Saturday, May 5, 2012

Reflections & News #1





Foundation of Wangaratta


Brother Julian Casey, Provincial of Melbourne Province
1989 till 1995  and 2007 till 2012

This article provided by Brother Julian Casey

Br Placidus (Provincial 1948 till 1955)  and his Council were under considerable pressure from Rome and from Sydney Province to begin their own formation houses. Sydney numbers were expanding and there would soon be no room for Melbourne Novices. Rome indicated that priority should be given to formation houses and not to new openings. Brother Placidus and his Council spent many hours trying to find a solution to the challenge of establishing a system of formation that could be achieved without withdrawing their commitments to expansion in country areas. On top of this, Camberwell was expanding as a school with significant demand for enrolments, and, the expanding school made it necessary to re-locate Brother Ronald and the Sydney Scholastics back to Drummoyne in Sydney. Despite Brother Ronald's view, a Scholasticate for Brothers in the Melbourne Province would have to wait until the manpower situation was overcome.

In the meantime, Brother Placidus and his Council turned their attention to the question of the location of a Juniorate and Novitiate. It looked like Watsonia was the preferred site, but the cost of the land and the cost of a dedicated boarding and schooling facility for 50 or so Juniors was too much for the newly pledged Province. What eventually emerged was the proposal to proceed with the building of a boarding school at Wangaratta, but to plan and design it as a Juniorate as well as the agreed boarding school. Serious consultation took place with senior and experienced Brothers from the two Provinces. It was an innovative move, unknown in the Institute and so Rome had some reservations. There were other reservations about the possible negative effects the boarders could have on the Juniors, about whether the Juniors would feel disadvantaged during school holidays. Moreover the flat somewhat uninteresting environment of Wangaratta, compared to the bush setting of Mittagong or the garden setting of Macedon, did not provide a site for bush walking or picnics and Brother Damian, the Vice Provincial thought it was not suitable.

Brother Placidus believed that there were advantages in Juniors having a more standard education among their peers and access to a wider curriculum, rather than the isolation of Macedon or Mittagong. There was no objection from the Diocese or Parish. For Brother Placidus, it was obvious that this proposal would save the cost of a separate Juniorate. He had support for his proposal both within the Province and beyond it. Hence at the beginning of 1955, he established the Juniorate at the new Wangaratta Boarding school, shifted the Juniors from Macedon to Wangaratta and created a Novitiate at Macedon.

Some years later, the General Council, through Brother Hilary Conroy, believed it was time to start a separate Juniorate, even though there were small numbers. So, under pressure again, the Provincial Brother Bertinus (1964 till 1971) and his Council opted for a residence at Bendigo and arranged for the Juniors to attend Marist Brothers College Bendigo for their classes.

Acknowledgement: Brother Julian Casey (Drusilla 50)
Posted: July 2019



Wangaratta Juniorate



Brother Joe Hughes (Drusilla 60)
One of the first Juniors at Wangaratta in 1955

Some reflections by Brother Joseph Hughes

Journey to Wangaratta 

In 1955, a couple of days before my 13th birthday, I embarked on my quest to become a Marist Brother. No doubt you are horrified by my leaving home so early but it was common practice in those days for boys to start their training at a very young age so that they could gradually discover what was involved in becoming a Marist Brother. For me, it was a big adventure but, for Mummy, it must have been an extremely difficult. Fortunately, I was accompanied by Nev McManus and I was also going to meet up with Alwen who was working in Melbourne at that time. For those who are not aware, Neville was a cousin of mine and a lifelong friend.
It started for me by boarding the train at Northam and going to Champagnat College, a new boarding school for boys at Wangaratta in Victoria. There I was to spend the next five years of my life completing my secondary education. The student population consisted of Juniors, Boarders and Day students. The Juniors were boys like Nev and myself who planned to become Marist Brothers. There probably would have been about fifty or so of us, all drawn from schools in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and the Wilcannia-Forbes diocese of New South Wales and were spread over classes from Form1 to Matriculation (Year 12). Terry Orrell, also from Northam, was in Matric.

Daily Life at Juniorate

Our days followed a regular pattern. One of the Brothers would wake us up at 6.00 each morning and then we would have to get dressed, make our beds, wash and be ready for morning prayers and Mass. After Mass, we had breakfast followed by a morning work session of about 20 minutes which consisted of a series of household chores, such as, washing up the kitchen dishes, sweeping various rooms, cleaning the toilets, etc. Bearing in the mind that the cook was the only employee of the school, we had to do most of the work.

Following the morning work session, we joined up with the Boarders and day students for the normal day of school. Given the fact that I liked school, it was no great burden for me.

