Treasure trove of history comes to light

December 5, 2023

Some of St Patrick’s College’s original textbooks, dating back to its foundation year of 1893 – 130 years ago this year.

The original and incredibly well-preserved textbooks of one of the College’s first students on our roll call from 130 years ago, have recently come to light.

A descendent visited the College recently to show off the prized pieces of family history, which belonged to his grandfather Nicholas White.

Nicholas attended St Patrick’s College in its foundation year of 1893. Since then, the College has educated thousands of boys and is proudly celebrating the magnificent milestone of 130 years of education this year.

Grandson Patrick Casey brought the books up to the College recently.

He said his grandfather attended St Alipius school, also run by the Christian Brothers, and reportedly won a prize from the junior school to continue his education at SPC.

Patrick has various hard-copy books, which belonged to Nicholas during his time at SPC, including a Prof Balfour Stewart Physics and Reynold’s Experimental Chemistry Part II Non-Metals handbook along with an English text, The Norsemen in the West.

Each of the books have Nicholas’ name beautifully written in the inside cover, and in some cases, the date 1893.

Patrick said his grandfather continued studying at St Patrick’s until 1986 and then became an apprentice pharmacist in Ballarat.

Nicholas’ younger brother Patrick also studied at SPC, and among the family collection of books, is another hard cover of the English text, Tales of Humour, which a young Patrick received as a prize in 1896.

Nicholas and Patrick also had an older brother, Martin, however it is unknown if he attended St Pat’s.