The following tribute to the 1948 Parade Captain and College Dux the late Fr Peter Jones has been paid by Kevin Rickard - a final year student of 1953 and an Inductee into the Old Paradians’ Association Hall of Fame.
Rev. Fr. Peter Jones, SJ, BEE(Melb), BA(Melb), H.Dip Ed.(Cantab) died
in India on Anzac Day, April 25, 2021. Peter was a truly great,
inspiring and humble
son of Parade. He was 90 years old and had been a member of the
Society of Jesus for 66 years. He had laboured magnificently for the
in the Lord’s vineyard in India for 60 years. During some of this
time in India he had collaborated with another Old Paradian , Fr. Lou
Fr. Jones grew up in the Port Melbourne Carmelite parishfrom where he travelled to St. Colman’s under the legendary Bro. Bowler and subsequently on to Parade. His later years at Parade were with Bro. Charles Marlow. He matriculated first in 1947 but was too young for university. Accordingly in 1948 he repeated Matriculation but widened his subject choices. In 1948 he was school Captain, Dux of the school and Prefect of the Sodality. The Matriculation class notes of that year in the Paradian mention “Peter with his quiet friendly manner and his fund of knowledge on Maths and Science was ever a popular figure. Peter had the honour of being the first Paradian under the new system of matriculation to gain a Newman scholarship”. He proceeded to the University of Melbourne where he completed his degree in Electrical Engineering. Soon after, he completed the degree of Bachelor of Arts majoring in Mathematics.
He entered the Society of Jesus in 1955 and completed his novitiate
and studies of Philosophy at Loyola College in Watsonia. In 1960 he
the Jesuit Mission in India.He completed his Jesuit period of
Regency at St. Xavier’s school in Hazaribag. His studies in theology
were in Darjeeling
in the foothills of the Himalayas. He was ordained to the priesthood
in 1967 in Darjeeling.
His beloved widowed Irish mother, Mary Ellen Jones (nee Flannery),
together with his godmother, Mrs. Camilla White travelled to India for
Mrs. Jones often spoke of the mystical experience of flying over the
Himalayas after Peter’s ordination as she returned to Australia.
father, Sydney, was a staunch convert to Catholicism. There was a
magnificent family of two boys, both priests and four daughters two of
Peter’s ministry in India involved high school teaching, head
mastership, pioneer teaching of mathematics in schools , author and
printer of his own text
books for mathematics, community bank supporter, Parish priest and
spiritual guide to the people of his beloved Mahuadanr.
At St. Xavier’s school in Hazaribag and fresh from Australia he
taught at the school for four years in 1961-1964. Again, four years
later and now a priest,
he re-joined the school and taught for a further five years. His
background in mathematics for electrical engineering and his Melbourne
in mathematics had prepared him well for teaching the subject. At
this stage he took a break from the school classroom and studied for a
year at the
university of Cambridge, completing the Higher Diploma in
Education.On returning to St. Xavier’s in 1975 he taught for several
more years during part
of which time he was Principal for 18 months.
Whilst at St. Xavier’s he composed and printed his own textbooks for
mathematics which were used extensively in India.Sometime later Indian
began to print school textbooks following new methods of teaching
which Fr. Jones had pioneered 10 years before. While he was Principal
trends in other parts of India St. Xavier’s phased out the boarding
facility. Fr. Jones set about restructuring the school to become a day
increased enrolment. Accordingly, the main classroom block underwent
a facelift with the addition of a third story to the building. With all
at St. Xavier’s, Fr. Jones influenced more than two generations of
boys in the latter part of the last century.
After his St. Xavier’s school days, he was the beloved Parish Priest
in Mahuadanr for a number of years. He loved being among the Tamil Nadu
died peacefully in his sleep at St Stanislaus College Sitagarha,
India in April this year. The Old Paradians’ Association extends its
to Peter’s family.
Peter was a loyal devout follower of St. Ignatius of Loyola as a holy
blessed devoted Jesuit missionary in foreign lands much like the great
St. Francis Xavier.
May he rest in peace.
Kevin Rickard (1953)
Thanks to Fr. Peter’s brother, Adrian and Tony De Bolfo for their contributions to this memoir.