Few can say they have given more to Parade than John Joss and John Nicholls – and this week, in recognition of their collective contributions of more than 70 years to the College as teachers, “the two Johnnies” were presented with Honorary Old Paradian awards.
The presentation to the pair happened at a final Christmas gathering of the Old Paradians’ Association committee, at Maroush Restaurant in Eltham. OPA President Lewis Derrico and Vice-President Paul Shannon led the tributes and both men were presented with glass mementoes.
Both Johns expressed enormous gratitude to the Association, with ‘Nicho’, an old St Pat’s Ballarat boy, flippantly suggesting “I’ve now got an excuse to wear an Old Paradians tie”.
‘Jossy’, who spent his formative years at Assumption College, was equally humbled.
Having retired as an accountancy teacher at Parade after 30 years in 2001, John Joss remains a regular at Old Paradians functions and as a Vietnam veteran is a dedicated member of the Association’s Old Paradians in Active Service sub-committee.
In acknowledging John Joss’s contributions at the ceremony, Paul said he was honoured “in speaking on behalf of those here and the many generations of those who had the pleasure of being taught by John”.
“I remember that Jossy was flexible in his dealings with his kids. In that sense he was before his time, a time when it was pretty autocratic in schools,” Paul said.
“‘Jossy’ loved being around young fellas and it continued for a long, long time over many, many years at Parade. He had and still has an unbelievable connection with all of us and there’s no more deserving recipient of the Honorary Old Paradian Award . . . ”
John Nicholls remains very much part of the fold at the College. As Lewis noted in his presentation to John: “after 37 years it is a real credit to you that you continued to evolve, continued to reinvent yourself and continued to contribute and make a difference”.
“What you have done John to link the student body with the wider community is significant,” Lewis said.
“Through the Pathways Program you continue to link students with careers, work placements, employers and Old Boys. You continue to market the Paradian brand to all facets of the Parade Community, you have supported school reunions over the years and a common question from old boys wanting to attend is ‘Will Mr Nicholls be attending?’.
“You are a credit to the purple, green and blue, and a worthy recipient of the Honorary Old Paradian Award - and the Parade Community has been most fortunate to have you in our midst.”
Established in the Old Paradians’ Association’s Centenary Year of 2014, the Honorary Old Paradian Award acknowledges those who, whilst not schooled at Parade, have contributed significantly to the cause of the College and/or the Association over many years.
Maurie Considine was the inaugural recipient of the Honorary Old Paradian Award in 2014, followed by the late Guy Rodrigues in the same year. Keith Sharkie was a recipient in 2015 with the late Phillip McLaughlin so honoured in August.