Where are they now – Mick Kenna (SPC 1964-70)
November 30, 2021
The College recently reconnected with Old Collegian Michael (Mick) Kenna (SPC 1964-70) who is enjoying his retirement after spending his working life in education. Mick has many fond memories of his time at SPC after arriving from St James in Sebastopol, including making new friends, jerks on the handball courts and the huge cream buns from the tuckshop.
Mick has kindly permitted the College to share his story, which was published in a reunion book produced by the Class of 1970 earlier this year. The cohort was due to celebrate their 50-Year Reunion at the College this year, however their celebrations have now been rescheduled to early 2022. Mick was rekindled friendships with numerous former classmates following the publishing of the reunion book and is looking forward to seeing many old faces at the reunion in February 2022.
Years at SPC: 1964-70
Status at SPC: Day student
Mobile: 0417 557 951
Family Situation: I was married to Maree Searle in January 1977.
We had three children, Matthew, Deanne and Justin.
I also have three grandchildren, Abbie, Kobe and Tyler.
I am in regular contact with all of them. They are all healthy and well.
Maree and I parted ways two years ago after nearly 45 years together. We still maintain contact. All’s good.
Current Occupation: Retired from education.
Post Secondary Education:
After St Pat’s in 1970, I went to Melbourne Uni to do Arts/Economics. I struggled and left at the end of 1971. Then I worked at McEwans in the city. In 1972 I went into the Seminary at Werribee (the last year it was in Werribee) with Brian McDermott. I became quite unwell and retired from the priesthood.
1973 went to Melbourne Teachers College and finished in 1974.
1975 my first school was Bacchus Marsh Primary School. I really enjoyed this experience.
1976 was transferred to Jordanville PS and then to Blackburn South PS (1979)
1978 we moved to Bendigo and I was appointed head teacher at Costerfield PS just out of Heathcote. I had 19 kids from Prep to Grade 6. Great times there.
In 1979 I changed to the Catholic system and went to St Liborius in Eaglehawk. I really enjoyed my time and the relationships that are still strong today.
From 1981 – 1995 I was Principal at Elmore, Kerang and Echuca.
I developed some health issues in 1995 namely, Ross River and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
So I journeyed down the road to Rochester as Deputy Principal until 2007.
Gave it away at 55 for awhile. When the Chaplaincy Program (Welfare) came in, I worked in 2 schools (Tongala and Echuca South PS) for the next 10 years.
Really enjoyed working with and supporting these children and their families.
I live alone with, until recently, my little dog ‘Tex’, who sadly passed away. He was a beagle cavalier cross and was my mate.
I have many interests including:
- reading biographies
- collecting pens and coins
- a big collection of Olympic Games, Cricket and AFL memorabilia – that’s why I can’t leave here!!
I don’t mind gardening and watch very little TV.
I’m no good with technology and no urge to learn.
Mainly a radio person.
Best Memory of St Pat’s:
First day- ‘small fish in a big pond’ – having come from St James in Sebastopol. Excited and apprehensive at the same time.
- Making new friends
- Jerks on handball courts
- Huge cream buns from the tuckshop
- Uniform inspections
- Wearing a cap. Failure to do so meant Saturday morning detention. I got it once when the Brothers didn’t believe that a magpie pinched it off my head while riding bike home near Bray Raceway. I was a bit upset but took my medicine.
- Br Ollie Wynne was great. I remember him introducing us to the “gat” (strap) on an A4 piece of paper. The sound made us all jump and the marks on the paper are memorable. I have used this technique over my teaching years. It certainly makes one a bit wary.
- Feast of Christ the King Ceremony on the oval.
- Assemblies and Masses
- ½ day St Pat’s Day holiday
- All the sporting opportunities
- The choir I really enjoyed and gained confidence. Teamwork was essential – that led to great success and satisfaction.
There weren’t too many days that I didn’t want to go to school. It took me a while to gain confidence. I was a bit young I think.
My Years 11 and 12 were great. Peter Morris was a big influence on me and my learning. His encouragement and enthusiasm was exceptional. I thank him and the other teachers for their dedication and support.
Just a few more thoughts:
- “War Cry” on the grandstand on footy Wednesday afternoons.
- Br Bill O’Malley – Latin author. All of us fronting him one at a time with “gat” in hand. Funny times.
Overall I would have to say that St Pat’s played a big role in moulding me from a young immature kid into the person I became. Thanks to all. I have great memories and am proud to be an old boy of St Pat’s.
Effects of Covid:
Have done some mentoring with students (Secondary) in Echuca. Delivering soup in these times of Covid.
Overall: I really enjoyed my education. The good things have outweighed the challenges and doubts for me.
I have been truly fortunate.
I do some work at the Echuca Football Club – on the gate for the home games. Very quiet this year sadly.
Am a member of most of the clubs in Echuca/Moama.
Keeping busy enough. Great friends keep an eye on me.
I’m lucky really!