St Patrick's celebrates 100 years

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St Patrick's celebrates 100 years

St Patrick’s College celebrated its past and looked forward to a bright and evolving future as it marked its centenary in August.

Hundreds of people helped to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the opening of St Patrick’s Christian Brothers’ College in Launceston with three days of activities, which included college tours; a gala anniversary dinner for more than 200 at the Albert Hall; and a thanksgiving mass at the Church of the Apostles, followed by the chance to walk through ‘little St Pat’s’ at what is now Sacred Heart School, see the original 1919 classrooms, reminisce and enjoy live music from the St Patrick’s College band.

Principal Tony Daley said the celebrations acknowledged all the schools that make up the rich tapestry of the college’s history – Sacred Heart (1873), St Thomas More’s and Marian College as well as St Patrick’s.

“Some 108 students walked in the door on that first day 100 years ago, and one of the things we are celebrating is the connections that we have had over the years,” Mr Daley said.

“Fr Mark Freeman, our parish priest, is the grandson of Jack Williams, one of the original students.

“So we have some strong connections with the past, but we are a different school now,” he said.

“We are very happy with where we are at the moment, with 1500 students and 220 staff, and we are celebrating the achievements of the college over the past 100 years, but our roots go all the way back to 1873 and Sacred Heart.”

Launceston Parish Priest Fr Mark Freeman said the celebrations were an opportunity to “pause, remember and give thanks for all who have been a part of this journey of faith and learning”.

“We are very blessed by their hard effort and their contribution to the development of Catholic education in Launceston.”

Mr Daley said the college was ‘proudly Catholic’ and that students live out their faith through numerous outreach programs, including making soup for a St Vincent de Paul soup van; in Year 11, spending time serving another Tasmanian school; and in Year 12, going to Melbourne to work with the homeless.

“[With] our year 10s next year we hope to do the equivalent of the CEO Sleepout and hopefully they will raise some money for the homeless around Launceston as well,” he said.