Page 361 - Week 01 - Thursday, 27 February 2014

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Bishop Pat Power, Monsignor John Woods, Father Luke Verrell, Father Stephen Fletcher, and Father Bony Abraham. I understand that except for the archbishop, they are all former old boys of St Edmund’s College. It was great to see them as well as all of the old boys who came back, including some of the brothers from 30 to 40 years ago. Some of the people who came back last night met up with a lot of old friends.

Presentations were made to the house leaders who were commissioned and to year 12 students by college principal Mr Peter Fullagar and former headmaster Brother Robert Wallace. Brother Wallace was principal of St Edmund’s from 1979 to 1988. I add that he was also my teacher back at Lewisham Christian Brothers in 1964, so it was good to catch up with Bob Wallace. Brother John O’Shea, principal from 1989 to 1994 was there as well as Dr Christopher Hayes, principal from 2005 to 2008.

Commissioning of the college leaders took place, and congratulations to college captain, Jack Gibson, college vice-captains, Rosario Trimboli and James Kenny, college academic captain, Jacob Buddee and all the house captains and year 12 students.

There was a community gathering afterwards, and the celebration does not stop there. There are further events to celebrate the 60th anniversary this year: St Eddie’s community street fair on 22 March, the open day for old boys on 10 May from 12 to 4 pm, the anniversary ball at the Canberra Southern Cross Club on 6 August, the EdMum’s luncheon on 5 September, and the staff past and present function at Regatta Point on 31 October. There is a lot of celebration to be conducted by St Edmund’s College current and past students. I congratulate them for a very significant event last night, and I thank them for inviting me to share that occasion with them last night.

Australian Bravery Association

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (6.22): It was a great honour recently to welcome members of the Australian Bravery Association to Canberra for their annual dinner and conference at Duntroon earlier this month. Australian bravery decorations were established along with the Australian honours system in February 1975. The group bravery citation was added in 1990 to recognise a group of people involved in an incident. Nominations are considered by the Australian Bravery Decorations Council, which makes recommendations to the Governor-General.

The Cross of Valour is Australia’s highest civilian bravery decoration. It is awarded for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril and has been awarded five times since 1975. The first Cross of Valour was awarded in 1989 to Mr Darrell Tree of South Australia. He saved a three-year-old boy from an electrified crane despite being knocked out several times by high-voltage electric shocks.

The other Cross of Valour recipients are: Tim Britten and Richard Joyce, for efforts to rescue others in the immediate aftermath of the Bali nightclub bombing in 2002; Mr Victor Boscoe, for his lengthy pursuit of armed robbers in Brisbane in 1993; and president of the Cross of Valour Association Mr Allan Sparkes, who, in 1996, repeatedly entered flooded stormwater drains in Coffs Harbour to find and rescue a missing boy. It was an honour to be in the company of four of the five Cross of Valour winners at Duntroon.

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