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Today we celebrate St Patrick’s Day. We marked the significance of the day with a Mass first thing this morning. It is an important celebration for our community as we hold St Patrick dear to us. He was known as the Apostle of Ireland and from a young age showed extraordinary courage and strength of character to spread the Gospel and faith throughout Ireland. He was born in 386AD and died in 461AD. Living to the age of 74 years old was something quite unusual in those days. During his lifetime, St Patrick spent nearly 40 years preaching and converting the Irish into the Catholic faith. Patrick’s life must have been extremely difficult, disciplined and full of faith. He was revered in almost warrior like status for his determination and hard work in difficult circumstances. In effect, he was a considered a fighter. Patrick eventually travelled to France and studied to enter the priesthood. In 431AD he was consecrated Patrick Bishop of Ireland and sent back to Ireland to continue his work spreading the good news of the Gospel.

Patrick is renowned for many things but one that is close to Edmund Rice schools (EREA) is the Celtic Cross. Many religious orders have also originated in Ireland throughout time thanks to the works of Christianity spread by St Patrick; including our Christian Brothers. The Celtic Cross is at the heart of their symbol and it is a common icon across many of our EREA schools.

Our own College history suggests that this College was named after St Patrick in respect to Fr O’Rourke, who was the Irish parish priest who acquired the land and assisted with the building works of Morven so that the College could commence in 1952. However, once the name of the College was decided, the original and following Christian Brothers did much to ensure that our College took on the characteristics of this great saint and patron of the country of their origins. Patrick’s influence is spread right across many of our symbols at St Patrick’s. Our College Crest bears the resemblance of a shield. Inside the shield is the shape of a bishop’s mitre hat and below this is the College Motto Certa Certamen Bonum (Fight the Good Fight). St Patrick was certainly a man who fought the good fight. Finally, above the motto are battlements. These represent the things that were important to Patrick. They include:

  • Love and reverence for the creator
  • Concern for the welfare of others
  • The joy of giving rather than receiving, of serving rather than of demanding service
  • Unselfishness and honesty
  • The importance of truth
  • The thirst for justice
  • The love of beauty
  • Tenacity of purpose in pursuing high ideals
  • The virtue of doing one’s best to achieve the goal; however difficult the effort

The College Crest and the listing of these battlements can be found underneath the statue of St Patrick that is situated at the entrance to Morven. The statue was originally placed there because it was the entrance to the school.

I am sure that everyone would agree that St Patrick’s has been true to these expectations over the past 64 years.

This year, the Cultural Supporter Group has reformed to assist the College with our Cultural co-curricular pursuits. Whilst one function of the group is to raise money to financially assist the cultural program, which includes activities such as Art Club, Drama Club, Musicals, Music productions and performances, Theatresports, Debating and Chess Club and competitions, the group will also assist with some community building activities as well. The first of these occurred last Tuesday evening when they organised a parent function in the Plaza in the evening before the student music performance. I would like to thank the group for all of their efforts, I know that they were very much appreciated by all who attended. The group will also take over the stall that used to be run by the P & F during the Blue Water Festival over the Easter weekend.

The last days of fundraising for the Shore to Gate (S2G) will be over the last week of the term. To date, our returns are a little lower than our predictions and I would urge all parents to motivate their sons to collect as much as possible. The monies collected will be used to assist the Christian Brothers in East Timor to buy another four wheel drive (a joint project between St Patrick's and four other EREA schools), House charities and improvements around our own College campus.

I have been asked many questions in regard to the probable date for the completion of the new Sports and Cultural Centre. Yesterday I attended our latest site meeting and it appears that the building will not be ready for the first week back next term as it has again been delayed by some 2-3 weeks. At this stage, best case would be around the end of the third week back.

By now all of our senior students in Years 11 and 12 are on block exams and well into their preparations. All of the other students will start their exams later this week or during next week. I urge all parents to ensure that each student knows when he has an exam (assessment calendar on Connect - link here ») and that he spend good time in preparing for the tests. Attendance at the exams is compulsory. I would also urge all parents to ensure that their son attend the College on the final day to be a part of our S2G walk or run.

God bless,

Mr Chris Mayes - College Principal