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!

Collage of SPC Closure Event

posted Dec 2, 2018, 1:26 AM by Saint Patricks   [ updated Dec 2, 2018, 1:56 AM ]

Arranged by Kevin Lane (SPC 1961-67), nearly 90 SPC Alumni gathered on Saturday 24 Nov 2018 to commemorate the 50 years since SPC Closure. They participated in a Cathedral Mass, procession & photo at the Tower, lunch and talks at ACU St Patrick’s Campus, the launch of the SPJC perpetual scholarship for an ACU student studying Teaching, a debate to decide if SPJC Greatest Days are in fact over and a tour of ACU, Cathedral Hall and its newly donated SPOCA Room. Eight of the 160 photos taken. Soon more photos and
Kevin Lane is putting together a ‘booklet’ of Saturday’s commemoration. The aim is for it to be a good record of the day’s events, from now into the future.

Anniversary of the Closure of the College on 24 November.

posted Nov 1, 2018, 6:44 PM by Saint Patricks   [ updated Nov 1, 2018, 6:50 PM by Xavier IT Services ]

Dear Patricians

Please note there are changes as part of the now ‘streamlined’ afternoon program at ACU

Attached is a reminder notice in respect of the anniversary of the Closure of the College on 24 November.

Please email acknowledgement of your interest. An advice form is attached for lunch booking.

Kind regards

Gavin Wayland
0413 737 146


posted Aug 28, 2018, 12:01 AM by Saint Patricks   [ updated Aug 28, 2018, 12:03 AM ]

The committee invites all alumni to nominate a Notable with no more than 2oo words why you have nominated the alumni.

Discuss and recognise notable St Patrick’s College East Melbourne (SPC) Alumni, as part of theSt Patrick’s Old Collegians Association (SPOCA) role as custodian of the history and memory of the College. Implement the initiative now,in the 50th anniversary year of the College closure,in the 164th year since SPC opened in 1854 and while contact is maintained among at least 400 of the estimated remaining 600 alumni.
St Patrick’s College East Melbourne was and remains an important institution. It was the first Catholic Secondary College and the pioneer Seminary for priestly formation in the newly established town of Melbourne.
SPC was the first work of the Irish Jesuits in Australia, from which all Jesuit Colleges along in the eastern states of Australia and in New Zealand, all original parishes in suburban Melbourne and many social justice ministries evolved.
A set of guideline criteria is important for this SPC initiative. The suggested guideline criteria include that the proposed alumni

1.    SPOCA will form a Notables Sub-Committee (NSC) of diverse ages, skills and experiences to receive and evaluate notable alumni proposals.


SPOCA -SICJ Alliance

posted Aug 13, 2018, 10:41 PM by Saint Patricks   [ updated Aug 28, 2018, 10:09 PM ]

Paul Lewis - Deputy Head Master at Saint Ignatius College Geelong has summarised the ethos observed by SICJ.


Finding God in All Things

Spiritual Exercises

 Give thanks/ Know your sins/ Examine how you lived the day /Ask Forgiveness/Resolve to amend

Characteristics / Vision  Life as a gift.     Imagination.Emotion and Intellect. FindingGod in all things.   Critical awareness of evil. Discernment.      Leaders in service building a more just and humane world.    
Ignatian Teaching   Seeks to develop men and women of competence, conscience and compassion.
AMDG           Ad Majoriem Dei Gloriam“For the great glory of God”        Motto of the Jesuits
Jesuit Partner schools
Our School motto “Amare Et Servire”To Love and To Serve  
“Ignatian” or “Jesuit”
Ignatian – aspects of spirituality from Ignatius the lay person
Jesuit – aspects from the later Ignatius and his       Religious Order, the Society of Jesus / the Jesuits.
first three letters of Jesus name in Greek. Symbol of the official seal of the Jesuits
latin for “more”. Ignatius – always striving for more.
Town in northern Spain where Ignatius had powerful spiritual experiences.

Philanthropy Talk at 10 August 2018 Annual Dinner

posted Aug 12, 2018, 10:05 PM by Saint Patricks

What is Philanthropy Talk by Gavan Woinarski?
Quite simply, philanthropy is the love of humankind. It involves the giving of time, information, services and money to improve the wellbeing of humanity and the community. Therefore, if people are described as philanthropic it says something about their character and Values, more than their wealth.
Philanthropy’s best advocate is your voice and its most potent partner is leadership. Money is the third element. People’s advocacy and commitment combine to form leadership; donations will follow. People often use philanthropy and fundraising as synonyms,; they are not. Fundraising is transactional and philanthropy is relational. Philanthropy responds to a Vision, fundraising to a cause.Philanthropy is so often associated with money. However, giving money is generous but not always philanthropic. The most important element is your voice. Lending your voice shows commitment and its unwavering and resolute consistency is part of leadership.
To illustrate the importance of someone’s voice try and think about some contemporary household names that we might nominate as outstanding Australian philanthropists. I suspect recent wealthy men who have made large donations will come to mind. this may be the case but I propose a different way of thinking for your consideration. One, who must remain anonymous, has invested many millions and countless hours developing then establishing a unit at the University of Melbourne devoted to positive psychology. All undergraduates now study this unit and the expressed intent is to ensure young people learn about and appreciate the benefits of being positive. What a remarkable legacy to initiate.The benefits for mankind will be untold. There is very little public recognition for the donor but enormous pride and gratitude in achieving something unique. However, in my view it is still the voice that stands out compared to those who have pledged a lot of money. I propose for your consideration that Australia’s most successful philanthropist in the last couple of years has no money and has little capacity to make large donations. Her name is Rosie Batty. She lent her voice and her voice has promoted profound changes in our nation. Australians now talk about family violence and the need to eradicate it. As a result of her voice government policies have changed, agencies’ behaviours are changing and the allocation of resources (money) has increased. Her voice has been more powerful than a large cheque. So if the voice is such an important part of philanthropy then the highest priority for an organisation wanting to develop a culture of philanthropy is to engage people. Connect and inspire might be a suitable motto.
32 Brunswick Street Fitzroy 3065

Final Info/Registration Form 50 Years Commemoration

posted Aug 9, 2018, 9:07 PM by Saint Patricks   [ updated Aug 9, 2018, 10:38 PM ]

50 Years Commemoration
Saturday 24 November 2018
St Patrick’s Old Collegians’ Association invites:
All Old Patricians, SPOCA members, families and friends
to a commemoration, 50 YEARS after the closure of the College in 1968
Morning: ‘The Past - Saint Patrick’s College, the Cathedral, the tower, the schoolyard’
At Cathedral Place, East Melbourne
Themes: ‘Semper et Ubique Fidelis’; ‘More than a School’.

Afternoon: ‘The Future - from schoolyard to campus’
At Cathedral Hall, The Australian Catholic University - Saint Patrick’s Campus
Themes: ‘Looking & moving forward’; ‘Patricians coming together, 50 years on’.

You are welcome to attend either morning or afternoon sessions, or both.

RSVP – Essential for luncheon catering purposes Luncheon fee: $20 per person
- Not required for morning session
RSVP (booking & payment) should be made by Sunday 11 November to:

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