|The Marist Brothers celebrate 50 golden years spent helping|
"grow good men from the inside"
The dapper little chaps pictured on their first day at Marist College, Pagewood (right) hail from 1961 and were among the College's first intake of students. Now, the Marist Brothers celebrate 50 golden years spent helping "grow good men from the inside".
At the start of 1961, the school opened as a primary school with two classes – made up of 84 boys in Years 3 and 4 – who were taught by Br Terence Mulany and Br Paul Innocent Murphy.
Br Don Newtown told 'About Catholic Schools' that the next few years saw the college's student body mushroom."With the introduction of the Wyndham Scheme in 1965 and the reorganisation of the Catholic schools education model as a result, Marist College at Pagewood became the region's Catholic secondary school for boys, and the then secondary school at Daceyville became the primary school," Br Newton said.
Under the principalship of Br Kevin Willits, the first group of Pagewood boys sat their HSC in 1969, he said.
The college had been a dream of the parish priest, Fr John Power, who – on moving to Pagewood parish – was to be instrumental in the college's development for the next 30 years.
"He had a strong desire to build a Catholic school for boys on land that had been acquired years earlier, while Monsignor Denis Conaghan was parish priest at Maroubra, between 1939 and 1954," Br Don said. Fr Power then went about securing the services of the Marist Brothers as educators of the area's many young Catholic boys. As soon as the brothers were on board, Fr Power kicked off the building process in 1960.
The college started life as a two-storey building housing eight classrooms, a library, a Manual Arts and four cloakrooms.
A single-storey extension was home to washroom facilities and a canteen. It was also where three brothers lived ahead of a monastery being built – seriously delayed due to a run of bad weather. When completed, the monastery was home to ten brothers, a study, a chapel and a small housekeeper's flat.
To mark the college's "special year of celebration", Br Don said the school welcomed many Marist Brothers from far and wide who helped bring in the new academic year with a commemorative Mass, led by parish priest, Fr John Hayes.
The school has a thriving 'old boys' network, including former South Sydney Rabbitohs captain, Mario Fenech. 'Old boys' – via the college's website – will have the chance to commemorate the halfcentury with events on the drawing board such as a ball or dinner, open day, sportsmans' evening, race day and a golf day.
See www.maristpagewood.catholic.edu.au for more details.