Saturday, May 12, 2012

2011 Reunion - Templestowe

{Photos courtesy: Jenny O'Brien unless otherwise indicated}

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Front Row: Mike Doherty, Peter Lawler, Remo Bianco, Br Michael Herry, Br Neil Emmett
Second Row: Ern Burrows, Br Doug Walsh, Ken Rolls, Br Eugene Dwyer, Bill Jolley, Br Gerry Rush, Ken Keating, Les Jones

Back Row: Terry O'Brien, Barry Hansen, Tom Lawlor, Br John Maybon, Br Julian Quinlan, Greg Parnham, Brian Greaves, John Hassett, John Kelly

Participants and partners
{photo courtesy Maureen Philp}

Standing at Back: Ann Burrows, Maureen Philp, Br Julian Quinlan, Barry/Marj Hansen, Hilda/Tom Lawlor, Meg Kelly, John/Val Hassett, Eleanor/Greg Parnham, Remo/Naomi Bianco, Brian Greaves, Br Gerry Rush, Lois Lane, Margaret Irvin, Br John Maybon, Br Doug Walsh.

Seated: Ern Burrows, Pat/Mike Doherty, Br Eugene Dwyer, Bill Jolley, Ken/Maureen Keating, John Kelly, Ken Rolls.

At Front: Joan/Peter Lawler, Jenny/Terry O'Brien, Bev/Les Jones, Br Neil Emmett


WEDNESDAY 28th September


On a very wet and wintry day we set off from Holy Cross at 8.30. But this did not deter us from having a very enjoyable day. Some travelled to Kilmore from various parts of Victoria by car to meet us at Assumption College for morning tea. We even ventured to the summit of Mt Macedon despite poor visibility and wet conditions. It reminded us very much of our days at 'Drusilla' all those years ago.

Morning Tea at Assumption College.

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Prayer service for all Marists buried at Kilmore.

Re-internment site of Brothers' remains from Macedon

Marist section of Catholic Cemetery at Kilmore


Gordon Johnson, the new owner of 'Drusilla', who was there to welcome us, generously allowed us to use it for our BBQ. This was very fortuitous because the weather was wintry and damp. BBQ cooker was set up under the entrance arches, and the lunch was served up in what was the 'chapel'. The change inside 'Drusilla' is remarkable. All the 'dormitories' upstairs are set up with double beds and matching beautiful furniture. The 'dining room' is set up with a majestic 14 seat dining setting, and everywhere there are very impressive ornaments and trophies. Beautifully done. We were very privileged to have this opportunity to explore at will.

Maureen Philp, Meg Kelly, Joan Lawler

BBQ lunch in "Chapel"

BBQ lunch in "Chapel"

Brian Greaves, Terry McDonald, Br Doug, Wilma McDonald

{photo courtesy: Maureen Philp}


After dinner Br Doug Walsh introduced us to these young people who are involved in furthering the Marist charism in the work they do with the disadvantaged and school groups. It was very inspiring to hear how confidently and sincerely these three young people spoke about faith and the Marist charism. How refreshing this was to all of us. They could understand that our group are involved in a very practical way in this same quest amongst ourselves when we meet at reunions and in the lives we lead in our Parishes. There is something about the Marist character which has left its mark on us as well.

Remar leaders: Jasmine, Josh and Lauren

THURSDAY 29th September


The presiding celebrant was Father Chris Mithen CP. The celebration of the Eucharist was held in the Holy Cross Centre chapel. We used the "Cum Jubilo" Gregorian chant Mass setting, the Communion hymn was 'Be Still my Soul" lyrics set to the music of Sibelius, and we finished with a rousing rendition of the traditional Marist hymn, 'Sub Tuum'. Our accompanist was Jenny O'Brien. We remembered especially those of our confreres who have died since our Mittagong reunion: Kevin Irvin, Brian Philp, Br Brian McGrath, and Bernie Halpin. At the Prayers of the Faithful we read out the names of all those who have died who attended Macedon either as Juniors or Novices.


Peter Lawler (Drusilla 51) - retired lawyer - introducing our guest speaker.

John Hassett (Drusilla 52) - retired County Judge - our after dinner speaker.

John's talk was titled "An Unplanned Fortunate Life".

Inspired by the Brothers at Bendigo, John came to Macedon in 1952, after spending a year boarding at Assumption. At Macedon he learnt to become self reliant, was introduced to prayer life, and given a solid foundation for a life of faith, which thankfully he has maintained.

