Headmaster’s Message – May 12, 2016

May 11, 2016

One of the four key values of St Patrick’s College is excellence and, after the events of the past weekend, I am proud to see that this value extends well beyond the gates of the current school into our broad and diverse Old Collegians community.

Last Saturday night’s Annual Old Collegians Association Legends Dinner hailed the excellent achievements of four great men in our community. These are men who continue to provide a shining example of all that is great about St Patrick’s College.

Firstly, I was delighted to see that Old Collegian Daniel Ferguson (SPC 2004-09) was recognised as the Young Achiever of the Year. An excellent academic performer at school, Daniel earned a reputation as someone who would challenge himself in every endeavour. He has since taken those qualities further in his studies as a scientist at Monash University where he has been involved in a team making substantial breakthroughs in the search for causes and treatments of breast cancer. It was wonderful to welcome Daniel and his family back to our College to acknowledge his internationally-acclaimed achievements.

Secondly, we inducted two new Legends of St Patrick’s College -“ both men of extreme moral fortitude who have excelled in the professional careers. Joe (Desmond) Delaney AO (SPC 1943-44) was honoured for his work as a top-level transport bureaucrat, but moreso for his post-retirement volunteer efforts working in high administrative positions on various boards at iconic Victorian institutions. Joe was the President of the Mercy Hospital for Women Board for fifteen years, was the founding Chairperson of the Caroline Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics, was a Senator for the Australian Catholic University and chair of its Victorian Chapter and was also a member of the Historic Buildings Council of Victoria. His dedication to serving his community is something all our students should aspire to mimic. Our second inductee was Emmy Award-winning cinematographer David Parer (SPC 1962-64), a man who has devoted his life to filming wildlife in wonderful and remote locations, and who has had his work shown on virtually every major network around the world. Both David and Joe are extremely passionate Old Collegians who continue to maintain very close friendships with many of their former classmates and it was wonderful to have so many of them in attendance last Saturday.

Finally, it was a particularly great pleasure for the College to bestow its annual Facere et Docere (to do and to teach) award to Mr Howard Clark. As many of you will be well aware Howard has been a vocal and inspirational leader of our 1st XVIII football program for many years, building it up to a level which is the envy of every other school in Australia. However, despite those high-profile endeavours, Howard’s work in and around the classroom is arguably more impressive and important in the development of our young men. His dedication and commitment to teaching at the highest level has inspired thousands of his students and, over two decades at St Patrick’s, Howard has etched his name into the life story of each and every one of them. We thank him enormously for his excellence in teaching.