After school we had work or sport followed by showers and evening study. The first job I had, would you believe, was ironing. I had never ironed anything in my life but I had seen Mummy doing it often enough so I soon got the hang of it. Other jobs included polishing floors with the electric polisher and mowing lawns. Probably the biggest and most responsible job I had was that of storeman which entailed keeping an eye on supplies and then submitting the bulk order for the start of each term. For what it's worth, I enjoyed manual work and I attribute that to my family background where we all had to chip in and do our bit.

To complete our day, we had our evening meal, night study and  night prayers before going to bed on silence.

Some of the Brothers

Through the work and sport we became very attached to the Brothers and we were indeed fortunate to have some great ones there at the time. Brother Bertinus, the first Principal of Northam, was Headmaster and Master of Juniors. Brothers who impacted on us a lot included Brother Gordon, Brother Kenneth and Brother Prosper.
Myriad tales can be told about Prosper because he used to play up to us a bit. His antics. inside and outside the classroom, provided fodder for many stories in the years that followed. One of his famous sayings, I recall, was "Behold the female members of the bovine community munching the lush green herbage in yonder paddock." A simple translation, of course, was "Look at the cows eating the grass."
'Pross' was also the unwitting architect of the April Fools Day saga. He was a great vegie gardener and had a pump linked to the septic tank so that he could irrigate his vegies. We had the biggest cabbages in town. The plot, however, was divided in two by a track which the day boy cyclists used on their way to the bike shed. 'Pross' wanted to reclaim this track for his vegies so one Saturday he fenced in his garden. Come Monday, the day-boys started arriving and, not seeing the wires, ploughed one by one into the new fence. A crowd of us gathered issuing warnings to the incoming cyclists, "Fence, fence!" These warnings were not heeded as the day-boys responded with, "You can't fool me." - followed by the inevitable crash. The circus continued until one of the Brothers, a real spoiltsport, arrived on the scene, told us off and set up a warning barrier for the incoming cyclists. It was the best April Fools Day I have ever had.

School Holidays

During the term holidays we, the Juniors, had the school to ourselves. There was no break from prayers, work and sport but we did use to have day outings which included picnics, wood drives and bus trips. A favourite picnic spot was the Warby Ranges which was a couple hours walk out of town. We would set up a fire and have a picnic lunch before spending an hour or two exploring the Ranges. After that we would head on home, many of us running the distance or getting a lift part of the way on our farm vehicle, an old fire truck aptly named "Genevieve" after a 1950's British film of the same name about a vintage car rally.
In the evenings during the holidays we would have games of some sort or another and one of the highlights, especially in winter, was the cup of hot cocoa before going to bed. On one such occasion, however, we encountered a disaster. The cocoa was undrinkable. It appears that someone, let him be nameless, had used gravy powder instead of cocoa for the mix. Let's face it, they're both brownish in colour aren't they? I was not the most popular person on the block, I can assure you.
During one of the holiday breaks we used to do a three-day Retreat. This was very serious business. Can you imagine us boys not talking for three days? A special priest was hired to run the Retreat and we spent our time listening to him talking about God, heaven and hell and spending the majority of the time praying to God either as an individual or within the group. God, for me, was still an all-powerful and all-knowing God and this was accentuated by the College motto, Dieu Me Voit - "God sees me". Were we crazy? Probably, but, somehow or other, most of us survived.

No Women!

As my reflections of my time at Wangaratta come to an end you may have noticed the total absence of women. All our teachers were Brothers and any contact with girls was frowned upon. On one occasion during the holidays when we were up in the dormitory darning our socks and sewing on buttons, all done on silence by the way, someone spotted a group of girls riding by. He called out, "Look at the horses." We all shot over to the windows to have a good look. We were summarily punished by not having as picnic the next day. Girls were definitely not an item on the agenda and even when we went home for Christmas holidays we were forbidden to go to dances.

Leaving home at young age.

....... you would obviously have been horrified at the fact that I left home at such a young age. This practice was discontinued in the 70's when the Juniors were moved to Bendigo and, eventually, the Juniorate was closed down altogether. I did not regret my experience at the time. On the contrary, I loved it but leaving home so early did pose problems for me later in life.

 Acknowledgement: Brother Joseph Hughes (Drusilla 60)
Posted: July 2019


 Kindness, Thoughtfulness, and Understanding


Brother Cletus Reed.

Provincial - 1971 till 1977
Editor's Note: Brother Cletus, a great mate of mine from the early 60's, was Provincial at the time I decided to leave the Brothers in 1973 after 18 years as a Marist. He made this process very smooth for me, and I'm forever grateful for this. The following two extracts from Br Cletus to the Brothers of the Province (courtesy Leo Keegan - Drusilla 63) clearly illustrate this man's kindness, thoughtfulness and understanding.

