Principal’s Message: Week 2, Term 2, 2019

Principal’s Message: Week 2, Term 2, 2019

To the family and friends of the St Edmund’s community,

Last Thursday the College community celebrated the Feast Day of Blessed Edmund Rice (the actual Feast Day being 5 May).  We also took this opportunity to formally celebrate our 65th anniversary, being Canberra’s oldest continuing Catholic school. St Edmund’s College Canberra is one of many schools in the family of Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) schools offering a Catholic education in the tradition of Blessed Edmund Rice. EREA schools strive to offer a liberating education, based on a gospel spirituality, within an inclusive community committed to justice and solidarity.

It was a pleasure to have the presence of Br Matt McKeon (a former teacher, RE Co-ordinator and Spiritual Director at the College) as well as a number of significant special guests:

Mr Peter Leuenberger (EREA, Deputy Director of Edmund Rice Education Australia and Eastern Region Director)

Mr Angus Tulley (Deputy Director of Catholic Education Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese & Deputy Principal of St Edmund’s 2002)

Br Bob Wallace (Former Headmaster, 1979-1988)

Mr Colin Dwyer (Former Headmaster, 1995-2004)

Mr Peter Fullagar (Principal of St Joseph’s Nudgee College in Brisbane and former St Edmund’s Principal, 2009-2014)

Ms Patricia Doyle (Former member of staff, commencing in 1978 and Director of Middle School from 2000-2017)

Mrs Nichole Overall (Current College Board Chair)

Mr Michael Cooney (Board Chair 2014-2019 and old boy)

Mrs Lara Kirk (Board Member)

Mr John Owens (Board Member)

Mr Peter Milligan (Head of Senior School, Canberra Girls Grammar and former St Edmund’s Deputy Principal, 2007-2015)

Mr Frank Hansby (former staff member, 1985-2017)

Mr Brad Cooney (Principal, St Clare’s College)

Mr Michael Lee (Principal, St Mary MacKillop College)

Mrs Anna Owen (Principal, Canberra Girls Grammar)

Mr Paul Scholtens (Secretary, St Edmund’s College Foundation and old boy)

Mr Grant Jones (Member, St Edmund’s College Foundation and old boy)

Mrs Louise Zavone (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference; Principal’s wife)

Our deepest thanks to Archbishop Christopher Prowse for celebrating our Mass along with Monsignor John Woods (old boy), Bishop Pat Power, Retired (old boy) and Fr David Lemewu.

My most sincere congratulations to the following members of our community who received the Br Matt McKeon Faith and Service Award at the Founder’s Day Mass in acknowledgement and celebration of their service to the College community.

Staff: Mrs Pauline Mills, Mr Joel Richardson

Students: Eamonn McCoola (Year 12, Treacy House), Justin Teng (Year 12, O’Brien House)

Old Boy: Mr Rodney Skvorc (Class of 1989)

Also at the Mass we acknowledged and celebrated members of staff who have made a significant commitment of service to St Edmund’s College. I thank the following members of staff for their dedication to serving our College community and ensuring that our young men experience the very best of all facets of their time here at the College.  These members of staff serve as a symbol of continuity and College memory – they are part of the stories and traditions of the College and we celebrate their contributions.

10 years’ service: Mrs Tracey Brown, Mrs Holly Ellem, Mrs Natalie Janes, Mr Joel Richardson, Mr Laurie Sims, Mr Xiaotao Wang

15 years’ service: Mrs Maree Ford, Mr Justin Giteau, Mr Nigel Palfreman, Mrs Sue Dowling

20 years’ service: Mr Norman Foskett

35 years’ service: Mr Peter Langford     

and a special mention to former member of staff Mr Frank Hansby who had provided a service of 32 years by the time he retired in 2017.

