Six degrees of separation!
Wodonga is a good three hours’ drive from Kyneton but the recent passing of a long-time resident of Wodonga somehow shortened the distance.
James Joseph (Jim) Duggan was born and raised in Gisborne and attended the Kyneton Marist Brothers school. In the ensuing years he settled at Wodonga and was highly respected in the community, as the memorial notices showed after his death on 23 September 2017.
Jim attained the great age of ninety-one and was well-known to another Kynetonian Frank Harahan who also lives in Wodonga and represented the Kyneton Marist Brothers Old Boys Association at the funeral mass.
The Marist Brothers came to Kyneton on Sunday, July 25, 1926, and the Guardian of Tuesday July 27, 1926, says: “The arrival of the Marist Brothers in Kyneton is regarded as a great historical event in the annals of St. Mary’s parish, marking as it does the commencement of another and more progressive era in the educational activities of the church in this district, and supplying from a Catholic viewpoint a long-felt want. . . .”
To commemorate the coming of the Marist Brothers to Kyneton, a 21st Birthday celebration was held at Kyneton on August 2-3 1947, when 150 past students gathered at a reunion dinner from many parts of Victoria, and later formed an Old Boys’ Association.
One of the past pupils that attended the 21st was Jim Duggan also in his twenty-first year. The teenaged Jim also features in the school football team of 1940.
A photograph of the team supplied by Jack Pattison was circulated and brought family connections to the fore. Mick Vague identified three uncles, Gerald Smith, Tom Brereton, and Jim Hughes whilst David Gellion saw his dad Jack as a young lad.
Whilst the school closed in 1966 the Old Boys Association is still active in the community, and has held an annual reunion every year since the first those seventy years ago.
The school motto is Servabo Fidem which translates to keep the faith. Jim Duggan is one who honoured the teaching of the Brothers. He also followed the teaching profession and attained the rank of Head Master.
So if you or any family member attended the school at the Corner of Powlett and Hutton streets please contact any of the well-known committee members detailed on the web site www.maristbrothersoldboys.com.au
On the web site is an Honour Roll where the names of deceased Old Boys are recorded. The list is far from complete so if you have any information they will be glad to receive any advice.