First Extract: Ralph Colvin

"Ralph Colvin has decided to leave the Brothers. I know you will share the sadness I feel when I tell you this. I taught Geoff and his brother Neville at Sale. He was a member of the North Balwyn community during the years he was Province Vocations Co-ordinator. I always found that he was a person I could talk to for hours about the things that touched our lives most closely. His decision will come, no doubt, as a shock to many and especially to those who were under his care as postulants in the last two years. It highlights the fact, however, that at times a man must face his aloneness and be responsible for the decisions he makes about his own life.

I do feel some guilt. When Ralph was travelling from school to school as Co-ordinator of Vocation, he was forced to live most of the time without normal community support and he showed a low tolerance for this sort of solitary life which is emotionally and psychologically draining. Perhaps we didn't take this sufficiently into account when we placed him at the Postulancy without the companionship of an ordinary community of monks.

Ralph has decided to move into the field of Special Education. In December/January (1977) helped the staff of the School for Autistic children at Mansfield and at present he is a member of the staff of the school for Retarded Children at Mansfield. Later in the year he plans to go to America where he will follow a course in Special Education with emphasis on autism. He is a man of many talents and has excelled in a variety of fields - I'm sure he'll do well in yet another. "

Second Extract: Leo Keegan 

"Leo Keegan has also decided to leave the Brothers and will be teaching with the De La Salle Brothers in Sydney in 1977. One thing I always admired Leo for was the determination he showed in completing his BA in Perth whilst still having heavy involvement in the apostolate. And he did this at a time when our young Brothers were being given the opportunity to become fully qualified and when others were being given time off to study.
We have to make distinction between two different matters. Leo has a very high regard for the monks and has many personal friends amongst us and he values our way of life and our apostolate. For this reason he was able to work enthusiastically amongst the boys at Churchlands, to motivate them to join the Brothers and to encourage them to persevere in their resolve. He did this very sincerely and a number of young men in training today owe much to Leo's help. But Leo also had to face his own aloneness before God and, each day, make a responsible decision about what he was going to do with his own life. After many months of painful searching he finally decided that he himself would be happier following Christ along some other path. It is typical of Leo that he has been quite open and frank during this trying experience and one of his last acts before making a decision was to follow a directed retreat. He is still a very dedicated teacher and is looking forward to being part of the religious education team at his new school."

Acknowledgement: Leo Keegan (Drusilla 63)

Posted: July 2019



Brother Des Hornsby

70 years as a Marist Brother

Brothers Des Hornsby and Bill Dillon
On Sunday 16 July a small group of 10 gathered at the Balgownie Estate Winery in Maiden Gully near Marist College Bendigo to honour Des' witness. The local community welcomed Brs Bill Dillon (also a 70 year man), Michael McManus, Peter Walsh, Mark O'Connor as well as Bruce Houghton to a delightful lunch. Des had to escape the Bethlehem Nursing Home for the occasion.
L-R (around the table) Brs Mark O'Connor, Michael McManus, Xavier Collins, standing Mark Needham, Linus Meehan,
Kevin Langley, Bill Dillon and Peter Walsh

The simple, informal nature of the moment allowed Des to converse with each one present. A brief speech by Br Mark Needham was followed by the presentation of the Jubilee Plaque to Des. Des was most appreciative of the occasion and the presence of the visitors as well as the local community.
Mark Needham (Drusilla 62)
Bendigo Community

Acknowledgements: Adelaide Marist News Vol 12 (Br Greg McCrystal), Br Mark Needham

Posted: July 2018

AS AT 31/12/2017

                                                            WORLD                   AUSTRALIA
            Temporary Professed                  229                                1
            Perpetual Professed                   2722                            206
            Total                                          2951                            207
            Novices                                         95                                 4
Acknowledgement: Adelaide Marist News Vol 12, editor Brother Greg McCrystal (Drusilla 50)

Posted: July 2018

75 Years a Marist Brother in 2018
Fond teacher and mentor of Juniors at 'Drusilla' 1953 and 54, then at Wangaratta 1955
Noel at a recent celebration at Newman College, aged 93 years

