Where are they now – Barry Richardson (SPC1961-64)

February 17, 2019

The College recently reconnected with College Legend Barry Richardson (SPC 1961-64) who has enjoyed a successful career in physiotherapy for more than 50 years as well as many other highlights, playing, coaching and club president of Richmond FC in the 1960-80s and enjoying family life. Barry shares his many fond memories of his school life as a boarder at SPC.


Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?

My life has been fortunate. I married a wonderful person in my life Judy, some 48 years ago. That has underpinned most of what has happened and we have four children, all terrific.

I studied Physiotherapy at Melbourne University from 1965-67. I have thus been a physio for some 51 years and that has been rewarding.

At the same time, I was able to begin a sporting career in Football; which ran in parallel to my profession. I played at Richmond FC from 1965-74 (highlights were three premierships) and also coached them (Seniors 1977-78), and was club president in 1985.

Still working as a physio, now six grandchildren, another phase of life.


What are your fondest memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?

I have to say that my fondest memories arose from sport, rather than academic!

I played 1st XI Cricket in Year 10 and was made Captain in Year 11, which then went on to Year 12 (two years). We won the premiership in 1962, my first year as Captain, in a nail-biting final game. Records would reveal that I had a good game and a good season.

I played 1st XVIII Football in Year 10, and also became Captain in 1964. Suffice to say that football then (and now) was always part of the College DNA.

I played Tennis (1st four) for three years and also represented in Athletics. Please forgive this egocentric recollection.

School Captain was also an honour and a highlight!


Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?

Br Kelty – 1964 – “ Went on to be Br Provincial. He was my Housemaster (McCann) and was Headmaster at that time also. Just a wise man, had a presence or an aura about him that was obviously recognized for that higher office. He was tough, but fair, pragmatic, but with an underlying sense of humour.

Br Nangle -“ Wonderful teacher. I was in the Maths/Science stream, which I didn’t enjoy and thus managed to scrape through. He taught English Literature, and I looked forward to that class every day. I managed an Honour in the subject, and that in fact gave me the marks I needed to enter university and physiotherapy.


How has your education shaped your professional life?

Discipline (learned at SPC and family) and physio helped my sporting career.


How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?

Religion then was very formal and high in importance on the school curriculum. Morning Mass, and Rosary/Benediction/Stations of the Cross occupied the entire week. I think that gave me discipline in my later life, but also a moral code.

No doubt boarding school also taught tolerance, the ability to accept people from different family backgrounds and different interests to your own. That has helped me remain a physiotherapist for over 50 years -“ I advise young physios to -treat the person-, not just the injury and you will enjoy your profession, so much more!

Boarding school also teaches one not to take yourself too seriously and I hope develops a sense of humour that is, at times, self deprecating!

In short, it probably created an atmosphere of love and tolerance. My wife Judy and I have a son Daniel and daughters Hannah, Jane and Claire. My children are all -best friends- with each other, and have all worked steadily and appear very popular with their peers.


If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?

Just make the most of your time at school, be the best you can be in whatever strengths that you have! Remain humble and tolerant as you head through your life, there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Stay fit, you only get one body, may as well look after it.

Enjoy each day, life goes fast!