here - St Columba`s College



here - St Columba`s College
Email: [email protected]
December 2012
From the principal
As you all know this year was St Columba’s 115th year of
offering high quality education to the young women in
the Essendon area. To celebrate we’ve enjoyed a
number of special events including an opening of the
school year Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, and a
mother/daughter afternoon tea at The Langham.
These events have encouraged me to imagine what
Mother Ursula Bruton might have imagined and
envisioned St Columba’s would be in the future. Below
is an extract from the reflection I gave on this topic at the
St Columba’s Day Mass on 15 August 2012.
“As the first Principal of this new school, I have many
hopes for each and every one of you: I hope
that you not only understand, but, you live the tradition
to which you belong. That tradition is , of course the
Catholic one and the one embedded in our Sisters of
Charity charism.
I hope that you link hands with the mighty women who
have woven this St Columba’s story before you. That
you reach forward to grasp a better future for those who
have less.
I hope that you realise that you are entrusted with a
precious gift, you inherit a sacred tradition. You are
responsible for seeing that tradition continue, flourish
and provide a beacon for the world. Remember, you
belong to the story of the Sisters. They stood strong
against wrongdoing, they walked with the oppressed,
they touched the outcast, they embraced the
forgotten. Draw on the Sisters’ work, never forget it, and
bring it to fruition in your world for yourself and for
I hope you are imbued and illuminated by your faith in
yourself, that you are wonderful and worthy. Faith
that who you are matters, more than what you are.
I hope you have the strength to respond to your inner
voice, that voice that is always seeking goodness,
happiness and peace for you. I pray that the abundance
of grace may always accompany you on your life’s
journey, and that it will guide your footsteps and light
your way, that it will encircle your heart and enliven your
I hope that you spend your days, as those who came
before you did, always, opening your heart and
stretching out your hand to seek the new. Following not
the common path but the path of the right and just, and
dreaming the impossible, into the possible.
I hope that you resist the pressure to conform. Do not
bend to the restrictions that may be placed upon you by
others, by society, by men and by the Church.
I hope you find the courage to be an uncommon woman;
one who does not dim her light, or silence her voice, or
diminish her actions because the pressure to soften so
much of who you are to suit other people’s expectations.
I hope you are blessed with abundant curiosity. That you
never stop seeking knowledge, questioning, dreaming,
hoping, searching, for the new and the better. That an
abundant curiosity that inflames your imagination,that
encourages you to learn, and learn again and again.
I hope you appreciate failure. Failure is a gift. Respect
the striving, the yearning to change, the effort involved.
Tie not your life on measuring yourself against what you
have achieved, but rather on what moved you to
achieve. I hope you remember the strength of our
Foundress, Mary Aikenhead, who confined by illness to
a wheelchair, turned her failure to be active, into active
contact with her Sisters through constant letter writing.
She wrote thousands of letters.
I hope you all have the gift of constant perception, the
insight to discern not merely what can be seen, but what
is hidden and seemingly inconsequential. That you
always see not just with your eyes, but with your heart
and your soul. I hope that you gaze upon the world with
compassion and empathy, that you judge slowly and see
I trust that these hopes and imaginings will be what we
wish for themselves, that they will take these as their
compass into the future.
From the Principal
Alumnae Committee
On Leslie Road
From Archives
An Uncommon Woman
Engagements, Births, R.I.P
Alumnae Association Donation Form
Page 1
Page 2
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Page 4
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Congregational Leader, Directors of Mary Aikenhead
Education Board, and Directors of St Columba’s College
Board, many of the Sisters of Charity who have ever
worked here, and some Alumnae were among the
guests. We were especially blessed to have two
members of Sister Ursula Bruton’s family from New
Zealand here for this important occasion too.
2012 saw reunions held for the 2002, 1992, 1987, 1982
years and the Christmas in July function took place once
more at the Brass Tavern in July with 2 years having
mini reunions that evening.
The College Alumnae Committee welcomes
encourages past students to become involved.
