Editions of former St Patrick’s College periodical “The Chronicle” are, for the first time, available below for research and reminiscing.
Just as in earlier years Brother Kenny had sparked off in many of his pupils an ardour for writing, so Brother Purton, in the ‘thirties, fostered this same spirit amongst his boys. And so, in 1935 the ‘College Chronicle—St Patrick’s College, Ballarat’ was born.
This monthly magazine was destined to last for a full 20 years, during which time it was regularly given prominence in the prospectus as a special feature of the College.
In commenting on its introduction in the school after its first full year of publication, Brother Purton said, in his 1935 Report:
“Besides the College Annual, an elaborate illustrated review, issued each year during the Christmas vacation, we have published this year a monthly journal, the ‘College Chronicle’. This is not merely a record of College activities in study and sport during the month; it is the articulate expression of the College spirit on all matters of importance. We advise parents to become subscribers to this Journal. It costs 3/- per year, post free, and it will keep them closely in touch with every phase of College life. Old Boys may also become subscribers.”
This statement was a good indicator of the reality. For the next 20 years ‘The Chronicle’ was an integral part of St Patrick’s; and it did manifest the spirit of the school.
It was crisp in style, topical in its material, certainly of great interest to its readers and quite simply but unashamedly redolent of the ethos of the College.
Religion was part of this; so was academic excellence; so too was a keen and competitive interest in all sporting activities.
The present was the focus of the magazine, but this did not preclude an appreciation of the past or a deep interest in the careers of students of earlier years.
The magazine was clearly a vital part of St Patrick’s College and breathed its spirit on every page.
The Chronicle was suspended during both 1941 and 1942. A combined 1943-44 Annual came out in 1944, and this managed to cover 1942 as well. The Chronicle reappeared in June 1943.
This first issue of the resurrected “Chronicle” would be incomplete without a word of acknowledgement to Rev. Br. H. C. Williams, “who founded the publication in its present form in 1937 and built it up to its present proportions, and to Rev. Br. B. Murphy who carried it on in 1940. It is hoped that its scope will be widened by the new interest that past students will take in its pages and that it will succeed in its mission.” Rev. Br. H.C. Williams founded the Chronicle in 1937.
During war times copies of the Chronicle were sent regularly to as many Old Boys as possible and helped to satisfy their avid desire for news from the home front.
“It is, indeed, a moving experience to read the journals of those years and to see almost at firsthand the genuine concern for and support of Old Boy representatives abroad.”
Perhaps it was in the cultural aspects of education that Brother Healy was most keenly interested.
In addition to all his other duties he acted as either Patron or President of the Senior Literary and Debating Society for most of his 12 years at St Patrick’s. Likewise he sponsored the Chronicle from 1943 to 1954, re-establishing it in his first year and keeping it going strongly thereafter. This journal was a vital part of the life of the school and an important link with the Old Boys.
An Old Boy Remembers
(an article written for the Chronicle, June 1944, [pg26 and continues,]
Memory Holds the Door
“As memory holds open the door, so many scenes are revealed that I know not in what order to describe them. The Monday nights in the Leaving study as the budding elocutionists strove with awkward gestures and throaty sounds; the Friday evenings as the Hall resounded with our community songs, the Saturday mornings, with the Latin unseens to be unravelled, the record early start at 7.45 one morning (sounds like Ripley, indeed, but ‘tis a solid fact), the surging over to Ballarat College, or, around the Lake to Grammar to applaud R. Sullivan, J. Larkins and W. Tierney in the Inter-College Debates, the return home, proud of their eloquence and logic which won the adjudicator’s decision—these are some of the memories that are conjured up. Nor do I pass over the Monday meeting of the Sodality and the sincere outpouring of devotion before the Taberrnacle, the thrill at L. Khyat’s victory in the McNeil Cup, the first since 1925, the Green, White and Blue banner fluttering at the Point for 1930’s Head of the Lake, and P. Harrison’s mighty effort to keep it there.”
As in so many other things, time brings changes and this organ ultimately ceased publication.
But the set of copies preserved in the school archives remains as an integral part of the history of St Patrick’s College and as a monument to the interest and industry of people like Brother H. C. Williams, Brother B. T. Murphy and Brother J. D. Healy—not forgetting, of course, the many staff members and students who assisted each year in its publication.
The College is missing editions of the Chronicles from 1935 to 1938, if you locate any publications please contact the college Archivist.
How to research editions of the Chronicles
Open the PDF link to the Chronicles and click on the search symbol on the top left-hand side of PDF document and in the box, type in the ‘key word’.