What is your gift? Why work in an educational institution?
There are often times when I reflect on why I ended up in teaching….and remain. Sometimes, this reflection results in questions of why poor choices were made! Like most of the staff here at Villanova, I have been involved in various and numerous conversations with staff and students over recent weeks. Other than with my learned colleagues, some of the most powerful conversations have been in my Year 12 Legal Studies class. We share stories of trials and tribulations, successes and failures. We set goals, we laugh, we talk…the boys work…mostly! Sometimes our conversations turn to ‘what or who inspires you?’ You may be shocked by their response. Having spent 12 years at Villanova College, I am not.
No longer are the inspirational figures in their lives sporting heroes, movie stars or the rich and famous. These figures are far from the rich and famous…they are our staff! The staff at Villanova, the whole staff, are held in such high esteem and regard. For many of our boys, they are the sole purpose why they do what they do. There are boys here who simply get out of bed in the morning because of the staff. They care, they believe, they inspire, they love. We are their family. We are community.
The care and concern of our staff has not gone unnoticed. They may not receive the continuous gratitude they deserve, but know that it is there. I read an article recently by Br. Damien Price cfc. I attach it here for your reference: https://brisbanecatholic.org.au/articles/believe-power-within/
Damien is a Christian Brother and has worked in many schools, including St. Laurence’s and Gregory Terrace. In the article, he speaks of Paul ‘Woody’ Forrester and Br Sherriff. I had the privilege to know and experience both men at SLC as a student. I certainly concur with Damien’s assessment and inspiration of the teachers he so warmly speaks about. For me, that person at SLC who inspired me, was in fact Br Damien Price. I could easily spend time and minimal effort recounting the stories, fun, tears, trials and tribulations of the work I encountered with this wonderful human being. Along with Mr Andrew McTaggart (now teaching at Marist College, Ashgrove), these are the people who inspired me to join the vocation of teaching. They were the reason I got out of bed all those years ago.
I am also reminded of people such as Annette Cook and Kevin Couper during my time at Townsville Grammar School. Annette was the Services Manager, looking after the cleaning, boarding kitchen and tuckshop. Kevin was the Facilities Manager, often found atop a ladder or on a mower. Although not classroom teachers, they were two of the most effective ‘teachers’ on staff. What did they do to enable this? They cared. They built relationships…they were part of the community. They engaged with and challenged the students. This is no different here at Villanova. We have some of the most talented teachers working inside and outside the classroom. The common thread…relationships.
So, as we enter Week 10, Term 3 and the feet are sore, the head is weary and the energy low…know that each and every one of the staff here at Villanova have a gift. For most, that gift is their presence. Know that although their flame may be flickering in various forms of intensity, it is the light that guides the boys in our care. Thankyou!
RIP FR PAT CODD OSA
The College has received news of the death in Ireland of Fr Pat Codd OSA. Fr Pat lived and ministered in Australia from 1957 to 1999. Fr Pat taught in the Villanova Primary School from 1960 to 1973. As convenor of the tuckshop he was very popular with students. At the same time, he was the College Bursar, responsible for the finances in a time of rapid growth. Added to his responsibilities was that of Prior of the large Augustinian community. May Fr Pat rest in God’s peace.
FR ALEJANDRO MORAL ANTON OSA REELECTED AS PRIOR GENERAL
The meeting in Rome of the 186th General Chapter of the Order of Saint Augustine has reelected Alejandro Moral Antón, OSA as Prior General. We offer our heartfelt gratitude to Fr Alejandro for accepting this service to continue to guide the Augustinian Order in the next six years in the role of Prior General.
Mr Steven Bremner, Principal (Acting)