The Chapel dedication was an opportunity for those
present to acknowledge the legacy of the Sisters of
Charity. This chapel provides us with a very real
reminder of this legacy. It was also an opportunity to
reflect on the role this beautiful chapel has played in our
history and what we hope it will continue to be:
• A place where we will be inspired by the vision,
mission and work of Mary Aikenhead and her Sisters
• A place where life is sustained and nurtured
• A place where acceptance and forgiveness is given
and received
• A place where wholeness is restored
• A place where rites and passages and other
significant events are celebrated
• A place where pains and sorrows are soothed
• A place where vows of love and commitment are
• A place where hopes and dreams are imagined
• A place of serenity and peace
• A place to encounter the sacred
• A place “to be still and know thy God”
• A place at the very heart of the Sisters of Charity
school, St Columba’s, and all that it stands for.
Scheduled meetings for 2013 are as follows:
Term 1
February 13
Term 2
May 15
Term 3
July 17
Term 4
October 30
Please see website in the New Year for 2013 events
To find out more about the College Alumnae and how to
be involved, please contact the Alumnae Coordinator at
[email protected]
The Moonee Valley Foundation would also like to remind
past pupils about the main grants awarded each year.
For these we grant scholarships of up to $10,000 to
encourage the pursuit of excellence in young people
aged 18-28 who live, work, study or play in Moonee
If you are interested in applying for the 2013 grants next
autumn or are interested in more details please
On Friday 15th June, as part of our 115th Anniversary,
St Columba's College held an official ceremony to
dedicate the Chapel to the Sisters of Charity.
Sr Annette Cunliffe rsc, Congregational Leader and Mr
David Robinson, Chair of Mary Aikenhead Ministries
unveiling the Dedication plaque
The following reflection was written by Principal April
In the Chapel we will now have three boards honouring
them. One lists all the Sisters who have ever taught or
worked at St Columba’s since 1897; the second lists all
the sponsors of the old prie-dieux or prayer stalls that
the Sisters would have used in the Chapel; and the final
one is the Dedication Board. It includes three pieces of
scripture relevant to the Sisters and their prayer life and
highlights what this Chapel is for future generations: “a
place of peace, contemplation and reflection, where
members of the College community can make a space
to discover God’s presence and love in their lives”.
Congregation consisting of Sisters of Charity, Mary
Aikenhead Ministries and College Board representatives,
Leadership team, Staff, Alumnae, present students and
the Choir. Members of the Bruton family, relatives of the
first principal Mother Ursula Bruton, were also in
During the year the Buckley Street buildings were cement
rendered and painted in keeping with the Leslie Road
buildings and the gardens landscaped. A new wrought
iron fence completed the transformation. Other buildings
in the complex have been cement rendered as well so
that all buildings have the same exterior. New signage
has also been erected throughout the College.
One of the matters that was decided in the first year of
the establishment of the Congregation was the choice of
the patronal Feast day. In early 1816, Mary Aikenhead
and her spiritual director, Fr Peter Kenny S.J. chose the
Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This was the first tradition established in the
Congregation, a tradition that has been maintained for
196 years. In recent years, St Columba’s has combined
the celebration of the College Feast Day with the Feast
Day of the Sisters of Charity on 15 August.
In a letter in 1816, Fr Kenny gave four reasons for the
selection of this Feast
*Mary was rewarded for her cooperation with God for the
salvation of souls and is therefore a model for all those
involved in pastoral ministry;
*Mary’s assumption brought an end to her life of
suffering and reminds us that those who are chosen by
God are destined to suffer before they enter eternal life;
* The feast commemorates Mary’s happy death and so
is an example for us as we prepare for death and for
those who care for the dying,
* Mary, Queen of Heaven will intercede for all those who
pray to her.
The rose has been named Ursula’s Dream in honour of
our first Principal Mother Ursula Bruton, whose dream it
was to establish a College for the young women of the
Essendon area. In keeping with the College colours of
green and gold, a yellow floribunda rose was selected.
This rose has multiple blooms and is pest and disease
resistant. In September we received our first supply of
Ursula’s Dream. Thank you to the many Alumnae who
bought the rose.
The elements of the Congregational crest showing the
crown, stars and moon reflect the Woman of the
Apocalypse, described in the first Lesson of the
Feastday – “clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath
her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head.”
Mary Aikenhead wrote the following prayer for all those
involved in ministries of the Sisters of Charity.
May our glorious and ever blessed Queen and dear
Mother obtain powerful graces for us and may she assist
us in all our undertakings, direct our counsels and guide
us into the fittest path to promote the greater honour and
glory of God.
