Old Paradians make an impression in many ways. So it was with Warren Synon, a final year student of Parade College’s class of 1981 who died recently after battling cancer.

Warren, a Lalor boy, completed his schooling at Parade at the end of Year 10. He is pictured here 40 years ago, serving steak sandwiches to schoolboys while dining out on a hamburger outside the Greening Auditorium on Founder’s Day.

Beyond school, Warren pursued a career as a tradesman, until recently operating as a self-employed drainage contractor in Thomastown. By then he’d already made his mark on old College contemporaries, amongst them Brendan Shannon.

“‘Wazza’ was a really interesting character. He was a big kid, a little socially awkward and a bit rambunctious, and you wouldn’t say academia was his strong suit. He had a sense of the ridiculous,” Brendan said.

“At Parade he was in some ways a bit of a square peg in a round hole, a fish out of water - but he made a few ripples at the same time . . . he was a genuine character.”

To best illustrate his argument, Brendan rattled off two tales, the first involving a Christian Brother who taught in his class.

“The boys nicknamed this particular Brother ‘Barnabus’ because he used to wear Roman sandals,” Brendan recalled.

“Barnabus used to huff and puff and slam his bag on the desk to get everyone’s attention. Now often big Wazza was the one who clowned around in class, but on this particular occasion somebody else was the chief offender and Barnabus hurled his maths book at the kid.

“After he’d hurled the book, the wind generated from the flickering pages brushed Wazza’s shoulder. Wazza leapt from his desk as if he’d been shot, then writhed around on the floor in supposed pain, which brought the house down.”

The next tale related to the funeral of a Christian Brother attended by Brendan and his fellow students, some time after Warren had severed ties with the College.

“I remember we formed a guard of honor and as the hearse neared, a motocross bikie came hurtling past the front of it on one wheel. That was Wazza.”

Warren was the son of Pam and Max Synon, the brother of Michele, Vicki, and Chris (1991) and uncle of Ashleigh, Emily, Sam, Hannah and Mikaela.

He died in Maryborough Hospital on September 14 and was privately cremated. His memorial service was held today (Friday, September 22) at St Luke’s Catholic Church, Lalor and to quote the notice placed by the Synon family, he is now “riding free”.