Key moments in SPC history

1876 Arrival of Christian Brothers in Ballarat at the invitation of Ballarat’s first Catholic Bishop, the Right Reverend Michael J O’Connor, DD.
1883 Bishop O’Connor was succeeded by the Most Reverend James Moore, DD as Bishop of Ballarat. Bishop Moore approached Rev Brother Treacy, the Provincial of the Christian Brothers, to take over the administration of the original Holy Ghost College.
1893 The College re-opened as St Patrick’s College on Tuesday January 24, 1893, welcoming 15 boarding students and nine day boys.

Andrew Mulquiney (SPC 1893-1894) was the first boarder at SPC.

Rev Brother John L Ryan (SPC 1893-1896) was appointed as the founding principal of St Patrick’s College by Br Treacy.

1896 The First XI cricket team won premierships in 1896, 1897 and 1898.
1897 Handball introduced.
1899 The First XVIII football team were champions in the Ballarat schoolboy competition.
1900 James McManamny (SPC 1893-1894) was the first old collegian to be ordained.
1903 Rowing was introduced. The first boathouse was built near the south-eastern corner of Lake Wendouree, not far from the end of Pleasant Street.
1908 A record 18 boys entered for the University examination and 18 passed.
1909 A new boatshed was built on Lake Wendouree: ‘… it is much more spacious than the old one and the ‘eight-oar’ can get in easily while the ‘fours’ and ‘pairs’ look very small inside…’
1914-1919 Around 300 SPC old collegians volunteered for service in WWI, with around 40 killed in action.
1920 New wing built, known as the McCarthy wing.
1920 New College crest adopted, with the motto Facere et Docere, To Do and To Teach.
1928 Brother W ‘Bill’ M O’Malley arrived at SPC, and remained at the College until his death in 1976.
1931 Inauguration of the ‘Prefect’ system.
1932 Opening of the new sports pavilion.Champion choir, 1st place South Street Competitions.
1932 Champion choir, 1st place South Street Competitions.
1933 Opening of new Brothers’ residence, and Administration Block.
1937 Each of the four contesting rowing crews won its race at the Head of the Lake regatta, the First Crew creating a new record for the event.
1939 Opening of the new dormitory wing to cater for the growing number of boarders at the College.
1939-1945 Around 550 SPC old collegians fought in WWII, with almost 40 killed in action.
1942 Mr Walter Gude (SPC staff 1901-1942) retires from teaching violin and music after 41 years.
1946 Cadet unit re-established at the College.
1949 The foundation stone of the new Memorial Chapel, dedicated to the Old Collegians who gave their lives in two World Wars, was laid. The new Chapel was formally opened and blessed in October 1953.
1952 First XVIII Football premiership team. Ballarat Public Schools (BPS) record match score: 48 goals, 28 behinds. BPS record individual goal tally for a season: John James – 83 goals.
1955 Robert Monahan (SPC 1913-1914) became the first Old Collegian to be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court.
1955 The First Rowing Crew was successful in winning the Head of the Lake title for the first time since 1937.
1956 First Gilbert & Sullivan opera, Trial by Jury, performed by the St Patrick’s boys.
1957 John Hayden (SPC 1913-1971, Dux 1917) was appointed first Professor of Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne.

Brian Gleeson (SPC 1947-1952) won the Victorian Football League (VFL) Brownlow Medal.

1961 John James (SPC 1948-1952) was the second old collegian to win the VFL Brownlow Medal.
1965 The W T O’Malley wing was completed.
1967 The College boat shed burnt down in a ‘disastrous fire which was almost certainly lit deliberately …’
1969 The new boat house was opened.
1970 Inauguration of a ‘Student Council’ system.
1972 Junior and senior hockey teams were formed.

Several soccer teams were formed and played in Ballarat competitions.

A swimming team was formed.

1973 A new boarding house for senior students was built, the new Kenny House.

Natural gas came to Ballarat, allowing for a conversion from oil to gas heating, with the result that a better supply of hot water was available for showers and the dormitories were eventually heated.

The boarders’ dining room was refurbished with new carpet, curtains, chairs, and heating.

Colour televisions sets were installed in each of the dormitories and houses of residence.

