John Ballard Thank You

posted Jun 2, 2019, 1:37 AM by Saint Patricks


A heartwarming note of thanks to SPOCA from Dr John Ballard Associate Vice-Chancellor (ACU VIC) on the occasion of a thank you lunch in respect of the SPJC ACU Scholarship which has exceeded all of our expectations.

A sincere thanks to all of our Patricians who have contributed to its success in the many various ways of their contribution more than just a financial one.

SPOCA ACU Scholarship Update 4 - May 2019

posted May 14, 2019, 10:44 PM by Saint Patricks   [ updated May 14, 2019, 10:47 PM ]


This is the fourth update (May 2019) to all Patricians on the establishment of a permanently endowed scholarship scheme as a legacy of our old college. $100,000 TARGET ACHIEVED! SPOCA has now raised the funds needed to provide a $5000 scholarship each year to a deserving student on an ongoing basis .Given that our fundraising activities in an average year provide about $10,000, this is a remarkable achievement and SPOCA again thanks all those who have contributed to our threshold target being met.





Donations to the SPOCA Scholarship Fund can be made via: Online by credit card

By bank transfer to: Australian Catholic University

By cheque payable to Australian Catholic University

StPJ College Scholarship @ ACU - Scholarship Update 3

posted Mar 10, 2019, 10:29 PM by Saint Patricks


This third update on the SPOCA Scholarship initiative includes details of the St Patrick’s Day Brunch at ACU on 17 March.


What happens when the fund exceeds $100,000?

What happens when SPOCA no longer exist?

What’s next?

Donations Details of how to make a donation were circulated by email on 25 February and are outlined below for your convenience.

We look forward to welcoming Patricians and friends to ACU on St Patrick’s Day. Mass will be celebrated in the Mary McKillop Chapel (entrance from Brunswick St) at 10 am. Brunch will be in the south cafeteria (entrance from Victoria Pde) at 11 am. $25pp by EFT to BSB 183334 account 123650392, or cash at the door.


posted Feb 24, 2019, 9:24 PM by Saint Patricks

Please consider - Closes June 30 2019.


* this initiative will establish a permanent legacy of St Patrick’s Jesuit College, East Melbourne.

* the 50th Anniversary of the closure of our college provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to leave a lasting legacy.

* ACU is a very appropriate partner. Its campus shares the name of our old College; it is within a stone’s throw of our former school; it shares our values and its students generally come from families of modest means. ACU is very supportive of SPOCA, and has recently provided the ongoing use of an office at Cathedral Hall to develop a College museum display.

* the Scholarship resonates strongly with SPOCA’s recent modest support for education related initiatives and will support a critical area for future generations:- quality, engaged teachers.

* this is the only occasion in the history of SPOCA that we have sought your support for fundraising on this scale.

* your donation will be a perpetual investment.

* every donor will be thanked.


The Scholarship represents a very ambitious initiative for the Patrician Community. We understand that the capacity of each Patrician to donate varies. Your committee simply asks everyone to consider making a gift of which you can be proud. Our objective is to inspire 111 Patricians to make a significant contribution to permanently endow this scholarship.

Financial Statements - 2018-2019

posted Feb 24, 2019, 9:10 PM by Saint Patricks   [ updated Feb 24, 2019, 9:30 PM ]


Financial Statements and Balance Sheet Year Ended 31 January 2019.
Recent Alumni Obituaries
AGM 17 March 11am ACU Victoria Parade Fitzroy

Patrician Vol 40 #1

posted Feb 24, 2019, 9:07 PM by Saint Patricks



The first issue of the Patrician for 2019.


Please consider attending the St Patrick’s Day lunch and AGM at the new venue, ACU, where we will be able to tour the university and meet some staff and undergraduates.


50 Years SPJC End of Year Celebration 24th November 2018

posted Dec 23, 2018, 11:05 PM by Saint Patricks   [ updated Dec 23, 2018, 11:11 PM ]

It It is hard to imagine this day could have been any better!

