Where are they now – Des Lynch (SPC 1956-60)
April 27, 2021
The College recently reconnected with former boarder Des Lynch (SPC 1956-60) who has recently retired after an enormous 50-year dedication to his career in the communications industry. Des has very fond memories of his days as a cox in SPC’s rowing crews and he recalls a special moment during the Passing Out Parade one year while he was a cadet in the SPC Drill Platoon.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
I joined the PMG in 1961 and spent the first year at the Training school at Gillies St, Ballarat. Being from Colac, I spent the next three years of my training there. In late 1964 I was transferred to Timboon as the local telephone technician. My area extended from Lower Gellibrand and the new Heytesbury Settlement, through Port Campbell, Peterborough and Timboon area to just east of Allansford. Being the only telephone technician in the area I was kept pretty busy. During the next seven years, I married and we had two daughters, Helen (1967) and Kim (1969). In 1972, the Federal Government closed all these small stations down. I became the last resident technician to serve that area and I was then transferred to Melbourne. Over the next few years, I spent time as an Instructor in the training school followed by some years as a supervisor of installations in the St Kilda Road area. In 1987 I left Telstra and joined the private communications sector, working in a number of roles. For the last 10 years of my working life, I projected managed the installation of all voice and data communications cabling in all Priceline pharmacies and stores throughout Australia including Tasmania. This was achieved by using sub contractors in each state. Finally after 50 years in the Communications industry, I retired in 2010 and now live in Mornington.
Do you have family ties with SPC?
My cousin Adrian Klein (SPC 1957-61, PY1963) was a day student from Rokewood. My father passed away when I was five years old. In 1956 when I was approaching 12, my mother decided it would be a good idea for me to have some male discipline. So it was off to St Pat’s.
What are your fondest memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
My fondest memories are of being involved with Rowing. In 1957 I began the experience, given the position of cox of the 7th crew. Next year I graduated to the 3rd crew cox. Later that year (1958) I was selected to be cox of the 1st crew when the school entered the “All Schools Regatta in Melbourne”. That was an enormous thrill for me to be part of that crew. The crew excelled, winning the heats and semi-final but unfortunately were beaten by half a length by Melbourne High in the final.
I then went on to cox the 1959. In April the first two crews went to the Bendigo Regatta. After the heats, the final was an all St Pats race, with the Firsts collecting the trophies. At Easter we travelled to Mildura for the Wentworth / Mildura double.
Unfortunately, the opposition was too strong. Again in 1960 I was cox of the first crew.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
Brother Stewart. I do not know whether he was aware of my situation or not but I always felt he was a very good teacher. He was also the Captain of the College Cadet Unit. I was a cadet in the Drill Platoon, (the smallest I might add). I do not know though whether Brother Stewart had anything to do with a situation during the Passing Out Parade. While Brigadier Hurley was inspecting all the platoons on the parade ground he actually selected me to accompany him back to the dais and take place with the official party.
How has your education shaped your professional life?
Academically I was only an average student. Being a practical person working with my hands all my life, I was probably more suited to a Technical School education.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
I learned to appreciate the different qualities of other students and their friendship.
If you pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
If you do not achieve what you would like to do in life initially, don’t give up, try another direction.