The recently-opened Ambrose Treacy Pavilion provided the idyllic backdrop for the official launch of an extensive compendium of Old Paradian biographies – Parade Thy Sons volume 1.

The 336-page book, which chronicles the incredible life stories of 100 Old Paradians schooled at the College between its foundation year of 1871 and 1963, was launched at the Bundoora campus in a year in which Parade celebrates its sesquicentenary. Speakers at the launch were the College Principal Andy Kuppe (pictured below), author Tony De Bolfo, editor John Ramsdale, retired psychologist Dr Paul Power and current College teacher James Shingler.

The launch attracted a great cross-section of College history – from the Arthur, Gorman and Mount families whose names loom large in the Parade story - through to Colin Glazebrook, Paul McCrohan OAM, David Millie MBE and Dr Power whose life stories feature in the new book.

Descendants of many other subjects of Parade Thy Sons, some of them long gone, were also in attendance – amongst them current College teacher Paul Watson, whose great great grandfather Andrew Larkin was the first Dux of CBC East Melbourne’s 1871 foundation year – and James Shingler (pictured below), whose grandfather Robert was a former President of the Old Paradians’ Association.

Others in attendance were Ruth Pendavingh (daughter of Melbourne’s beloved “Mr Movies” the late Old Paradian Ivan Hutchinson); and Patricia Shannon and Joan Reid, the respective wives of the late Old Paradians Bernie Shannon and Bill Reid. Also present was the former Old Paradians’ Association President Lewis Derrico and the current Association committeeman Andy Walsh.

Pictured is Julie and Peter Gorman with Parade College's Project Officer Regina Rowan.

Parade Thy Sons emerged from the concept stage in July 2020 when the Principal Andy Kuppe signed off on the book following discussions with the College’s English Learning Area Leader James Fogarty. The book is to be included in the Year 7 curriculum for the next three years to inspire the students with tales of Paradians like them who came before.

Tony De Bolfo, who is also the Old Paradians’ Association CEO, conceded that book could not have been completed within the tight deadline had it not been for the COVID-19 lockdowns, which forced the cancellation of all other Association activities through 2020.

“While I was initially intimidated by the scale of this task and its reasonably tight deadline, I had at my disposal a reasonable quota of biographies I’d circulated through the Old Paradians these past ten years,” Tony said.

“I was also put at ease by the level of support from the Parade community – including Old Paradians who were encouraged to submit their own stories for publication or the relatives of deceased Old Paradians who did so on their behalf – and the knowledge and expertise of a wonderful editor John Ramsdale who taught me at Parade.”

John and Tony - teacher and pupil turned editor and author - are pictured below.

Tony hoped that the 100 biographies - covering most of the ‘Old Bluestone Pile’s’ 96 years – would serve to pique the interest of readers long enough for
the release of Parade Thy Sons volume 2, which spans the 53-year history of the Bundoora Campus to 2021 and should be available this Christmas.

“What hopefully becomes apparent to the reader of this book is the sheer scale of career diversity – from doctors to lawyers, customs officers to clergy, artists to musicians and sportsmen to soldiers (Lest We Forget),” Tony said.

“On a personal level, Parade Thy Sons has reinforced my long-held view that the greatest stories are true. Through the process of research and writing I’ve found welcome inspiration in the stories of these great men, at a time when stories like theirs are increasingly harder to find.

“It’s my fervent hope that the book resonates with all who make up the College community, inspires today’s Paradians to follows their dreams, and celebrates the greatness of Parade in this its 150th year.”

PARADE THY SONS, a 336-page compendium of Old Paradian biographies, is available for purchase in hardback ($60.00) through the Old Paradians’ Association, tel. 9468 3300.

Images - Anthony Glatzel