A "Jirik" returns after three decades
author: Lorrie Liston
After 31 years a “Jirik” has returned to St Patrick’s College.
Adam Jirik, son of Andrew Jirik (1980 -1985) commenced Year 7 in the green, white and blue this year.
Andrew relocated with his family to Ballarat at the start of the year; Adam’s twin sister commenced at Loreto Ballarat (Tess spent Years 5 and 6 at Loreto in Toorak, with Adam at St Kevin’s College); and Andrew’s wife of 26 years, Sue-Ellen, is now teaching at Damascus College.
Andrew works as the Finance Manager, Group TeamCover at Wesfarmers and his eldest son, William successfully completed VCE last year after attending St Kevin’s for eight years, but deferred his university offer to spend 2017 as a gap tutor at St John’s College School in Cambridge; presenting 2017 as “an opportunistic time for a tree change”.
For Andrew, there were numerous factors that went into the decision to move to Ballarat.
“Melbourne itself was and is becoming busier and busier by the day, and the move to Ballarat, to be closer to two quality schools will save the twins an hour and a half of travel time per day (time that can be better spent),” said Andrew.
“Adam is a keen footballer and I felt St Pat’s would be a great environment in which to nurture any potential, and he can also continue his other sporting pursuits, including baseball, here in Ballarat.
“I wanted too, is some small way, to show support for the school and indeed the Christian Brothers. In my association with the college I’ve known the Brothers to be fine men and fantastic educators. I had dinner with Br Bill Wilding a couple of times in 2016 and he is an impressive man… as busy now than he has even been.”
The Jirik’s association with St Patrick’s actually goes back to 1973 with his older brothers John Jirik (1973-1978) and David Jirik (1975 – 1980). John is married and is currently living and working in Istanbul, Turkey, for a local media outlet, and David and his family continue to live in Ceres, just outside of Geelong.
“I have many fond memories of St Patrick’s where I boarded for six years,” said Andrew.
“Returning to the corridors brings back memories that do not seem over 30 years old (I think though, reading this year’s school calendar, that the words to the war cry have changed… or maybe my memory is failing me).
“When in the junior dorm, we would help Brother Zoch (another genuine treasure of SPC) change the pipes on the oval; these were the days before underground irrigation and we had a system of metal pipes we moved all over the grounds to deliver bore water to keep the ovals in as good a condition then as they are today.
“There were the ‘tuck-lockers’ we’d visit after study when dinner was just not quite enough, and then there were the co-curricular activities like the school and combined bands that took us all over the state competing in various eisteddfods.
“The advice I’ll be giving Adam, is to “get involved”. These are the most formative years of his life, and a school like St Patrick’s, through its physical grounds, the breadth of its curriculum, the commitment of its teaching and non-teaching staff, and indeed its history and tradition will give him opportunities that will open up the world.”