ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE RELEASE:
By Jodie McLeod, St Aloysius College
In celebration of 125 years of Educating Young Women, the community of St Aloysius College, North Melbourne—past and present—gathered to mark this special occasion on Sunday 29 April. St Patrick’s Cathedral was filled with approximately 1500 people to share their memories and reflect on the important role St Aloysius College has played in their life.
Many past students, Sisters of Mercy, teaching staff and current students and their families filled the Cathedral for this celebration. Mr John Davidson, the current Principal at St Aloysius College acknowledged the role the Sisters of Mercy have played in the formation and development of the College.
In his address during the ceremony, John said, “For the past 125 years, women, just like those here today, have sought a Catholic education that is enriched by a knowledge and love of God, one that empowers them to be strong, resilient women, women who are able to take up any role or position in our world and yet are keenly aware of those who need our concern and help.”
“Our College motto Strive for Higher Things gives meaning to all we seek to achieve and continues to be born anew in each generation that becomes part of this great St Aloysius community and tradition,” he said.
Past Principals Sr. Helen Delaney RSM, Sr. Frances Baker RSM and Sr. Joan Thomas RSM, joined with John to reflect on the many changes that have shaped the College in its 125 year history.
Long serving staff and current students presented a range of material from the archives of the College, each item representing the changes and developments that have been made over the past 125 years. Old uniforms, slate tablets and memorabilia were placed at the altar to signify the past. The current College banner was proudly presented alongside a banner from the 1930’s, demonstrating the rich history of the College.
The College choir filled the Cathedral with beautiful hymns and prayers to mark the occasion. A sense of pride was felt by all who sat within the Cathedral as we shared in the celebration and recalled our own memories of our association with the College. Past students from many years joined in the celebration, with special acknowledgement to past student Mrs Elspeth Mary Norton, who was a student at the College in 1919 through to 1922. Mrs Norton recalled fondly her time at St Aloysius College and was thrilled to return for this special occasion.
On conclusion of the mass, many people moved to the College grounds in North Melbourne to share afternoon tea and watch student performances. A selection of old photos and memorabilia were on display as people happily mingled and recalled their special memories. People wandered the halls and grounds as they recalled their time at the College. A sense of pride and friendship filled the College as people fondly reminisced. Each year the College conducts an annual reunion for past students. As 2012 marks the 125th year, this annual reunion will be even more special.
For more information about the reunion or future events for past students, please contact St Aloysius College on 9329 0411 or visit www.aloysius.vic.edu.au
Photos courtesy St Aloysius College