Noel was born in 1925 at Fimiston on the Lake View Lease in the goldfields of Western Australia, now disappeared into the Super Pit open cut gold mine. The family moved to Perth soon after his birth and finally settled in McKenzie Street, Wembley, in 1929.
The seeds of Noel's Marist vocation were nurtured during his 5 years as a boarder at St Ildephonsus' College, New Norcia where he had received the Lord Abbot Scholarship. He excelled as a student and sportsman. His under 16, 880 yards record was set at the inaugural State Schoolboys' Athletic Carnival of 1940 and lasted for some years.
In January 1942, Noel took a five day train trip from Perth to Sydney. He received the Marist Brothers' religious habit 75 years ago at Mittagong in NSW. Australia was at war and Noel had already signed the papers for conscription. In July 1944 at Parramatta Marist, he began his long and distinguished teaching career, mainly teaching senior students, and including a time as Principal.
Noel gained most of his qualifications the hard way while in full time ministry. His B.A from the University of Western Australia included the Lady Hackett-Moulden prize of 3 guineas for Latin 1.
Then in 1983 he began a very fruitful period in his life for the next 18 years in PNG and the Solomon Islands as a teacher and later as the District Secretary and Bursar. Finally in 2002 Noel returned home to Churchlands, but not to retire.
Noel's interests are very eclectic. He faithfully completes the crosswords in The Australian each day and he works on the Jumble Word in The Western Australia each morning, not being content until he has discovered a large number of words including the often obscure nine-letter word. Until a little over a year ago, he could still be found riding his bicycle over large distances around the local area, but now, in acknowledgement of his 93 years, Noel has graduated to using a gopher. He is still working each Tuesday with the students in the Newman College Education Support. For ten years he spent two hours each week visiting patients in the Head Trauma unit at Shenton Park. He is a faithful supporter of religious and cultural events at Newman College and has taken a keen interest in classical music.

Noel is a very faithful recorder of events for our community archives, which are an excellent record for future historians. He has also used his computer skills to record the lives of family members. His first task each morning is to check the obituaries in The Western Australia for the names of relations, friends and ex-students of New Norcia.

Noel with his cousin Archbishop Barry Hickey and current Archbishop of Perth Tim Costelloe

He has a great love of his family members and friends that is reciprocated. Now in his 94th year, Noel is moving a little slower with the aid of a walking stick or a walker for longer distances, and athletics records of his teenage years are a distant memory.

Br Sean Sammon, the former Superior General of the Marist Brothers, wrote of St Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers. "Suffering tempered him, setbacks strengthened him, determination drove him, and grace helped him move beyond his circumstances. He was an apostle to youth and an example of a very practical Christianity."

I believe we can also apply these words to Brother Noel Columban Hickey - 75 years a Marist Brother.
Brother John Horgan (Drusilla 63)

July 2nd 1943 - 2018
Love and best wishes from all your 'Drusilla' family, and thank you.

This article appeared in the Adelaide Marist News, Volume 10, June 2018

Acknowledgements: Brother Greg McCrystal (Drusilla 50) and Brother John Horgan (Drusilla 63)

Posted: June 2018


Thursday 31 July 1952

{posted November 2014, information courtesy Greg O'Regan (Canberra) formerly Brother Placid}

Bernard Scott (formerly Br Edmundus)  recently found the following report from the Catholic Weekly on the internet. It covers the reception of the Habit and taking of First Vows on July 2nd 1952.


His Lordship Bishop McCabe presided over a ceremony of profession and reception at the Marist Brothers' Training centre, Mittagong recently.
At the ceremony 21 postulants received the habit and 24 novices made profession of first vows. It was the first time at the centre at which his Lordship had presided since his enthronement as Bishop of Wollongong. Many visiting clergy and religious, together with a large contingent of parents and friends were present. Brother Alfred was master of ceremonies. The Novitiate choir sang the Gregorian music for the Mass. The Brother Provincial (Br Andrew) afterwards entertained the (special) visitors to dinner.
(Among) the postulants who received the habit (from Drusilla) were:
Peter Alexanderson (Bendigo): Brother Anthony
Kevin Bodey ( Mount Gambier): Brother Robert
Redmond Casey (New Norcia): Brother Pius X
Noel Facci (New Norcia): Brother David Aloysius
Brian Greaves (Sale): Brother Vincent
Brian Monro (Bendigo): Brother Martin Nivard
Bede Naulty (Adelaide): Brother Gonsaga
Christopher Petersen (Mount Gambier): Brother Hilary
John Quinlan ( East Brunswick): Brother Norman
The novices who took their first vows were:
Brother Cornelius Keating (Mittagong)
Brother Gilbert Larkin
Brother Kostka Chute
Brother Bernadine Walker
Brother Placid O'Regan
Brother Xavier Collins (Melbourne)
Brother Joseph Cogley
Brother Columba Casey
Brother Dominic Stewart
Brother Edmundus Scott
Brother Mark May
Brother Oswald MacNamara
Brother Ernest Gleeson
Brother Joachim McGrath
Brother Kilian Flynn
Brother Kevin Hoare
Brother Romuald Cable
Brother Arnold Dennis
Brother Stephen Hoad
Brother Aidan Smith
Brother Brendan Maguire
Brother Eric Blumenthal
Brother Aquinas Della




In early December 2011, Brother Kenneth was farwelled from the Forbes community. He has been a pillar of the Forbes community since he arrived in 1960 and is known by many for his generosity and hard work. His time in Forbes has spanned 44 years and has seen him work as a school principal and full time and part time teacher.

