Fr Bill Melican (SPC 1946-47)

October 21, 2022

Fr Bill Melican.

We are saddened to hear of the recent passing of retired parish priest, Fr Bill Melican (SPC 1946-47) on 15 October, 2022 after a life led giving to the community.

A Funeral Mass will be held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Ballarat on 24 October 2022.

Fr Bill celebrated the incredible milestone of 60 years of his ordination to the priesthood in 2015 with a special celebration with his church community and family. He was well known to many in the diocese after serving numerous parish communities throughout his life as a priest.

Fr Bill was ordained by Archbishop Simonds in Ballarat on July 26, 1955. He served as assistant priest in the Parishes of Swan Hill, Linton, Colac, Ballarat East, Mortlake, Charlton, Mildura, as well as serving as Administrator in Charlton and Robinvale. Fr Bill has been Parish Priest in Hopetoun, Swan Hill, Camperdown, Stawell, Creswick and finally Robinvale where he retired from.

Bill came to SPC as a boarder from a dairy farm at Wangoom and was the second of four boys, Michael, Bill, John and Denis. All boys attended SPC before moving back to the farm, however Bill went onto Corpus Christi in Werribee and was ordained in 1955.

Bill was a very active student during his two years at St Patrick’s; he was a member of the Sodality of Our Lady, secretary of the Holy Name Executive, member of the Altar Society and St Vincent de paul Society. He was also involved in the literary and debating society and the cadets, as a member of the No 3. Platoon.

Family tributes at Fr Bill’s ordination celebration back in 2015 spoke of the great gift of having Fr Bill able to officiate at the majority of their family baptisms, weddings and funerals, spanning five generations and being able to experience “his great fit of oratory; his ability to reflect a bit on his ‘take on life’ as he weaves together seemingly unrelated topics to make his point”.

He was also remembered by his family as an “unassuming man, not a great one for gathering many personal possessions around him other than a considerable library of books reflecting a great interest in history and sport. He reads extensively and his memory and knowledge of historical and sporting personalities and events makes for interesting and entertaining conversation around the dinner table or in the social arena; perhaps this is one of the aspects of Bill that endears him to so many”.

Fr Bill reflected on his 60 years as a priest in this story, which you can access by clicking here

Bill Melican, pictured in his matriculation class photograph, in 1947.

Bill was a member of the SPC Altar Society.

Bill was a member of the Holy Name Executive.

Bill was also a member of the St Vincent De Paul Society.

Bill was also a member of the SPC Platoon No. 3 group.