The Mass was followed by an afternoon of market stalls and activities back at the College.  There was quite a real festive feeling in the air as our boys tried their hand at a number of games and fulfilled their tastebuds with hot dogs, chips, sausage sizzles and the like.  The day culminated in the House Tug-o-war which was won by Haydon House.  I must compliment our students for their exemplary behaviour throughout the day.  The boys participated in Mass in a respectful, reverent and graceful manner (and they actually sang!), and this fine behaviour continued back at school.  Many teachers have commented that this year’s Founder’s Day was one of the best they have experienced, and this certainly comes down to the positive behaviour, attitude and energy of our students, and the way in which they wholeheartedly participated in all events throughout the day, from morning to afternoon.  Our boys really showed the spirit and character of what it is to be an Eddies boy!

My most sincere thanks to Mrs Carmela Wilson and Ms Bridget Cusack for the organisation of our beautiful Founder’s Day Mass; to Mrs Margaret Thomas and Mr Sean Gautusa for the wonderful music, to Mr Jacob Knowles for the practical organisation of the day and to our marvellous Heads of House for the engaging and successful afternoon activities.

On the evening of Tuesday 30 April my wife and I attended the First XV Rugby Dinner where the First XV players were presented with their jerseys.  It was a great evening with old boys and past First XV Captains presenting the jerseys.  The sense of College spirit was very strong and tangible.  My thanks to Ricky Stuart (Class of 1985), Will Maher (Class of 2002), Daniel Penca (Class of 2006), Tim McNamara (Class of 2007) and Les Makin (Class of 2009) for presenting the jerseys and to Craig Wagstaff (Class of 1993) for being a wonderful master of ceremonies.  Many thanks to the parents who provided the catering, and to Mr Neil Roberts (First XV coach) and Mrs Tracey Brown (First XV Manager) for organising such a special evening.   This event kicks off what hopefully will be another great season of St Edmund’s Rugby.

Congratulations to Hayden Pepper (Year 12, O’Brien House) for being awarded the prestigious Rugby Australia School Student Scholarship.  This scholarship was introduced several years ago to help raise the profile of refereeing at schools and to provide encouragement for young referees to remain in refereeing when they leave school.  Hayden was selected as one of twenty-six referees from around the country and the only one selected from the ACT to referee at a national level representing the ACT in a multitude of tournaments and championships.

Last term I wrote of the very generous gesture of the associates and colleagues of old boy Charlie Morella who passed away last year. To honour the memory of Charlie, some of his associates and colleagues formed to create the Charlie Morella Scholarship to financially assist a family within the College who would be in need to support. I am pleased to say that this scholarship has now been initiated and has been of great assistance to one family within our College community.  It is so special that the memory of a former student is honoured by supporting the education and development of a present student.  I sincerely thank the associates and colleagues of Charles Morella who have gathered together to organise this Scholarship and thank his family, especially his wife Janica, for the wonderful support of this initiative. This is very much in keeping with the strong ethos of Edmund Rice schools, continuing the belief and tradition of Edmund Rice that by making education available to those in need, we are also providing a great sense of hope through the personal development and social engagement that an Edmund Rice education provides.

The late Mr Charlie Morella

I would encourage as many of our current parents as possible to inform any prospective parents you may know of our Open Day arrangements for 2019.  Open Day is this coming Saturday 11 May and this is followed by a Principal’s Information Evening for prospective families on Tuesday 14 May (5.30 pm, Edmund Rice Centre), where Mr David Kelly (Assistant Principal, Junior School) and myself will inform our prospective parents of the opportunities and structures available here at St Edmund’s College. Whilst these events have been advertised widely, please inform any prospective families you may know of these events.  Further information can be obtained by contacting the College by telephone.



Dear Lord,

Grant that we may live each day to the full, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Let us cast away all worries and concerns into your divine care.

Christus Lux Mea

Give us strength to confront all challenges that we face with hope and faith.

Let our community seek truth in all that we search for.

Christus Lux Mea

Let us stand for others always giving generously without counting the cost.


Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.

Live Jesus in our Hearts, forever.

Christus Lux Mea

Mr Joe Zavone (College Principal)


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