Brother Kenneth has been an intergral part of the broader Forbes community through his famous plant stalls at the Mater and Jemalong fetes as well as his work for St Vincent de Paul. In 2010 his contribution to the community was recognised when he was announced as the Australia Day Citizen of the Year for Forbes.

Brother Kenneth was part of the Marist community from 1960 till 1969. During this time he was principal at Red Bend College from 1967 to 1969. He then left Forbes for 10 years, living at Thebarton and Mt Gambier communities.

He returned to Forbes in 1977 and took up a position as principal at the Holy Family Primary School in Parkes for six years. In 1983 he accepted a position as principal at St Laurence's Parish School in Forbes, where he stayed for six years before returning to work full time as a teacher at Red Bend.

Brother Kenneth was what is referred to as a 'late' vocation. After service in the AIF he was encouraged to join the Marists at the age of 30 years by Brother Placidus Redden the Marist Provincial at the time. But instead of going to Macedon he was placed at Northam in WA for twelve months probation as a teacher in 1952 before entering the Novitiate at Mittagong NSW in 1953. Brother Bertinus Feehan was his principal at Northam.

Brother Kenneth is currently resident at the Marist community at Netley SA.
[posted January 2012]



[photo courtesy OL Help of Christians Parish, East Brunswick]
{Posted June 2011}

Our Lady Help of Christians (East Brunswick) celebrates its centenary in 2011. This was the Parish Church for all those monks who taught in the schools nearby. Br Gerry Rush (Drusilla 52) composed the following  poems in commemoration of this centenary.

The Golden Lady

Far in Italy,
Beloved church on village hill.
Rock of ages past.
High o'er houses dim;
Golden Lady keeping watch
Surely you do know.

'neath the cross so dark
Giv'n to us for ages all,
The Mother of God.

From a Quarry

"Thou art Peter ..." the rock of old.
In this new place, in this new age
Our Pastor King beloved sage
Raised Our Lady's tower of gold.
Hewn from rock and hard clay soil
- not for them the long necked crane -
Building to her holy name
Human might and muscle toil.
So at last, her church complete,
No more sound from way above.
Her people's prayers and praise repeat
To offer to God their lives and love.
Safe and sure as the rock beneath
Our Lady, ever watching on high
The spirit of the past bequeath
A light to all who venture nigh. 
She beckons with engaging presence
Over intervening fields and farms
The call is home, home
I know within my core, I know
To gentle hum of urging motor,
My heart within pulsating too.
The troubles of the day, no more,
While of tomorrow, to let it come.
In dark night upon the slopes
The soft sporadic yellows
Whisper. You'll be safe and warm
When you get home within my bosom.
M.G. Rush  2014


Marist Brothers Band Bendigo

celebrating 100 years.


Editor's note: Many of us associated with Drusilla who came from Bendigo or taught there would be familiar with the Band. Br Romuald O'Brien back in 1950's was very supportive of the band. If I remember correctly he played the euphonium and even led the band as Band Master down the main streets of Bendigo on a couple of occasions.The following article was provided by Br Des Hornsby (Drusilla staff 1969).

While the Marist Brothers Band Bendigo no longer has any connection with the Brothers or with the schools it still has a life of its own in the area.
In 2010 the Band has been celebrating its 100 years and is not about to change its brand-name. A formal dinner was held at the All Seasons Motel/Hotel on 20th November and the next day, Sunday, an informal gathering and lunch for families and supporters of the Band. They were entertained by a practice session none the worse for wear from the night before. In days gone by some of the Brothers had played in the Band.
A book, "Marist Brass - A Century of Music and March 1910 - 2010", by George Flack marking the 100 years has now been launched recording the Band's personnel and successes. A copy with be place in our Marist Archives at Templestowe.
The Band retains the Marist Brothers College shield, the last one used before the amalgamation to form Catholic College Bendigo. The motto: "Vincit qui se vincit" means "You are the real winner only if you are able to take control of yourself".
This account is being written on St Cecilia's Feast Day 22nd November 2010 when the Madonna reflection of the day bids us: ...' Let us take a moment today to find a piece of music that moves us and allow ourselves the gift to be moved. Take the song, listen to it and relish the feeling its brings.'
The Band has a website:

Posted: November 2010

St Peter's Church, Daylesford, Victoria

21st August, 2010 

[Photo courtesy Brian Monro, Drusilla 49]

Brian and Yvonne Monro's son Martin was married in this church recently by Fr Kevin Maloney. He was named 'Martin' after Brian's religious name as a Marist.

