It’s quite possibly the reunion to end all reunions - the night of Friday, October 12 – when the Old Paradians’ Association convenes a gathering to mark the 50th anniversary of the Bundoora Campus’ formal opening.
Past students and teachers are being welcomed back to Parade to take in a view of the ever-changing campus and raise a glass to the days of yore.
It’s 50 years now since the Bundoora campus was formally opened by the then Governor of Victoria Sir Rohan Delacombe and duly blessed by the fifth Archbishop of Melbourne James Knox.
That happened on February 4, 1968 and Bundoora’s inaugural College Principal, the late Br. Greening, noted in The Paradian of that year: “The demands of pioneering a new college have been heavy, but is pleasing to report that staff members and students have adjusted admirably to the new site and setting. Smaller problems of transport, playing facilities, travelling time and so on, which at times must appear to be mountainous to the boys, are temporary only”.
In the 50 years since Parade relocated from the “Old Bluestone Pile” in East Melbourne, Bundoora has undergone constant and dramatic change. It could be said that the Campus of 2018 bears little resemblance to the Parade of 50 years past when students were quite literally “studying with the cows” as one old boy put it.
Old Paradian Andrew Robb, who addressed students at College Assembly on his return to Bundoora in 2015, recalled those fledgling days by Plenty Road in a recent interview.
“In 1968, my final year, the College moved from the inner city out to Bundoora. Students of course develop attachments to the location, environment of their school, and I had two places,” he said.
Of what set Parade apart, Andrew also noted: “People were non-judgemental about who came from which suburb . . . (there was) a classless approach, no one minded where you lived or what background you came from, the interest was in your performance”.
50 years on, that noble principle still applies – and it is in that spirit of impartiality that the gates of Bundoora are open to former students of all years, on the night of October 12.
Old Paradians President Lewis Derrico, the College Captain of 1974, said that the 50th anniversary Bundoora gathering afforded former students and teachers a rare opportunity to view the campus they left behind.
“If you haven’t been involved with the school since you’ve left, you’ll discover that it’s not the school you left. Massive changes in curriculum and infrastructure have taken place in keeping with changing educational needs,” Lewis said.
“Parade College has been at the forefront of this change and so the opportunity presents itself to all former students and teachers to see the old school through a totally modern prism.”
With daylight saving in place, a rare opportunity presents itself for past students and teachers to tour the grounds of the College from 6.30pm at the Greening Auditorium (formerly the old hall) prior to the gathering.
For those preferring not to complete the tour, doors to the Greening Auditorium open at 7.00pm, with guests able to reflect on old times over mouth-watering canapes and beverages through to 10.00pm.
Cost is $50 which includes canapes and beverages (beer, wine, soft drink). RSVP is strictly Tuesday, October 2.