House of the Year for 2012 is Cater House.
Another initiative of the 115 years anniversary was the
production and publishing of a book covering
St Columba’s involvement in the Rock Eisteddfod. This
book was launched at the Twilight Market on November
14 2012 and copies may be purchased through the
College by contacting front office on 9337 5311. A copy
costs $30 incl postage.
Tess Carew 2012 House Captain of Cater
In 2011 this novel was also awarded a Western Australia
Premier’s award for fiction. It took Lisa some 5 years of
research and writing to produce this novel. Lisa pre
empted her book on Cole by publishing a non - fictional
account of the life of E W Coles and the Melbourne
Scene of the 1880’s called Chasing the Rainbow.
In the last week of Term 2, Jessica Clothier, from last
year’s Year 12, was awarded a VCE Premier’s High
Achiever Award for Theatre Studies. These awards are
presented each year for those who are ranked as the top
5 students in the state for their particular subject.
Jessica not only received a perfect study score of 50 out
of 50 but was invited to perform her monologue as part
of the Top Acts performance at the Recital Centre in
Congratulations to Sr Gemma MARTIN rsc on not only
celebrating her 90th birthday but also 70 years of
profession as a Sister of Charity. Lesley MARTIN
attended St Columba’s from 1937-1939 and took the
name Gemma at her profession. Sr Gemma was a
member of staff at Catholic Ladies College, East
Melbourne, Mount St Michael’s Ashgrove (QLD) and
Sancta Sophia College as well as serving the local
community while living in convents in the local area.
Jessica Clothier
We offer our congratulations to Sr Maryanne Confoy
who was appointed Professor of MCD University of
Divinity by its Council last week. The citation reads:
“Professor Confoy has taught pastoral theology and
ministry studies at MCD for over 30 years. Her lifelong
contribution to scholarship is seen not only in her diverse
publications, ranging from biographies of Morris West
through leadership studies to mystical and feminist
theologies, but also in her mentoring work with students
and early-career academics. Her scholarship is
thoroughly grounded in her extensive engagement with
the educational, health, and social welfare sectors in
Sr Gemma Martin
We also congratulate Noela NOLAN Chadwick on
recently turning 90. Born and raised in Essendon, Noela
was educated at St Columba’s in the 30’s and married
James Chadwick at St Therese’s Church in 1950. St
Therese’s Parish acknowledges that Noela is its eldest
original parishioner and continues to be an active
member of the community. Noela has 5 children (4 of
whom attended St Columba’s – Annette, Christine,
Gerardine & Marita CHADWICK), 16 grandchildren ( 4 of
whom attended St Columba’s - Kate, Monica & Jane
SHERLOCK and Emily CHADWICK) and 5 great
Lisa Lang attended St Columba’s from St Columba’s
from 1988 -1993. During those years she distinguished
herself in a variety of areas. Not only was she a
representing St Columba’s from Year 9 – 12, but also a
competent dancer and member of the successful Vivid
Changes Rock Eisteddfod.It was during her time at St
Columba’s that Lisa was first inspired to write by Joan
Leech her Year 10 English teacher. On leaving St
Columba’s she attended The University of Melbourne
and commenced an Arts course. In 2007 Lisa was
chosen to take part in the Australian Society of Author’s
mentorship program. Professionally Lisa is a published
author and recipient of the 2009 Vogel award for an
unpublished author on the life of E W Cole the founder
of Cole’s Book arcade and author of the Cole’s Funny
Picture Books.
Noela Chadwick nursing great granddaughter Ella with
daughter Gerardine CHADWICK Sherlock and
granddaughter Kate SHERLOCK
CLASS of 59
The year of 1982 had 62 girls attend their reunion at
Fredrickson on October 12. They kicked on from there to
O’Sullivans Hotel down the road.
On Saturday October 20 the class of ’59 met for lunch at
the Emerald Hotel in South Melbourne. Twenty
classmates attended and the group was delighted to
welcome one former colleague attending for the first
time. Over the years the group has met on a semi
regular basis and hope to celebrate their 55th
anniversary of leaving school at their next get together in
The feedback about the night has been fantastic! One
girl came all the way from London, three girls from
various parts of W.A and one girl from Queensland.
Everyone just slipped back with each other like no time
had passed. It’s amazing how 6 years spent together
during such formative years can bond people forever.