Posted 2010

Certificate of Marist Appreciation

JOHN KELLY (Drusilla 51)

[posted September 2010]


Meg & John Kelly, Br John McMahon, Br Gerry Rush
On Friday 24th September, John Kelly (Drusilla 51) was presented with a Certificate of Marist Appreciation Br John McMahon (Drusilla 64), Vice Provincial, on behalf of the Provincial, Br Julian Casey (Drusilla 56) at the Province Centre, Templestowe. The Templestowe Staff and Community honoured John and his wife Meg with a morning tea. Brother John spoke of John's long association with the Marist Brothers and in particular his work in organising Macedon Reunions from their beginnings at "Drusilla" in 1980.

This is an acknowlegment we, his confreres, would all endorse with much appreciation. Br Gerry Rush (Drusilla 52) nominated John for this honour.

Congratulations John - well deserved.

[Acknowledgment: photos courtesy Br Nello Facci (Drusilla 51)]

"Be Still, My Soul"

[posted July 2010]

Words: Schlegel (1752) - Music: Sibelius (1899)
This hymn was special chosen by Brian Philp (Drusilla 51) to be sung at his Requiem - 8th July 2010

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;

Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithfully will remain.

Be still, my soul; they blest, they heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.


Be still, my soul; they God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them when He dwelt below.


Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.


If you would like to listen to this moving hymn go to and search for the Priests
you will find it in their repertoire.


[Image and script provided by Br Des Hornsby - Drusilla 69]


From a newspaper cutting without source and date there appears an item indicating that Drusilla under the ownership of Gerard Johnson is being used as a film set again. It will be the scene for a film probably to be released in 2011 titled: "Don't be afraid of the Dark". It is believed it will be a horror blockbuster.
Our readers may be aware that the building was used for a film about the war hero Nancy Wake some years ago.
Scenes involving driving will be from some roads and surroundings around Macedon. The front facade of the building (refer to above image) has been recreated for dramatic purposes. But those who knew Drusilla of old will recognise the establishment easily enough. [Editor's note: there is a give away branch of a familar tree on the right!]
Google the title to find out more. This writer (Br Des) will certainly not be going to see the film - horror movies are detrimental to sleep for this 80 year old! ........[June 2010]..



The following reflection was forwarded by Br Austin (Osmund) Redden - Drusilla staff 53

It is an excerpt from an article written by Br John Venard Smith (Sydney Province) who was in same Novitiate group as Austin.


As the years roll by changes in life inevitably occur. Some get upset with this but we should realise that it is part of the ageing process. If we concentrate on the life we have rather than the one we used to have, or the one we would like to have, we would be able to live life at a satisfying level.

Buddha, when questioned about "Who is the holy person", replied " The person who is totally present in each fraction of a second is indeed the holy person."

Jesus explains this 'live the moment' style of living by a child-like trust in a God who is both a Father and a Mother to us.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what will you wear... Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap not gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them." (Matt 6:25)

Our God is the God of 'continuous present' and since our life originated as a gift from God, this is how we will exist in eternity so why not start now and live in the present.

Jesus' teaching reminded me of my early faith journey where I had the cart before the horse. Maybe it was just me or maybe I was taught wrongly but I believed that religion consisted of fearing God, knowing and keeping hundreds of rules and being motivated by fear of an eternity in hell fire; scary stuff!

Very slowly I discovered that this was not the Good News message that Jesus preached and lived. In his book "God of Surprises" Jesuit priest, Gerard Hughes challenged me to think deeper when he used the quote, "Nothing so masks the face of God as religion."

If we have a rigid and narrow view of religion, if we are critical and scornful of those who do not believe as we do, if we make judgements that are God's prerogative then the above quote about religion getting in the way of God, would apply to us.

[Article: A Christian counter attack]

A relaxed relaitionship with God is my aim. I recall that and the saying of 'prayer words' and physical attendance at religious ceremonies are only important if they help me in this objective. I wake up early most mornings and look out over beautiful gardens, gum trees and ovals, I observe dawn awakening and become aware of the presence of God.

