It’s nigh on 40 years since the then Parade College captain Tim Donohue last lugged his schoolbooks to the Bundoora Campus . . .
So it was with a reasonable degree of sentiment and for vastly different circumstances that the final year student of 1981 recently reacquainted himself with the old College environs.
Together with his friend and resident fencer Andrew Caddy, Tim cast a discerning eye over the FIFA-approved soccer pitch known as Wright Field –and more specifically the recently-constructed fence now enclosing it – in his capacity as partner of Melbourne Chain Wire Fencing which earned the Parade contract.
Negotiations to fence the synthetic playing surface were, according to Andrew, held over a 12-month period, with the process of fencing completed in three months, in conjunction with Tiger Turf (through another Old Paradian Nick Kerr (1986)) which laid the strip.
“We came in after the set-up of the pitch to put all the posts in and then finish it all,“ Andrew said. “We had to lay out around 400 metres of low fencing on top of 360 metres of high fencing. It was a big job and Parade and Tiger Turf were fantastic to work with.”
Originally formed over 26 years ago and now part of the ProWire Fencing Group, Melbourne Chain Wire Fencing, according to the company blurb, “typically manages infrastructure or construction in local government, education, sports and other civil works”.
The company’s fencing of Wright Field follows a similar project to encase the hockey pitch installed by Tiger Turf at Parade’s Preston Campus - “although the Bundoora project was on a bigger scale” as Andrew pointed out.
Andrew added that the Covid-19 pandemic had not adversely impacted on Melbourne Chain Wire Fencing’s operations either. At the time of writing, the company boasts contracts with five separate local councils and has just completed work on Alphington’s redeveloped Pitcher Park and North Heidelberg’s Shelley Park.
As Andrew noted: “In times of insecurity people want to fence things up or cage things in, and we have noticed a steep rise in business since it (the virus) happened”.
On completing his fence inspection, Tim took the liberty of touring the old College. In the Hickey Foyer, he found his late father’s name on the Old Paradians’ Association’s World War II Honour Board and his own moniker on the newly-refurbished board featuring those of the College captains.
“It’s 40 years next year since I finished up at Parade and I hasten to say that I did pass,” said Tim, whose brothers Paul and Andy (1975) and father Paul sen. (1936) were all former students of the College.
“Often you go to places you haven’t been back to over a long period of time, and they’ve deteriorated dramatically, but that is not the case at Parade.
“The College looks fantastic today. It’s right up there with the very best schools in terms of its facilities.”