Mid 1953, Brothers decided that a Marist career was not for him, so he returned to Bendigo to complete Leaving Certificate, and eventually progressed into law, but this was a hesitant process. He spent a couple of years as a law clerk with Galbally's during which he matriculated at Taylors night school and started a Law Course. But he left Melbourne Uni after 6 months and subsequently spent 6 years doing part time an Articled Clerks Course (a qualification for admission to practice as a barrister and solicitor - but not a Law Degree) while working for Gair and Brahe starting at 25 pounds a week. It was in that period that he married Val (in Perth in 1963) and that their daughters Joanne and Lisa were born in 1966 and 1967.

Eventually he formed a partnership (Walter and Hassett) whose claim to fame was holding in trust the Ronald Biggs story, written by Biggs while he was hiding in the Dandenongs.

After 5 years, John decided to go to the Bar and was immediately successful. He developed a general practice in civil work, in criminal defence and prosecution work and a significant Circuit practice after which he was offered a Crown Prosecutor's position which he accepted. While in that office John co-wrote a book entitled "Indictable Offences in Victoria" which is now in its 7th edition.

John then became a County Court Judge. He remarked over dinner how proud he was to be appointed in view of the fact he didn't have a Law Degree. His daughter Lisa asked worriedly "Do they know?"

Following the habit started in Macedon with writing 'JMJ' at the top of each page of work, John wrote 'AMDG' on the pages of his court notes. [ad majorem Dei gloriam - to the greater glory of God.]

During his 18 years service as a Judge, John was heavily involved in the development and planning of the new County Court building in Melbourne.

John retired in 2002, and declares it is the best career he has ever had!


Editor's note: What a remarkable life journey! We salute you John.


Following John Hassett's address, Br Doug Walsh (Drusilla 52) made a special presentation on behalf of the Provincial Br Julian Casey (Drusilla 50) to Maureen Philp, in recognition of the great work that her husband, Brian, had put into helping to promote and organise with John Kelly the Macedon reunions over many years. We have all sadly missed him from our gathering. Thank you Philpy.

John Kelly, Maureen Philp, and Meg Kelly with the framed notice of appreciation.

Val and John Hassett - our dinner guests


It has become a custom after the reunion dinner to have a sing-a-long of all those songs we learnt at Macedon in 50's. The booklet was revised this reunion. Content by Mike Doherty, layout and typing by John and Meg Kelly, and printing by Br Peter Howes (Drusilla 54) from the Province Centre. At this reunion we had the 'luxury' of an accompanist, Br Neil Emmett (Drusilla 60)

Mike Doherty, Brian Greaves, Jenny O'Brien - leaders

Br Neil Emmett - accompanist

It was a delight to have at our 13th reunion the wives of three of our departed confreres. Both Brian Philp and Kevin Irvin had been at the 12th reunion at Mittagong in 2010, and Kevin Lane's last reunion with us was at Sunshine Coast in 2007. We all miss them very much. But while ever Maureen, Lois and Margaret continue to attend our reunions they remain very much with us in spirit. Their Marist charism lives on.

Maureen Philp (Brian -Drusilla 51), Lois Lane (Kevin- Drusilla 51), Margaret Irvin (Kevin - Drusilla 51)

It was agreed:

  • That the next Macedon Reunion (14th) will be held in about 18 months time.

  • That the venue will be determined following responses to the evaluation of this reunion.

  • That John Kelly be remunerated for expenses incurred for this reunion.

  • That Les Jones and Mike Doherty would join the Reunion Committee.

Thank You

  • To Gordon Johnson, owner of 'Drusilla', for his generosity in allowing us 'open house' for our visit, including the use of 'the chapel' for our BBQ.

  • To Brother Jack Skehan (Drusilla 58) who did the negotiations with Gordon, and helped with the cooking at the BBQ.

  • To Brother Peter Howes (Drusilla 54) who did the printing of the Reunion booklet and the new song book.

  • To Brother Neil Emmett (Drusilla 60) who was our accompanist for the Sing-a-long.

  • To members of Remar group: Lauren, Jasmine, and Josh for their presentation, and to Brother Doug Walsh (Drusilla 52) for co-ordinating this.

  • To John Hassett, our after dinner speaker, for his very interesting and inspiring talk.

  • To Holy Cross Centre, especially Maree and Francis, for their hospitality and understanding. Your efforts are much appreciated by all the participants at this Reunion.