Gathering at the Cathedral started this fantastic day trip down memory lane with concelebration by five of our former classmates, attendance by the Principal and Deputy Principal of St Ignatius Geelong together with their 2019 school captains, and an exceptional homily by Fr Greg Bourke.

On to the Tower for a photo opportunity preceded by Fr Michael Head’s fascinating insights into the school’s history and some special memories recounted by old boys.

 A short walk along Lansdowne Street brought us to the St Patrick’s campus of ACU for an enjoyable lunch in the delightful south café, the venue for a passionate ‘great debate’ on whether SPJC’s best days are behind us. It became clear that the spirit is alive and well more great days await.

 A tour of the Campus led by John Ballard concluded the day – including a well restored Cathedral Hall triggering long held and warm memories, and the SPOCA room nearby already decked out with an initial offering of memorabilia.

 We had 72 attendees at lunch with 88 participating overall.

 A great day indeed! A credit to Kevin Lane as the architect and main organiser, ably assisted by Jim    Smith.


Scholarship Update

posted Dec 20, 2018, 10:13 PM by Saint Patricks

St Patrick’s Jesuit College Scholarship @ACU

This second update on the SPOCA Scholarship initiative includes an overview of the funds raised to date and an outline of activities you can expect to see in 2019.

We were pleased to officially announce at the 50 Year Anniversary Celebration on 24 November 2018 that this Scholarship will be established. We have now raised over $85,000 not only from Patricians but also from two non-Patricians who each kindly donated $5000. Donations of any amount are valuable to our mission and we gratefully acknowledge the 45 Patricians who have contributed to date. One of our objectives has been to encourage at least 111 Patricians to make a donation they can be proud of.

Vince Symons Story

posted Dec 18, 2018, 8:08 PM by Saint Patricks

My most vivid memory of St Patrick’s is getting whacked in the backside with a squash racket in the handball courts in a friendly game with “Jack the Man” (alias Father John Drury)!  He reckoned I was standing in the way and wouldn’t  move – probably right!

It was a very pleasant surprise when out of the blue Peter Gaffney contacted me a few years ago and asked me what I had been up to since I left St. Pat’s.  Now he has dobbed me in to put it in writing for the Old Boys’ magazine.  Although officially I am not an ‘Old Boy’, I guess I qualify as an ‘old boy’ as I turned 80 last year.  Old Father Maloney at St. Pat’s used to say that you “do not know what life is all about until you turn 80” – you “are only a teenager till then”– probably right!

Michael Head (S.J.) sent me these two photos he took as a boy on the SPC Excursion to Harrietville and Mt. Feathertop (1963).  The first one is Michael Sutton SJ, a Jesuit Scholastic teaching at St. Pat’s  at the time, and the other one is (a young!) me on the same excursion). 


These other three I sent to Peter Gaffney.

The ‘Vince Symons Stand’ one shows (l. to r.)  Mark (my son – now a Police Detective), Vince (now old!)  and Alex (eldest grandson) Symons in front of the clubhouse/stand at the Tamworth Rugby Club;

The ‘Dinner Suit one’ is myself and wife Debbie with the Captain of the Queen Mary in February this year;

The ‘horse’ one is Debbie and self in our farm stockyard with Debbie’s horse Arnie (a year or so ago)!

St Patrick’s Cathedral Melbourne. 10:00 am Mass. Homily by Fr Greg Bourke.

posted Dec 18, 2018, 4:25 PM by Saint Patricks   [ updated Dec 20, 2018, 2:49 AM ]

Fifty Years since the closure of St. Patrick's College East Melbourne. 24/11/18.
St Patrick’s Cathedral Melbourne. 10:00 am Mass.

In Darwin there is a museum that is a tribute to the terrible disaster that
Cyclone Tracy caused to Darwin in 1974. Once I visited the museum and the
guide who was a survivor of that terrible disaster shared the experience of the
cyclone. He told us how the house began to rock, shake then to break up in
sections. He described sheltering his young family in the bathroom. He told us
that his youngest son pleaded that they should pray. He explained that he was
not a religious man and so invited his son to begin. The young boy said the only
prayer he ever heard. He said… Dear God, for what we are about to receive
make us truly thankful!

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