Old Boy donates his prized Lakeathon trophy

June 18, 2024

Marcus Coppock with his trophy, which he donated back to SPC, while attending the Old Boys’ Winter Warmers Lunch at the Golden City Hotel on 21 June.

The College was thrilled to receive the donation of a trophy from Old Collegian Marcus Coppock (SPC 1967-71, PY1972) recently.

Marcus received the trophy when he was a student for raising the most funds in the SPC Lakeathon for the rebuilding of the College boatshed.

The boatshed on the edge of Lake Wendouree, opposite Service Street, had stood for 60 years and was completely destroyed by fire, suspected to be deliberate, on 22 October 1967, causing an estimated $20,000 damage.

A photo of the destroyed boatshed on the edge of Lake Wendouree, opposite Service Street, in 1967.

A huge fundraiser, in the form of a Lakeathon, was held the following year, on 8 November 1968, to raise the $14,000 funds still needed to rebuild the boatshed. Students and staff enthusiastically took up the cause to raise funds and armed with sponsor cards, covered five laps of Lake Wendouree – approximately 20 miles!

The 1968 College Annual reads – “Brother Wynne, in a blaze of psychedelic colour, started the actual trek. The style for the day had been established, the weather was perfect, and a festive mood persisted – dimmed, perhaps, as lap five began to unwind! Parched throats were wetted at the Ladies’ Committee stall – drinks and oranges for all. This, with a cut lunch provided by the ladies was greatly appreciated. Also appreciated were the “Blister Treaters”, Sister McKee (Resident Nurse) and Miss Kathleen Walker of the St John Ambulance Association.” 

A massive $11,000 was raised from the day and trophies awarded to students who raised the most money.

The winner in Form 1 was Francis Carey; Form 2 – Marcus Coppock (pictured above); Form 3-4 – Peter Ross and Form 5-6 – Geoffrey Marshall and Richardson Dickinson.

The boatshed, a brick building, was rebuilt and officially opened to much fanfare the following year, on 13 April 1969,as a poignant tribute to the Old Collegians who served in World War I and World War II.

This photo was published in the 1969 College Annual.

According to the 1969 College Annual, during his speech, College Principal Rev Br M Stallard stated the erection of the new boatshed was only possible because of the work of the Old Collegians’ Association and the wonderful effort of the St Patrick’s students of 1968 in their November Lakeathon.

In referring to a plaque inside the new shed, Br Stallard said “he wanted future generations to know of the wonderful spirit of the students, past and present, who responded when help was so urgently needed”.

The boatshed was further extended and renovated and opened in 1997 by Old Collegians and 1996 Olympians Steve Moneghetti (SPC 1975-80) and Anthony Edwards (SPC 1985-90).

St Patrick’s College boatshed, as it stands currently.