Principal’s Message: Week 8, Term 2, 2019

Principal’s Message: Week 8, Term 2, 2019

To the friends and families of the St Edmund’s Community,

I was recently informed of the passing of foundation old boy Mr Phillip Donoghue. Phillip attended the College in 1954 as a proud senior student of the new St Edmund’s College community and was a member of the very first 1st XV Rugby team.  He was a highly regarded member of the ACT and greater Queanbeyan community as a kind, gentle and caring person. He was a heritage vehicle motor enthusiast and in his career contributed to the Canberra and Queanbeyan community as a fire fighter as one of the highest-ranking ACT Fire Chiefs. The last 18 months of Phillip’s life were a struggle with various health issues posing as serious challenges. He sadly passed away on 15th June 2019 at 83 years of age due to kidney failure.

Eternal rest, grant unto Phillip O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.


Last Thursday we had our last Morning Mass with our College Chaplain Fr David Lemewu. Fr David is travelling to Indonesia for fulfil duties for the Missionaries of God’s Love. The College community thanks Fr David for his valued service this year. His spiritual guidance has helped to shape our young men and he will be greatly missed. We wish him all the best for his future. We welcome Fr Daniel Benedetti, parish priest of Narrabundah, and his assistant Fr Rembert Fernando who will share the College chaplaincy for the rest of the year.

I was proud and interested to hear the news that College old boy Paul Kildea has been invited to conduct the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.  Paul is a conductor with an international career and is making his Canberra debut.  Paul received his initial inspiration in music while a student at St Edmund’s College from teacher Keith Radford. He came to music later than many; he started playing trumpet in Year 7 at St Edmund’s but dropped it after a few years and took up the piano. He then studied piano, German and history at the University of Melbourne. It was there he began conducting. His Oxford doctorate on Edward Britten became his first book of three on the composer. Another of his books about Frédéric Chopin is going to be adapted into a Hollywood movie.  The full Canberra Times article on Paul Kildea can be accessed here:  We congratulate Paul on his significant achievements.

I am always delighted to attend the Junior School assemblies.  The energy and enthusiasm of our junior school students is infectious and reflects the vibrant spirit and dedication of their teachers. Last week’s assembly saw Year 4 give a great dance performance co-ordinated by Ms Natalie Janes, as well as an update on the famous Year 5 Balloon Car Races. Pictured below is the winner of the Balloon Car Grand Final, Thomas Keillor (Year 5) with his parents. Of course we also had the class awards highlighting a range of skills and achievements from Year 4 to Year 6.  It is a pleasure to attend these Junior School assemblies.  Well done to all of our Junior School students and many thanks to the Assistant Principal Junior School, Mr David Kelly, and the Junior School staff for all they do for our young boys.

Our senior students have commenced their examination block, with our high school students commencing examinations over the next few days.  I encourage all of our students to take this examination period seriously and devote appropriate time to study and preparation.  Whilst examinations are not the “be all and end all” of an education, they do represent a milestone or a checkpoint in a student’s progress and provide invaluable data on areas of strengths and weakness. I also encourage our senior students to take the opportunity of the time they have after their examinations to undertake some work experience or conduct some research into tertiary institutions – one of the best ways to do this is to spend some time on a university campus, walk around and take in the feel of the environment.  This can be done easily at the Canberra institutions and even on a day-trip to the Sydney universities.  I hope that our Year 11 and Year 12 students make valuable use of this time and use it to carefully discern their post-school pathways.

Trinity Prayer

Source of Love,

You revealed your wonderful mystery

by sending into the world

the Word who speaks all truth

and the Spirit who makes all things holy.

May we mirror the love that we see in God,

Father, Son and Spirit,

so that we may bring harmony into our world

in the unity of one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.

Live Jesus in our Hearts, forever.

Christus Lux Mea

Joe Zavone (College Principal)