1975 (Sir) Bernard Heinze (SPC 1905-1912) named Australian of the Year for his services to music. Sir Bernard went on to become the first Australian to receive UNESCO’s International Music Council Award in 1979.
1976 The new Kelty Resource Centre (Library & Staff room) was blessed and opened.

New biology laboratories completed. The Charles J Pawson (SPC 1907-1910) Laboratory were named to commemorate the past student who had been a keen supporter of the College and had bequeathed a sum of $10,000 to the College in his will.

Br W M O’Malley dies. He was posthumously awarded the British Empire Medal for services to education and sport.

1981 The new gymnasium, the O’Malley Sports Centre, was formally opened, and named in honour of Br O’Malley.
1982 Joseph O’Shea, SPC caretaker for 35 years from 1947-1982, died on February 1, 1982.
1983 The Creative and Manual Arts building was completed.
1984 The new Administration wing was opened and blessed by Rev Dr George Pell (SPC 1949-1959), and built from the bequest of Dr Donald Spring (SPC 1923-1930).
1990 After 29 years, St Patrick’s College won the Ballarat Head of the Lake title. The ‘drought-breakers’ were Anthony Edwards (stroke), Daniel Hayter, Aaron McInerney, Robert Calnon and Daniel Morgan (cox). The winning boat, ‘The Old Collegians’, now hangs in the Heritage Corridor.
1993 The SPC Cadet unit was disbanded.
2000 SPC played a prominent part in the Olympic Torch celebrations. Anthony Edwards (SPC 1985-1990) rowed across Lake Wendouree from the Olympic Rings to the SPC Boathouse and passed the Olympic Torch to Steve Moneghetti (SPC 1975-1980).

Three old collegians represented Australia at the Sydney Olympic Games: Steve Moneghetti, Anthony Edwards and Christian Ryan.

SPC Gymnastics Club accepted into the Victorian Gymnastics Association, one of only a very small number of Australian schools who were able to meet the rigorous qualifying criteria.

2002 Dr Peter Casey, the first lay Headmaster at St Patrick’s College, was appointed.
2004 The Br W J Wilding Wing opened.
2008 The Old Collegians Association Pavilion was opened.

The inaugural Art Exhibition held at SPC, later to be known as the Flanagan Art Exhibition.

New Brother R M Miller wing opened.

2011 Refurbishment of the O’Malley wing completed.

The new Hugh Devine wing was completed.

Re-establishment of the Indigenous Space, Yimullandburdoo, behind the Br R S Stewart theatre. Electronic scoreboard at the main oval was completed.

2012 Jo Walter Field of six tennis courts and a hockey/soccer pitch completed.

Refurbishment of the turf practice wickets and the main cricket nets area completed.

The sandy beach volleyball pitch was added.

2013 120th anniversary of the College

The College farewells the resident Christian Brothers, and acknowledges their tremendous contribution to the education of hundreds of boys over 120 years.

SPC’s 100th Old Collegian to be drafted to the AFL, Bradley Crouch was drafted to the Adelaide Football Club.

The College Facere et Docere award is presented to Michael Brady (SPC 1956-1962, SPC Staff 1978-2013).

2014 Long-serving Headmaster Dr Peter Casey retires at the completion of the school year. His replacement was announced as Headmaster Mr John Crowley.

The Greatest Football Team of St Patrick’s College’s history was announced.

2015 1st XVIII football team wins sixth consecutive Herald Sun Shield premiership. No school had ever achieved so many premierships in succession.
2016 Construction of new Whelan Food Technology centre.
2017 Commencement of construction of new boarding precinct in the north west corner of the College.

Offering of formal apology and dedication of reflective garden and monument to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

2018 A major celebration dinner at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to celebrate the College’s 125th anniversary was attended by more than 400 people.
2019 Induction of abuse survivor Peter Blenkiron as a Legend of the College along with induction of two other Legends – George Devine Treloar and Michael Flynn.
2020 Principal John Crowley is suddenly appointed as Acting Principal at St Kevin’s College, Toorak and Mr Stephen Hill is appointed Acting Principal of St Patrick’s College for the remainder of the year. Mr Steven O’Connor is appointed as Principal in 2021.

College is forced to move to remote and flexible learning structure, with students and teachers working from home, due to COVID-19 pandemic.