Joe Phyland visits College kitchen named in his honour

December 8, 2021

St Patrick’s College Boarding Director Mike Silcock, left, with former cook Joe Phyland in front of The Joe Phyland Kitchen, in the College’s Boarding Precinct.

We welcomed back former cook Joe Phyland to the College’s Boarding Precinct earlier this week so he could check out the boarding kitchen, which is named in his honour.

The state-of-the-art kitchen in the College’s recently built multi-million dollar boarding precinct is named “The Joe Phyland Kitchen”.

Joe, now 85 years old, continues to keep a fond eye on the College’s activities and said he was “tickled pink” to have the boarding precinct’s kitchen named in his honour.

“It means a lot to me,” he said.

Joe Phyland busy in the kitchen during his 40-year working career at St Patrick’s College

Joe was the cook in the College kitchen for 40 years and will be remembered by many of our boarders from that era.

He started working in the original kitchen (most recently used by our VCAL students) in October 1963 and retired some four decades later at the age of 65 years, after serving up thousands of meals to the students and staff of St Patrick’s College.

There were nearly 300 boarders living at SPC when Joe took over the reins as cook of the kitchen in the early 1960s.

He and his team dished up breakfasts, lunches and teas to some 290 boarders and 24 Christian Brothers, then living on site, on a daily basis.

He worked under nine different Headmasters, from Br Murphy through to Br Collins, and even worked three months straight – without a day off – at one stage.

Boarders would remember Joe’s Sunday roasts with gravy, grilled sausages, eye fillet steak, spaghetti bolognese and golden syrup dumplings.

But what Joe remembers most fondly, was the “boarders strike” over his braised steak as well as catching out one of the boarders using his boiled eggs, served up at breakfast, for bowling practice.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to show off this prized kitchen space to Joe and we thank him for visiting earlier this week.