Former students and teachers both past and present recently gathered in the Hickey Foyer to raise a glass in celebration of Parade College’s 50 years.

Amongst those in attendance for the 50th anniversary celebrations was Spence Williams who was schooled at the ‘Old Bluestone Pile’ in East Melbourne and was later part of Bundoora’s teaching faculty in that landmark year of 1968.

Last year’s College Dux Callum Holmes, resplendent in his Old Paradians tie and pictured here with long-serving teacher Ivan Kummerle, also joined the festivities as did six former College captains - Phil Carter (1969), Michael Milesi (1971), Lewis Derrico (1974), John Tobin (1986), Gerard Smith (1987) and Michael Donato (2017) - and next year's captain Max Tricarico.

Also pictured is the class of '82's Dino Lorenzin and Angelo Mazzone, who is also the Old Paradians' Association's Treasurer.

Robert Wegner (1979) jetted in from the Northern Territory for the evening’s festivities, as did Frank Bongiorno (1986) from Canberra.

Former students arrived early to partake in the College tours led by Assistant Principal – Staff Welfare & Development Mark Aiello (1990) and Old Paradians’ Association Secretary Mirella Busso-Lee. Acting Principal Andy Kuppe (1983) and John Nicholls later addressed the gathering.

John told the gathering that it was timely to reflect on the significance of the 50-year celebration of “the new Parade”.

“We have this wonderful school that has been the result of outstanding contributions by very many Brothers and lay staff, as well as magnificent contributions of the Old Paradians’ Association and the fathers and mothers groups over that period of time. Our old boys have been the direct beneficiaries of these contributions,” John said.

“In 1968 there were 736 students with 21 full-time teachers, 13 of whom were Christian Brothers, eight lay staff and five assistant teaching staff. There were three Chaplains, an admin staff of four, Eileen Hecker in the Canteen and Alan Smith on property and grounds whom many would remember.”

John said that former students and staff members filing through the gates would quickly come to appreciate the magnitude of change these past 50 years since the monumental move north.

“It would be remiss not to acknowledge the huge demands of uprooting a century old College and moving it to an 80-acre site in a rural setting here at Bundoora, and the leadership, foresight and vision of the Christian Brothers in the 1960s, particularly Br. Nash, the last Principal of Parade College East Melbourne,” he said.

“Br. Nash (after whom our current Learning Centre is named) bore much of the weight of the first phase of the Bundoora project through to completion and gave great assistance to Bundoora’s first Principal, Br. Bill Greening after whom our Auditorium is named in honour.

“Br. Greening was quoted in 1968 as saying ‘we are blessed with a magnificent building complex, ample fields dotted with stately gums and enjoying the prospect of further developments in the future’. He was certainly on the money there as the College has constantly developed and evolved to meet new demands and challenge since 1968.”

Photographs courtesy Anthony Glatzel (1989). To view all of Anthony’s images, go to the Gallery section at the bottom of the homepage.