It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Lewis Derrico (1974) after a courageous fight with cancer.
Lewis made an enormous contribution to Parade College and the Old Paradians Association (OPA). College Captain in 1974, valued staff member from 1979-1986, President and driving force of the OPA from 2010 - June 2019. Lewis was a recent, extremely proud and humbled recipient of the OPA’s highest honour, the Tenete Award, recognising his outstanding contribution and service to the College and the OPA.
Lewis was given a fitting and memorable farewell on December 14, 2022.
The OPA is grateful to valued Committee Member John Ramsdale (1965) who wrote a short reflective piece on Lewis’ funeral service published below.
On an unseasonably cold and wet December morning over 400 people gathered in St Francis Xavier’s church Montmorency to farewell Lewis (Lew) Derrico. Many others joined us via the streaming service.
Attendees included Lew’s immediate and extended family, friends and former work colleagues. The Parade community was well represented by current and past staff members, former students as well as representatives of the Old Paradians’ Committee and Football Club.
The size and composition of the congregation bore witness to the impact that Lew had had on many people and the contributions which he had made in various fields of endeavour but especially Parade and the Old Paradians’ Association. Notable attendees were Brother Laurie Collins, who had been Lew’s principal during Lew’s time at Parade as a teacher and John Jennings who had been Lew’s mentor during this time.
Father Joe Giaccobe, a long-time family friend, celebrated the Mass and Lew’s daughters Rachel and Louisa and Paul Shannon, who succeeded Lew as the Old Paradians’ President delivered the eulogies. The speakers highlighted Lew’s qualities as a husband, father, friend and colleague: especially his integrity, vision, dedication, vision and optimism, especially when it came to Collingwood.
It was announced that a new award had been instigated in Lew’s memory. “The Lewis Derrico Award for the Outstanding Young Old Paradian” will be awarded annually at the Year 12 Valete Graduation Evening.
Father Giaccobe concluded the Mass with a quotation by Robert Louis Stevenson which he thought appropriately applied to Lew.
The man is a success:
who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;
who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children;
who has filled the niche and accomplished his task;
who leaves the world a better place than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
who never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.
Many people attended Ballara Receptions in Eltham where they could pay their respects to Lew’s wife Ana and family and share their stories of Lew’s life.