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PROMINENT OPs GATHER FOR UNVEILING OF PANELS

The former Test cricketer Adam Dale, 1984 Olympic Silver Medallist in the long jump Gary Honey and the former Australian professional footballer Massimo Murdocca, together with the family of professional yachtsman Nick Moloney, were amongst those in attendance at the Bundoora Campus for the formal unveiling of panels of 14 prominent Old Paradians in sport, politics and the arts, now featured in College Hall.

Joining them for the occasion was Darryn Borg, Chair of the Parade College Board, and fellow board members, together with Paul Williams the Edmund Rice Regional Director.

Lou Derrico, Tony De Bolfo and Members of the Old Paradians Committee, together with Mike Jolley and Peter Gilmartin from the Old Paradians Amateur Football Club, as well as John Abrahams from Catholic Education Melbourne, were also present.

Also present were representatives of Melbourne City A-League and Diamond Valley Basketball with whom the College has formed recent partnerships, members of the Parade Leadership Team and members of staff, as well as the current College Captains, Sport Captains and Sport Prefects. As Acting Principal Andy Kuppe told them: “What we are doing tonight is for you. Hopefully you are inspired and who knows which one of you will be added to these walls”.

The following is an edited transcript of Andy’s address;

 

“The idea for a wall of prominent Paradians has been fermenting for a while. The Old Paradians has a Hall of Fame that from our almost 150 years celebrates 15 Old Boys who by their example typifies what it means to be a Paradian. They are from most fields of endeavour: Armed Services, Sport, Music, the Law, Church, Leadership, Medicine, Police, Media and Community. Of the 15, only three are still alive.

We are a Church, a school that loves a narrative, loves a story. We want our boys to have a sense that they are part of a story much bigger than themselves. That they stand on the shoulders of giants that call them to their own greatness. With all the media about Cardinal Pell, at the moment, it is most appropriate that we celebrate those that speak of us at our best, without ever neglecting to commit to supporting those victims and survivors of abuse, that are also part of our story.

I will never admit this to the Principal of St Kevin’s, but the idea for this project was stolen from the foyer of their Sports Centre. Staff who visited there were impressed with the images, but thought, boy they’re not a patch on the Old Boys at Parade. So a group of staff: Paul Harris, Mark Aiello, Phil Gaut, Ben Turner, Geoff Caulfield, Tony De Bolfo, Paul Fahey and Lili Crouch brainstormed a list.

The criteria was simple: only 14 panels. So they had to be bloody good at what they did. Playing / performing / leading at the highest level.

We wanted a wide range of areas represented. No more than two from any one field: we had to stretch that in AFL when we had two Brownlows and Phonse Kyne. Gradually a short list was decided.

We contracted one of our talented Old Boys, Owen Abrahams to scope and concept the work. He came up with a brilliant design. They really are great works of art. We then endeavoured to engage with these Prominent Paradians, try and track them down – which for some wasn’t easy -seek their permission, and try and get that most important action photo of them doing rather than sitting for a mug shot. This work was largely done by Lili, Owen and Tony.

And then Ed Sauzier had them printed and painstakingly fixed to the wall.

What struck me in connecting with these mighty men was their humility. I thought we were honouring them, and that next to their achievements on the World Stage, that a bit of recognition from their old school would be small fry. But to a man, they were surprised and quite touched by the recognition. They felt honoured. What also struck me was that many didn’t have a photo of themselves from their prime.I couldn’t help reflect if it was me, I would have rooms at home devoted! No, there was a sense from each that there is so much more to their story – than even these great achievements – and that the story goes on.

What a great message to each of us and to our boys – that no one thing defines us, drives us forward or holds us back. We have the opportunity for new starts, fresh starts, second chances and seventy-seventh chances. These 14 men tell us there are no ceilings to our dreams. The boy from Thomastown; can be the best at long jump in the world. the boy from Ivanhoe can play cricket for Australia; the boy who started sailing at seven can sail around the world non-stop and the boy from Regent can play the World Game for Australia.

So tonight we are grateful for stories. As Acting Principal it’s an honour to be responsible for 1929 stories. I want to thank the three Prominent Paradians: Adam, Gary and Massimo and the family of Nick Moloney here tonight for how they’ve added so magnificently to the Parade story. As a token of thanks for your inspiring story I’d like each of you to come forward and receive a copy of The Parade story.