisterous lot of former students heartily celebrating their 30-year reunion at the salubrious Heidelberg establishment.
Almost 40 former class members joined teachers past and present John Joss, John Nicholls and Jim Seymour, in raising a glass to the ’89 year – an event organised by fellow class member Dean Forde in conjunction with the Old Paradians’ Association’s Alumni Officer Kylie Hannam.
Two apologies were accepted from Luigi Cifone, now living in Ireland, and Peter Koch now domiciled in the United States. In an email conveyed to the gathering, Koch said:
“I wish I could have been in the country to attend tonight’s re-union but travel didn't line up. I don't know if you are updating a list of where we all ended up, but it would be interesting to read . . . for me, married, two kids and one cavoodle, living in the San Francisco Bay Area; works at Facebook as a Technical Lead (working on augmented & virtual reality); misses the most lunchtime handball games and the unbeatable B-debating team; and fave teacher Peter Hadji (maths)”.
During the formalities, a Minutes silence was observed in memory of former final-year students Sean Barrett, Matthew Bridgeman, Luke Carter and Perrie Turner.
In the absence of the 1989 College Captain Pat O’Shea, David Witchell capably reflected on that final year of schooling in a memorable address to his old College contemporaries.
When asked what Parade meant to him, Dave replied: “There was this great camaraderie and the fact that everyone was equal”.
“No-one was any better than anyone else, you became friends with anyone,” David said.
“Yes, there were arguments here and there, but I really can’t remember any fights. This was a bunch of guys who got on well together and 30 years on nothing’s changed.”
The Old Paradians’ Association wishes to thank the following former students of the Class of 1989 and teachers past and present for supporting the 30-year reunion at the Old England Hotel’s 1848 Bluestone Lounge: Daniel Aicher, Dean Arnel, John Baillie, Paul Blake, Joe Casamento, Daniel Chatfield, Peter Coen, Martin Collings, Peter Cotter, Roger Curry, Michael Dalton, Chris Donald, Simon Doust, Steven D'Rozario, Pat Dunell, Adrian Finanzio, Dean Forde, Damien Gaffney, Simon Garlick, Anthony Glatzel, Andrew Grindlay, Dean Groves, Roland Havrila, Mark Hellier, Simon Hogg, Vincent Icasiano, John Joss, Shane Kinderis, Gregory Ley (and his wife Marika), Paul Marchbank, Emmanuel Natalizio, Chris Natoli, John Nicholls, Glenn Sandford, Phillip Schmidt, Jim Seymour, Steve Stewart, Philip Torney, Daniel Verocchi, Paul Villani, Shaun Wallace and David Witchell.