Obituaries – June 2016 – Second Edition

June 14, 2016

Gerard (Jack) Leonard Gannon (SPC 1964-1970) died from coronary complications in late 2015 aged 62 years. Jack attended SPC from Grade 6 in 1964 to Form VI in 1970. He was a popular student with a keen sense of humour and an accomplished sportsman. In his final year, he was a member of the 2nd XVIII football team, and the 2nd XI cricket team as a bowling all-rounder. He was a boarder from the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick. Following St Patrick’s, Jack excelled in academia becoming a professor in mathematics at Melbourne and Deakin universities and lecturing at various campuses in Asia and Europe. Jack leaves behind a wife, Margaret and four children – Genevieve, Joseph, Vivienne and Bead.

Gavan Bourke (SPC 1951-54) died in February. More than 1000 people attended his funeral at St Patrick’s, Pakenham including a large number of Old Collegians such as Fr Kevin Arundell, Graeme Sampieri, John Deany, Brian Dillon, Michael Martin, Noel Moore, Dr Jim Shaw and Brian Costigan. –

Gavan boarded at St Patrick’s with his five brothers.

In 1954 Gavan won the Open 100 yards sprint, and represented the College at the Melbourne Combined Sports where he achieved tremendous results. He was a member of the 1st XVIII football team. Gavan was also house captain of Nunan.

Gavan completed his Leaving Certificate in 1954, and was also a member of the Sodality of Our Blessed Lady.

In 2010, Gavan and his brothers, Michael (SPC 1950-1954) Hugh (SPC 1949-1953) and John (SPC 1945-1949), were inducted as College Legends for their huge contribution to the horse racing industry and the Pakenham community. Their brother David Bourke (SPC 1944-1948) had been inducted in 2004.

Gavan devoted his- entire life to the Pakenham Racing Club. He served 22 years on the Committee from 1981 to 2003 and 16 years as Secretary from 1983 to 1999. Gavan’s outstanding service and contribution was recognised when made a Life Member of the Club in 2004.

Fr Don O’Neill (SPC 1937-40) died peacefully at Bendigo’s Bethlehem Home on December 11. A Pontifical Funeral Mass was celebrated at Sacred Heart Cathedral and a Vigil Mass was offered at St Mary’s Church, Golden Square.- Fr O’Neill was ordained in the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo in July 1948 and then served in several parishes including Wangaratta, St Kilian’s Bendigo, Tallangatta, Benalla, Beechworth, Shepparton, Elmore, Myrtleford, Euroa and Golden Square. Fr O’Neill was also appointed as Chairman to the Sandhurst Diocesan Commission on Ecumenism in 1989.

Fr John Batchelor, SJ, (SPC 1933-34) died on December 27, 11 days after his 102nd birthday. He had been a Jesuit for 80 years and a priest for almost 67 years.

John Batchelor was born in 1913 and spent much of his youth in Cohuna as one of nine children. He boarded at St Patrick’s and completed his Sub-Intermediate and Intermediate years when he was 19 and 20 years of age. In both years John was Dux of his class.

Two of John’s brothers also attended St Patrick’s College -“ Vincent (SPC 1934-1937) who became a Columban priest, and William -‘Bill’ (SPC 1930-1931) who became Monsignor at the Sandhurst Diocese.

In 1934 John contacted the Jesuit Provincial in response to an article he read about Jesuit vocations and the Provincial accepted him immediately into the Society. He was ordained in 1949.

In 1951 Fr Batchelor was a Founding Father of St Ignatius’ College, Norwood. He taught at the school for the first decade. He also taught at schools in Perth during World War II, and later in Melbourne.

Fr John Batchelor is remembered as possessing a charming simplicity which endeared him to many people.

Thomas -‘Tommy’ Simpson (SPC 1949) attended St Patrick’s College for one year. Tommy was a skilled footballer from East Ballarat where he is now known as a Legend of that club and was named as a winger in its team of the century.

He was drafted to Richmond in 1956 where he played 126 games between 1956 and 1963.

Tommy’s grandson Ashley Simpson (SPC 2007-2012) was College vice-captain in 2012.

Mario Chung (SPC 1988-1993) died in February, 2016. Mario was a day student from Alfredton who made the intermediate soccer team in 1991. He left SPC at the end of year 11.

James Muir (SPC 2000-2005) died in early March. A day student, Jamie was the recipient of the Edmund Rice Prize on several occasions. In 2002 and 2003 Jamie competed in the basketball team, and was a peer support leader in Year 10. In 2005 he was a member of the 1st XVIII football which won the Herald-Sun Shield. James’ younger brother Jordan is a Year 9 student.

Ray McAllister (SPC 1942-46) boarded at St Patrick’s. A talented athlete, he captained the 1st XI cricket team, played in the 1st XVIII, was a member of the 1st IV tennis team, led the boxing team and was captain of his division.

Upon leaving school Ray returned to Essendon to work in the family meat business. Ray married his wife Gwen and they remained together for almost 60 years, producing four children Steve, Ross (dec), Margo and Paul. Ray died peacefully in May 2015.

Pierce Derham (SPC 1947-48) died on September 18, 2015 in Swan Hill. His wife Margaret said Pierce was an avid reader of The Shamrock and often said his claim to fame was playing in the same football team as John James. Pierce is survived by Margaret and daughters Anne, Maree, Clare, Noeline and Colleen.

Dr Peter Brown (SPC 1947-57) was a boarder from Balwyn. In his Matriculation year he was a prefect, and received a scholastic prize for science. He was a councillor in the Sodality of Our Lady, and a member of the Executive of the Holy Name Society.

Peter also excelled in the sporting arena as a member of the 1st XVIII football team, and the 2nd XI cricket. As a member of the Literary Society he participated in the Purton Oratory.

Peter died in October 2015, aged 76.