On Wednesday 26 October the College held a very special assembly to mark a significant anniversary in the life of Dominic College. Next month, in November it will be 70 years since our first Salesian brothers and priests came here to Glenorchy and established a home and school to educate children and young people.
The current members of our Salesian community joined us: our Rector Fr Peter Rankin, our Brother Michael Morrow and Fr Nick Castleyns, Fr Bob Curmi and our Parish Priest Fr Lawrie Moate.
This group of wonderful, dedicated men continue the commitment made 70 years ago to be an active presence here and support the children and young people of Hobart.
Fr Bernie Graham, our Vice Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the chairman of our College Council and former Principal of Dominic College, also attended to celebrate and bless our special student badges.
When Fr John Brennan, our first Principal and Rector of the Salesians came here 70 years ago this school was a farm – our ovals were used for grazing cows, sheep, an apple orchard and there were hay stacks. There were ducks, wallabies and snakes….some things haven’t changed.
When I look at the old grainy black and white photos of the Salesians and the boys on the farm and the White house where they lived 70 years ago – I see echoes of our school community today.
There are pictures of kids hugging each other, photos of students running, jumping, students with lots of mud over them from playing on the ovals. Students with cricket bats and foot balls, students hanging upside down …….looking at the pictures you can almost hear the laughter, the jokes – these photographs are echoes of friendship and school as a family and home – the Dominic family of today are in those photographs of the past.
I see very familiar and similar images today that are in our newsletter, on our website and in in our year book each year, only ours are in colour. The love and care and happiness in the hearts of the Salesians and students of 70 years ago has not changed – it is like a strong energy force from the past to the present - Dominic as a family and home continues.
I think Fr John Brennan would be proud that the Salesians are still here, still present, still working here, still praying and still serving in the name and spirit of Don Bosco.
He would be very proud of our students – still learning, still playing, still aiming to fulfil their dreams.
As we gather today we remember those days of 1946 – there were 36 students here as our first school – today there are 926 students.
At this assembly, and always, we remember those early days, the Salesians who built and grew our school, and our former students who made this school a great place to be; we will bless our special badges that each of you will receive to mark this anniversary and we will pray together in thanksgiving for what has been achieved and passed on to us to continue.
Ms Beth Gilligan, College Principal