College mourns canteen pioneer

September 8, 2015

The College community is this week mourning the death of former parent Emma Basham who was a driving force in the establishment of the College canteen in the 1960s.

Emma, known as Em, started working at St Pat’s in 1963, when Br Nangle spoke to her about starting up a tuckshop. Br Nangle knew that he could give free reign to Em and left it in her capable hands to not only manage the run the tuckshop, but to also do the bookwork on a daily basis.

As the number of boys at the College increased, Br Nangle and Em planned for the expansion of the tuckshop. The 1960s saw the tuckshop expand into the facility that still exists today.

Em employed Nora Ryan to manage the day to day running of the tuckshop, including the organising of rosters of the volunteering mothers, which she did most competently for ten years. In 1972, Nora moved to Melbourne, and Carmel Bourke took over as manager from 1973. Br Stewart was the principal by then, and Em was still doing the books of the tuckshop every day.

Em was president of the Ladies Auxiliary from 1968 to 1971. She, like so many mothers of St Patrick’s boys, was intrinsically involved in College life for many years. Em had five boys progress through St Pat’s and two girls at Loreto.

Emma Basham died in September 2015, after countless years of service to St Patrick’s College and her family. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.