SPC classmates catch up after 52 years

February 23, 2021

SPC classmates Bob Dixon (SPC 1958-68) and John L. Cleary (SPC 1964-68) caught up in person for the first time recently after a whopping 52 years.

Bob Dixon and John L. Cleary caught up in person for the first time in over 50 years recently.

Bob and John were good mates at school, but after finishing matric (Year 12) in 1968, the two men did not see each other again for over half a century, until late last year.

The opportunity arose when Bob visited John’s home now at Wodonga while travelling with his daughter on her way home to Brisbane.

“John and I were in the same class at St Pat’s and we were good mates. But we hadn’t seen each other since 1968 – 52 years,” said Bob.
“John and his older brother David and younger brother Michael came from Boundary Bend, near Robinvale. John now lives in Wodonga, David in Perth and Michael, I think, in Rutherglen.
“John and I got back in touch with each other a couple of years ago as a result of conversations I had with Trevor Jury at the regular Paddies luncheons at the Emerald Hotel in South Melbourne. So when the opportunity came to visit Wodonga, I contacted him and we spent some time together. The photo of the two of us is beside John’s pride and joy.”

Bob Dixon and John Cleary were members in the SPC Senior Band, as pictured in the 1968 College Annual.

Bob managed to combine catching up with a great mate and a 417km bike ride.
“I was in Wodonga because our daughter was driving home to Brisbane after the Christmas break. That’s not as odd as it sounds. I had originally planned to go with her all the way to share the driving but, as the covid situation deteriorated, I decided that I might not be allowed to come home again if I left the state. So I took my bike with me, and waited a day for my son to join me by train, then we rode home together, via Beechworth, Moyhu, Mansfield, Alexandra and Warburton: 417 km in 5 days. I put the day of waiting in Wodonga to good use by catching up with John.”

Bob arrived at SPC in the middle of 1958 when his family moved from Melbourne. He missed the 1958 class photo, but was Dux of Grade 2, with this fact recorded in the 1958 College Annual. He was an active student at school, particularly in his final year, and matriculated in 1968. John was a boarder at SPC from 1964 to matric in 1968.

We thank Bob for sharing news and photos of their long overdue catch-up with the Green, White and Blue, and encourage other Old Collegians to share their catch-ups with us by emailing oca@stpats.vic.edu.au

Bob Dixon and John Cleary were also fellow member of the 1968 SPC Second XI Cricket Team.