Where are they now – Brian Costigan (SPC 1952-55)

August 10, 2020

The College recently reconnected with former boarder Brian Costigan (SPC 1952-55) who fondly remembers his time at SPC as being part of a big family, where the older students helped the younger students and she had fun and made lifetime friendships.


Brian Costigan.


Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?

I came to St Patrick’s in 1952 from Pakenham with brothers Michael (SPC 1950-54) and Gavan Bourke (SPC 1950-54, PY1955). I was at St Patrick’s between 1952-55. Well, after leaving St Patrick’s at the end of the intermediate exams, which were held in the Town Hall, I received the results in the Sun showing I did not go as well as I thought. English Expression was a compulsory subject to pass and I only got 49 out of a 100, so my parents could not send me back next year to repeat Inter A so my life changed. I helped my Dad in the hotel for a while but did not like that job so I got a job with the National Stores but only lasted a short time but was lucky to get an apprenticeship with Arbee Supply Co as an electrician so after academic education at St Patrick’s I had to do a course at Footscray Tech to learn my trade. It was very hard, but I managed. My family moved to Ballarat in 1957 and I got a transfer 12 months later, finally got my A grade in 1960 and worked in contracting until I started at Q.E.H and finished my working life in 1994 after 32 years. I was in the St Columba’s Y.C.W and met many fine people and eventually met my wife-to-be Maureen McKeegan. We married in 1965 and had five children (four boys and one girl). The boys all went to St Patrick’s and my daughter went to Sacred Heart. Both Maureen and I helped at the College. Maureen was on the board and I was in the Father’s association.


Brian Costigan with his children, Anthony (SPC 1980-85), Michael (SPC 1979-84), Paul (SPC 1982-87), Peter (SPC 1986-91) and Jacinta.

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

My fondest memories at St Patrick’s was the wonderful friendships I made and still keep in contact with. I found the Brothers very strict but fair. It was like a big family, the older students helped the younger boys. Naturally I loved the sports, footy and athletics were my favourites. I represented St Patrick’s in both and was successful in Athletics running in the 4×100 relays in U14, 15, 16 and open relays and was never beaten. I made the seniors training list but was injured in a house match so I missed out making the final cut. That team was unfortunately beaten by College after 49 years undefeated.

Brian Costigan mentioned in the 1954 College Annual.

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

The teacher who had most impact on me was Br Tom Mullins. I loved to help around the College, once he got a few of the first year boys to go and pick up potatoes at Warrenheip. We thought that was great at the time. One day while in class, a Gerry O’Shea knocked on the door shouting “Brother, Brother come quick the horse has dropped dead in the dray”. This was one of those moments that happened.

Brian Costigan in the cadet unit, pictured in the 1955 College Annual.

Brian Costigan in his sub-intermediate class, pictured in the 1954 College Annual.

Brian Costigan in the Second XVIII Premiership football team, pictured in the 1954 College Annual.

How has your education shaped your professional life, personal values and your family life?

What has shaped my life was the Catholic education we received from the Brothers and the privilege to go to daily Mass and it taught us the true value of Catholic faith. This has helped me over the years and I still continue to go to church on Sunday’s. it has helped my family as well.

Brian Costigan with his grandchildren, including Old Boys James Costigan (SPC 2007-12) and his brother Tom (SPC 2010-15).

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

My advice to the boys today is to listen to your teachers and practice your faith because it will help you through life.