Some reflective 'fixes' I use:

God loves me, nothing else matters.

Does a woman forget the baby at her breast or fail to cherish the child of her womb? Yet even if these forget, I will not forget you. (Isaiah 49:15

The only rich people are the ones satisfied with what they have.

Don't tell God how big your storm is. Tell your storm how big your God is.

Death ends a life but not a relationship.

We cannot undo our past but we can change our future.

Our hearts are made for thee O God, and they know no rest until they rest in thee. (St Augustine).

Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil. It has no point. (Billy Graham) .....


[courtesy Br Doug (Peter Walsh) - Drusilla 52]

Posted April 2010

I have just spent a few days with a group of my friends who were a part of my life in Year 10,11 and 12 between 1952 and 1954. It should be noted in this time of the Catholic Schools history in Australia boys and girls received their secondary education in single sex schools. All of us had a great interest in the life of the Marist Brothers. In those days our only teachers were Marist Brothers so we wanted to find out more about the Brothers' life so we went to a special boarding house at Macedon where we could learn about Prayer Life of the Brothers and study Champagnat and devote more time to enrich our faith. Some of us spent three or four years at Macedon others left at various stages along the journey. I know this is a very simple way of describing what in the 1950's was known as a "Juniorate". I have done this deliberately because I want to make some camparisons between this era and the era of the emerging Remar Movement and its affect on Marist life in Australia.

Today the majority of schools in our Province that we regard as Marist Schools are co-ed. In some of these schools the Remar Movement is alive and well. Students in Year 10,11 and 12 are invited to begin their Marist journey to learn about Champagnat, Discipleship, Prayer and to enrich their Faith. This is now done in their home location and the days of "Juniorates" have long gone.
As I met with these guys, who were a part of my Marist journey, ( some have now been happily married for 50 years), are as Marist today as they were as teenagers. I reflected on what a Lay Marist is. I had the new book "Gathered around the Same Table" with me. These were guys who had caught the Marist spirit through their days at Macedon, had passed it onto their wives and children to such an extent that every eighteen months the group comes together for a three day live in to share Eucharist and to reflect with their mates who are still Brothers about our shared Marist Life. The group always does this in a Marist setting, A Marist school or a Formation Centre. This year it was a Mittagong. These gatherings would not be as enriching without the wives and partners of these guys, who as teenagers embraced the Marist Brothers charisma, shared with their families and now wives and partners are as much a part of the Marist Family as they are.
In the 1950's and may be until the 1970's a Lay Marist Vocation was not even conceived let alone talked about and yet this group have been living it all these years. I shared my thoughts with them and proposed for their next reunion I introduce them to some of our young people who have experienced Remar. So a group of lay Marists, coming from 1950's can share with a group of Young Marists beginning their journey in the 2000's.
I thanked two mates of mine whom I met when I first went to a Marist School for being with me during the time I was discerning to be a Brother or not. I followed them to the Juniorate. They are Lay Marists today and I am a Marist Brother. My prayer is that if through the Remar Movement young men and women are being called to Religious Life they will have the life long friendships that these guys and their families have given me.


"Something about the Marists"

[from Greg O'Regan (Canberra) - News 20th November 2009]

"In the last email I (Greg O'Regan) reported the death of Kevin Lane who had been to "Drusilla", Mt Macedon in the fifties. I also referred you to the report on Terry O'Brien's blogspot.

The item evoked these memories and comment from Frank Cuttance:

" Small world isn't it. Your note about Kevin Lane hit me between the eyes! As I think you know, I had 47 years with CBA, mostly in CBA Property, where I ended up as General Manager. At one stage of his career, Kevin was responsible for the performance of our South Australian portfolio, as Senior Manager Property SA. I got to know him well during that time. While in Sydney (Conferences/Seminars) Lyn and I often had him for dinner, and on at least one occasion he stayed with us over the weekend. Later in his career, when he had moved to Sydney, Lyn got to know Lois well - the standing joke amongst the executives' wives was that she must be married to Superman! (Lois Lane/Clark Kent?).

While his catholicity was obvious, and I had that strange feeling of familiarity with so many of his views, he never mentioned his time with the Marists, no more than I did. It's such an odd thing to read of his Juniorate/Novitiate background, so similar to mine (1949/52) and of his passing, in your newsletter.

There must be something about the Marists that puts a stamp on a man.

