The new Memorial Wall in the Chapel was blessed following Mass in the Dominic College Chapel on Friday 19 November 2021. Family, friends, staff past and present, and student leaders joined together to recognise the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Salesians at Boys' Town in 1946 as well as reflecting on and commemorating the lives of those students and staff who have passed away while working or studying at Dominic College.
The original memorial was instituted in the 1990s and located in the ground floor entry foyer of the Middle School Elective Block, outside the 7-10 Library near the stairs. The genesis of this memorial came from several tragic deaths in 1992.
Fr Greg Chambers SDB, in 1992 Dominic College Principal and Rector, wrote: 'We at Dominic said our sad and heartfelt goodbyes to our close friends, John Spink and Adam Coad, both of Year 7 Red. We mourned their sudden and tragic loss with their parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and church communities, to whom we extend our sincere sympathy and pledge our unshakable friendship and support through the months and years ahead.'
Fr Greg went on to say that the lives of these two young people along with the lives of other recent tragedies, including '... Ken De la Paz, Sytske Frohmader, Sister Ath, Fr Stetty, Steven Axtell...' and many others who had passed away 'must become a part of the very fabric, culture and legend of this College.'
The original memorial plaques listed these 15 names:
Br Paul Hannabery SDB; Steven Axtell; Fr Emmanuel Stettmayer SDB; Fr Kevin O'Mara SDB; David Naylor; Sr Gai Holst OP; Adam Coad; Sr M Thomas OP; Sr Athanasius OP; Luke Westcott; Brian Tomlinson; Sytske Frohmader; Andrew Donovan; Kenneth De La Paz; John Spink..
This original memorial was taken down during renovations to the entry foyer and it was eventually considered that the best location for a memorial was the rear wall of the Dominic College Chapel, where there was space for an expanded and expanding memorial as well as the appropriate solemn and sacred environment for prayerful reflection.
In 2021 Margaret Rootes was commissioned by the school to advise on appropriate biblical quotations to be engraved with the student or teacher's birth and death dates recorded on a beautiful engraved and wood mounted plaque.
The original 15 names on the memorial were augmented by those of Br Peter Dezani SDB who died 9 November 2000 and Jenny Edwards, Teacher Assistant, who died 22 December 2016.
Students and staff will pray for and keep these students and staff in their memories regularly and the community will be able to visit at public occasions, such as the annual All Souls Mass and the annual Old Scholars Christmas Eve carols and Mass.
You can see more photos from the blessing ceremony on our gallery: Blessing the Memorial Wall.