Solving the mystery behind an old silver trophy
author: Lorrie Liston
The College received a call from the son of an Old Collegian recently who was delving into the history of a beautiful and ornate silver cup found in his late father's possession.
Michael O'Connor said the silver trophy, now in his possession, was won by his father Bernard O'Connor at a SPC event back in 1938.
St Patrick's College Archivist Catriona Banks began investigating the history behind the trophy, which was inscribed with the words “1938 SPC Old Collegian Cup won by B O’Connor”.
As Ms Banks discovered, and some Old Boys would no doubt remember, the College once awarded an 'Old Collegian Cup' each year when the College ran its House Sports day.
Old Collegians were invited back to compete in events against other Old Collegians. Spirited competition for the Old Collegian Cup continued for many years, but records are sketchy as to when it was phased out.
However it appears that Michael’s father - Bernard (Bernie) Xavier O’Connor (SPC 1932-33) kept a close association with SPC after he left school and was fit and competitive enough to come back, compete and win!
Bernie was born in 1918 and came to SPC from Birchip as a boarder. He had six brothers who also went to SPC. He passed his merit and then had to leave to go back on the farm.
His son Michael said his dad spoke fondly of his time at St Patrick’s College and his Old Collegian Cup was obviously a prized piece of his personal history.