Everyone is keen to catch up in 5 years instead of 10.
We’ll see!!
It was a wonderful night at the Brass Tavern dining
Downton Abbey style with our own private waiter
attending to our every need.
St Columba's College Acting Principal, Christopher
Bence welcomed the past students to the dinner
encouraging them to continue their stories and trips
down memory lane.
Conversation was not lacking as many reconnected with
their former classmates and caught up with the
adventures and roads travelled since their final year.
Those who were unable to attend were also
The night finished with the Class of 1970 again proving
they are stayers despite their ages.
On Friday October 12 the girls of 1987 gathered at
O’Sullivan’s Shibeen. Although just 37 people attended
(with 20 plus people making a formal apology) it was a
great night to share a good laugh and reminisce about
days at St. Columba’s.
With a relatively small group it gave people the
opportunity to share their “life story so far” among one
Jo- Anne Cahir, Jane EDWARDS, Ann Holland, Maureen
Gamble, Adrienne SMITH, Kerry Ives, Terrill Flinn
Mary Anne Moloney, Pauline Butler, Catherine Higgins,
Pam Stephenson, Catherine Noone, Chris Walker
Rosemary GARVEY sister of Judith and Ann.
Claire and Rachael WALLMEYER.
Since leaving St Columba's Camilla has been a Rotary
exchange student in Uppsala Sweden which she
regards as a fantastic experience. It is now her second
home since she went back in 2001 to do some medical
research into surgical weight loss and appetite
regulation for her PhD topic! Camilla married a Swede
and had her first child there and have lived there for five
Marjorie WEST Mahoney passed away recently at the
age of 94.
Career wise she did an exercise physiology degree at
Monash and then medicine in Hobart and has worked in
Melbourne hospitals and GP clinics since 2007.
She is now ready to set up her own GP clinic around the
corner from St Columba’s, which she finds very exciting
and humbling, in Jan 2013 where we will focus on a
healthy weight and happy and healthy lifestyle for all!
Harry Overman, brother of Sarah OVERMAN and cousin
of Margaret, Helen and Frances GALVIN.
Gary McAllister, son of Moira MADDEN, husband of
Catherine WELCH father of Greer and Alexandra
McALLISTER, brother of Cathy McALLISTER, brother
in law of Bernadette WELCH, uncle of Hannah & Emily
Graeme Tweedly, father of Fiona, Laura and Claire
Tony Walker husband of Virginia CASS and brother in
law of Barbara, Jackie and Jennifer.
Camilla can be contacted on [email protected]
Joy Sporton, mother of Linda Henderson.
Jan had a book published this year by the New York
publisher Apress - GIMP for Absolute Beginners.
Danielle Stefano travelled to London for the Olympic
Games this year as part of the official team. Danielle
coached 2 members of the Triathlete Contingent
Elise HILBERT and Michael Chandler announced their
engagement last year and are planning a beach
wedding for December 8.
Kate SHERLOCK Korber along with her husband Mark
were overjoyed with the birth of a daughter, Ella Grace
on February 26 2012.
Email Address:
Leaving Year:
Starting Year:
Damon and Jane FRAZER Carr welcomed a new baby
girl, Lola on June 7 2012. A little sister for Angus.
Please Return to:
Alumnae Coordinator
St Columba’s College
PO Box 89,
Laura TWEEDLY Hill and husband Aaron welcomed
their first chil Henry Graeme Hill on June 15 2012.
R. I. P.
Please remember in your prayers
An Alumnae Association Pin will be sent to the above
address on receipt of the form and the payment of
Kathleen GOSS Nicol sister of Sheila, Clare and Joan
and aunt of Eileen and Bridget WALL.
Rev Gerald SULLIVAN, brother of Eileen, uncle of
Catherine, Margaret, Mary, Elizabeth and Anne RYAN,
great uncle of Anneleise and Mollie BRANDJES and
Sienna AMARTO.
CHEQUE for $50.00
(Payable to St Columba’s College)
Gwen HARVEY McAllister, wife of Ray McALLISTER,
mother of Margot, sister in law of Una McALLISTER rsc.
Card No
Cardholder Name:
Carmel GAFFNEY Merner, mother of Julie, Maree and
Carmel and grandmother of Libby JOLLEY and Jessica
Signed: __________________
Date: ___________