St Patrick’s Day Connection to the Past

February 28, 2018

One of the most dramatic moments in the College’s history came at the Valedictory Dinner of 1970 when former College Chaplain, the highly respected Monsignor Billy McCunnie, pictured, suddenly collapsed moments before then College Captain Peter Mackey was due to deliver his final address. As the College Annuals of the time reported: “The end-of-year dinner for the HSC students was brought to a tragic conclusion by the collapse and death of Monsignor W. McCunnie, the guest of honour for the occasion. Monsignor McCunnie, who had returned to Australia after a trip overseas with the Bishop, was about to recall some of his experiences in his address to students when he suddenly took ill. Despite the efforts of Sister Phelan and Dr Walker he died within a few minutes.” One result of the tragedy was that Peter Mackey never did get to deliver his valedictory address. So, this year on March 17, at the St Patrick’s College Old Collegians Association St Patrick’s Day luncheon to mark 125 years of history, we have invited Mr Mackey to be the keynote speaker – some 48 years later. Peter, a respected lawyer will share his memories of that fateful night and of his time at the College. Tickets for the luncheon are still available at: