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From the Rector
In the first week of this second term of the school year, the renovated “Naylon Building” was officially opened and blessed. The new facilities are a vast improvement on the old classrooms, and the people who conceived the plan and realized it should be warmly congratulated. That wing, which dates back to the late 50s, was built for the purpose of providing accommodation for the boys who were known as the “aspirants” – meaning that they were “aspiring” (or preparing) to make the choice of the Salesian way of life, becoming Salesian religious priests and brothers. Many went on to become Salesians, several did not continue, but quite a few remained “with Don Bosco”, and are still actively involved in the mission of the Salesians in Australia and in other parts of the world.
The “founders” of this College had grandiose plans for its development – even the name was to be much more impressive than just “Salesian College”. It was to be named as “Archbishop Mannix Missionary College” (and this title was actually registered, and continued to exist for many years)! The descriptive name “missionary” had been chosen deliberately. This school was to form leaders with a “missionary” mind to dedicate themselves to the work of the gospel and Christian development in Australia and in other countries. And the Leaders of the Salesians allocated some outstanding members to run this college and teach here. Their names are legend, and should be acknowledged as the stalwarts who worked extremely hard to make this school a great college. The names of Fr Collinson (a house is named after him), Fr Fedrigotti, Fr McDonald, Fr Edwards, Brother Swain, Fr Lock, Brother Naylon, Fr Curmi, Fr O’Leary, Fr Cooper, Fr Jennings… come to mind among the many. These names would bring back vivid memories with the many past pupils of this college.
It may be possible in the future to establish a “Founders’ Day” to remember all these dedicated Salesians, who have now gone to their reward. Of course one of the ways to keep their memory alive and to pass on their tradition, would be for some of our students to take up the challenge of the Salesian way of life. Many seeds are sown, and hopefully some will produce results in the years to come. In the meantime, we continue to pray for those who have laboured here in the past, and for those students who may be inspired to follow their example.
Fr Frank Bertagnolli, SDB