In this the 50th year of the Bundoora Campus’ existence, many Old Paradians such as Steven Monteath (1965) have felt compelled to contemplate those formative years and place on record their precious recollections.
Steven, pictured here at a recent memorial service, and second in line behind the beret-wearing officer, has reflected on his East Melbourne days with Parade.
The following is his story, in his own words;
I well remember my father taking me down to St Pius X Church before we went to Alphington and the Flowerdale Christian Brothers College for the entrance exam. I also remember Sister Brigid of the MSC at St Pius X telling me she would say a prayer for me on that day. Oh, so long ago and with so very many memories.
Brother Monagle was the Principal at the College and he was one of
the kindest persons I have met. Yes, I did pass and I did begin in
1962/3 [memory tested
here, guess the year books would define the proper date] and was
amazed at the amount of homework to be done and the French lessons that
ended in French, aahhhh.
Flowerdale was a great place for a student, it had the football,
cricket fields, the running track and the two-storey building just off
the road. The Brothers
house was an old circa 1900 Victorian Federation style building with
a magnificent verandah. The houses over the road were used for singing
as I remember and the other students, well, that’s to come.
Parade, Tenete Traditiones, Purple Green and Blue, Yarrangabee,
Yarrangabee Yunga, Parade, Parade, you taught me so much that still
haunts my being [haunts
in a favourable way, most certainly].
The ‘boys’ Price, Jones, Mifsud, Boyne, Stella and all those others
whom I recall only as ‘boys’, they were part of the memory, part of the
I was not the brightest light in the globe factory, nor the most
able athlete, yet in my own way I persevered and made it to the
Bluestone Pile two
I joined the cadets and a lad by name Wilson played the cornet and
enjoined me to same. I was never meant to be a musician, my patience
never allowed me
Studies at the ‘Pile’ for me were hard and yet enjoyable. Brother
Cummins and Mr Hickey the science teacher were persons I grew to admire.
on the other hand, well he was the Principal and he was the number
one person of the College. Yet it was Brother Nash who wanted me to push
studies, even going so far as to have Saturday catch-up time with
maths and algebra. [You know after all these years I have never been
able to figure
out why we studied this].
The older ‘boys’ were generally of good humour in guiding us newbies
along and when it was library day we would push off across the Fitzroy
the council library. ‘The Pile’ had the usual CBC handball courts
and the massive walls of bluestone projecting all corners of the main
road, yet my
class rooms were not of The Pile, they were of the Presbyterian
Ladies College and the Australian Ballet over the road in a place which
the Dallas Brooks Hall, a Masonic Temple of repute.
The PLC, Presbyterian Ladies College housed us junior ‘boys’ and one
half of the building the ballet company. If you were game enough, you
would go up
the stairs to where the balcony joined the other half of the
building and peering through the palings you could see Sir Robert
Helpmann and a female
dancer or two. Hmmm how many would remember doing this?
Sport as per the CBC grounding was paramount, it was next to going to
church, it was virtually of Holy Orders. Martin Kyne, Michael Boyne
were the heroes
of the day as was VFL. Parade sports days defeating St Kevin’s were
my most remembered. The cycling, the cricket, the handball, the tennis,
sport, sport, sport. Days of wonder.
Church was part of the regimen and St Patrick’s altar boys was where I
was headed for along with of course several others whose attention was
church. The older ‘boys’ from Parade and the Cathedral College were
the chosen ones who once taken under the wing of Father Penn Jones were
military style in the order of attention, style, poise and no
smiles. I remember going on a camp down to Apollo Bay with this group
and having the
eagle eyes of Penn Jones ensuring ears, nose and other regions were
clean. Fuss and bother, fuss and bother, yet the escape from West
I only had three years at Parade and these for me were formative
beyond my imagination. To this day I still can call out the War Cry,
sing the Parade song
and wear purple, green and blue tie with some pride.
When I left, I began an apprenticeship in cabinet making and three
years into this I left to become a Redemptorist Brother at Galong NSW.
Here I learnt
to milk cows, feed pigs, cut hay, drive tractors, drink, pray, cook
and endeavour to realise my mother’s dreams. Yes, my mother’s dreams.
of us have done exactly what our parent wanted of us?]
I stayed here for three years before realising that there were other
things for me. Once back in Melbourne, I began an apprenticeship again
this time in
furniture making wood machining. FW Fallshaws in Heidelberg were my
employers and very good ones to boot. After three years I left and with
fiancée left for Canberra where she was stationed as a WROTEW WRAN.
[Navy talk for WRAN radio teleprinter operator electronic warfare. Hmm
I worked with the Department of Housing and Construction for three
years and left to joining the Navy, where upon I was told that I could
not as one of
us would have to leave as ‘the Navy does not have junior sailors
married the WRANS Officers’. [It would not happen today what with all
and alphabet society rejigging the standards]. So after three months
of Navy life I left and joined the Army. I was with 3 Batt and later
to Ares as staff, stayed my three and bit years and left this to
take up a teaching position at of all places, Collingwood Tech.
After gaining my Cert in teaching I went to Prahran CAE, Footscray
Tech and left there after three years for an offered position at Ithaca
TAFE in Brisbane
where I stayed until 1993 when I was asked after the Fitzgerald
Enquiry to attend the Police College at Oxley as a trainer. This was a
and rewarding one at that. During this period I gained my BA in
Sociology and my Masters studies in Distance Education, thanks Parade, I
made it up
the academic ladder after all these years.
The grounding one gets as a youth prepares one for life and thanks to
my time at Parade, I used the ethics and standards taught to me to
engage this then
new and rewarding career change. I ended up being the OIC Staff
Training, OIC Manger Succession Planning and for a period before I left
as the Professional
Development Program OIC.
I retired at 52 years of age, young eh, yet depression and the ever
present Black Dog made life very tiresome and ugly. You see things in
the Army, in
Policing that torment and harangue you. You see and do things, out
up with things that impress upon you the importance of life. I now enjoy
the RSL as Senior Vice President at my local Sub, Branch where the
camaraderie of Service life comes to the fore through retired members. I
married three times, my first wife was killed in a motor accident
and my second wife decided I was not worth the effort. Yet having a son
marriage was the biggest life bonus I could ever wish for. He by the
way went into the Navy and after six years has just left and joined
Systems. I have been married to my third wife now for thirteen very
happy years and have three beautiful step daughters I would not trade
So, Parade taught me many things and quite possibly I have let Her
down at times, yet I do believe the grounding I received as a young
person from my father,
mother and the Brothers and of course Mr Hickey, I made it. I made
it because I held onto traditions, standards and the Old Bluestone Pile.
-Steven Robert Edward Monteath, formerly of 16 Marks Avenue, West Heidelberg