I remember being posted to Melbourne to manage the Vic Portfolio in the early '80's. I knew one of my execs (Laurie Doyle) was an exstudent of Marist Brothers Kilmore, although I had never mentioned my background to him. But I was surprised when after a few weeks in the job, the other Senior Exec asked me about (what) my background was and where I had been to school. When I told him St Joseph's College Hunters Hill and the Marist Bros Juniorate at Mittagong, he turned to Laurie and said "There! I knew he was a Marist Bros Boy". Turned out that he (Noel Wills) had attended Marist Bendigo. Seems that even after 30 years in the work force, my "style" was recognisably Marist!"

Editor's Note: What a delightful reflection! Thank you Frank.......

Memorial for Flying Officer Michael Herbert

[ photos and information provided by Br Des Crowe and used with permission]

Flying Officer Michael Herbert was the last of our Australian armed services personnel recovered from the Vietnam war. It was 46 years since Michael had left SHC to join RAAF Academy at Point Cook.
On Sunday 6th September, the memorial for Michael began with an all night vigil at SHC Chapel. The honour guard consisted of a detachment of airmen and women who lodged overnight in the boarders' dining room, and changed the guard every thirty minutes.
Next morning students formed a guard of honour for Michael from the chapel to the gates (named in his honour) as the hearse departed for the solemn and grand national memorial service in St Francis Xavier's Cathedral. We were represented at the memorial by John Kelly (Drusilla 51 - a former teacher of Michael); Terry O'Brien (Drusilla 49 - OC SHC Cadet Unit of which Michael was a member); and Brian Philp (Drusilla 51).

[posted January 2012]

The Kings Street Bridge over the Patawalunga (Glenelg) was demolished and rebuilt in 2011. At the official opening in December 2011, the bridge was renamed "Michael Herbert Bridge".

Demolition of "The Stables" at SHC Somerton


Many would be familiar with "The Stables" at Sacred Heart College, Somerton. Some of us may have even taught in these hallowed walls or were students in these classrooms. During July 2009 the remaining two wings of the building were demolished with much care - as it was necessary to save the bluestone that was used in the facade of the building. This bluestone is fairly rare and very expensive and is being salvaged. Some is to be reused in the new building to perpetuate the 70 years of fruitful use as classrooms. A decommissioning ceremony was held on 29th June 2009. As part of this decommissiong, one of the bluestone blocks was symbolically removed by Br Columbanus a former Principal of SHC.
(the following detail from the Marist Newsletter July 2009 courtesy of Br Des Crowe, Somerton)

The old building began its life as the stables for the Cudmore's race horses on his Paringa estate. These were adapted for classroom use by Brother Joseph McAteer during the Christmas holidays of 1917 when a team of masons, plasterers and carpenters spent eight hectice weeks refurbishing the former stables to provide six classrooms, a science lecture room/laboratory, two music rooms and a gymnasium ...

In 1941, the Principal, Brother Albertus made a daring decision to spend rather more money than he had ... to further adapt the building - resulting in what was at the time the latest thing in school facilities.



The following is an abridged version of an article on Kelly Nestor - Channel 9 Adelaide Newsreader - that appeared in "The Southern Cross" August 2009. Used with permission.

During her middle years of high school, the call to faith was so strong in media identity Kelly Nestor that she seriously considered becoming a nun and spending her life teaching in Catholic schools.Being educated by the Sisters of Mercy and the Marist Brothers in the outback mining town of Broken Hill had a huge impact on the country girl. Now at aged 40, Kelly still marvels at, and treasures, the way they guided her in her formative years.
"They really made me the person I am today and to have the values I have," she says.
While providing a nurturing environment, her teachers challenged Kelly to be the best she could and prepared her for a life as a globe-trotting journalist who now graces our television screens as the weekday newsreader at Channel 9 [Adelaide].
"The Sisters of Mercy and the Marist Brothers are just beautiful orders - they really have a soft side and a teaching side which I love," she says.
Kelly gives particular credit to Brother Mark Needham who was her principal at what is now Sacred Heart College in Broken Hill. He brought new , exciting ideas to the school including the first musical production and the magazine which were great showcases of Kelly's talents, [and the launching pad for her career in journalism].
Well done Mark.



Congratulations to Br Doug (Drusilla 52) ...
who has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2009 Queen's Birthday honour list. This is in recognition of his untiring work for the St Vincent de Paul in the Melbourne suburbs and elswhere. [from Marist Newsletter July 2009]
Br Doug has for a number of years been co-ordinator of the Soup Vans; he is also National Project Officer ( StVdeP) responsible for Assist a Student Education Program in Asia and the Pacific. He has recently been asked to take on the role of President of the Soup Vans in Victoria.

Well done and well deserved. Best wishes from all your Drusilla colleagues, Dougie.
[post courtesy John Kelly (Drusilla 51), Kilmore]