Due to the uncertainty of enclosed gatherings, it has been decided that the 2021 reunion and associated celebratory Mass will be postponed
The Annual Requiem Mass for deceased Old Boys was held on Wednesday 10 February 2021
Following the Mass the AGM was held in St Mary’s Hall
Marist 21st Birthday Celebration at Kyneton Reported in the Advocate 20 August 1947 Old Boys’ Association Established.
To commemorate the coming of the Marist Brothers to Kyneton, a 21st Birthday celebration was held at Kyneton on August 2-3, when 150 past students gathered at a reunion dinner from many parts of Victoria, and later formed an Old Boys’ Association.
The Marist Brothers came to Kyneton on Sunday, July 25, 1926, when the residence which had recently been purchased was blessed and opened by the Right Rev. John Barry, DD, Bishop of Goulburn. The residence was named “Rosary House,” since St. Mary’s Church is dedicated to “Our Lady of the Rosary.
“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. . . . In 1889 a community of nuns was introduced into Kyneton from Geelong to provide more fully for secondary as well as primary education. . . .
On March 3, 1907, Archbishop Carr and Bishop Reville opened the handsome up-to-date convent in High-street, which had been erected at a cost of over £7000. Later on a new primary school costing £3000 was erected in Hutton-street. . . . The wish of the clergy and laity to establish a school for boys in Kyneton was realised in September, 1925, when the fine bluestone and brick- building known as ‘Carrick,’ fronting Hutton-street, and opposite the primary school, was purchased.
Heroism Of Catholics
The Brothers commenced their work of teaching in Kyneton on Monday, July 26, 1926—the large class room at St. Mary’s School being placed at their disposal. Some 150 former pupils made the parish hall their rendezvous during the past week-end. The dinner was graced by the presence of the Very Rev. Dean O’Sullivan, Rev. Father Halloran, Rev. Father Curley, Rev. Brother Bernard (chairman), Rev. Brother Brendan, Rev. Brother Francis and Rev. Brother Conan. Father Halloran, speaking on behalf of Dean O’Sullivan, said that whatever the priests had been able to do to help the schools in Australia had been possible only because of the heroism of the Catholic people who had paid £70,000,000 and had continued to pay £500,000 each year in Victoria alone, over and above their taxes, so that their children might learn to base their lives .first and foremost, on the principles of Our Lord, the true teacher.
The fact that the Kyneton school numbered four priests and at least two brothers among its old boys, and so many fine young men present in the hall, was eloquent testimony that the sacrifice of their parents was not in vain, and he urged those who were now parents, in their turn, to strive their utmost to give their children a Catholic education to combat the flood of materialism and false doctrine which permeated the world’s thought.
Brother Brendan, in proposing the toast of “The Old Boys,” said the Kyneton School and its pupils was a subject near to his heart. He had been baptized and confirmed in St Mary’s; he knew the district and he recognised many names among the old boys whose families had pioneered the district. He said had much pleasure in cutting the birthday cake (supplied by the nuns), and had reason to believe it was as delicious as it was enormous. He hoped everyone present would take away with him a piece of the cake in memory of an historic event, and he asked the old boys to pledge allegiance to the association they would form on the morrow and that their allegiance would take concrete form in that they should observe the saying of a family Rosary every day; in the mutual help they could render fellow members; in standing four square behind their parish priests in all parochial activities, and in maintaining their life-long interest in the school.
On Sunday the Old Boys received Holy Communion, in a body, at the 8 o’clock Mass. It was decided to form an Old Boys’ Association on the unanimous vote of the 120 present, and Dr. Gerald Loughran was unanimously elected as the first president of the Kyneton Marist Brothers’ Old Boys’ Association. Mr. A. L. McPherson was elected vice-president; Mr. Stan Plowman, secretary; Mr. L. Rowe, treasurer; committee, Messrs. Frank Halloran, W. J. Maloney and R. Buckley. In recognition of his efforts to have this association formed, it was decided to place a minute of appreciation of Brother Brendan’s work on the books of the association and he was appointed patron of the newly formed association.
Those Who Came Back
Among the old boys who attended the celebrations were Bernard Brain, Jack Cuddihy, Frank O’Leary, Frank Elliott, Gerald Skehill, Bill Skehill, Kevin Beare, Hugh McCarthy, Don McCarthy, Leo Walsh, Bernard Walsh, Tom Reniets, Joe Renjets, Jim Cox, Tom O’Connor, Ron Welch, Joe Halloran, Gerald G. McKenna, Jack Willmott, Frank Brady, Hubert Vereker, Clem Vereker, Ian Vereker, Michael Donovan, Jack Sullivan, J. Shilliday, Dave Donaldson, Ted Bevans, Brendan McCarthy, Bill Plowman, Jim Kelly, Jack Barker, Tom Walsh, Jim Duggan, Jim Barry, Joe O’Brien, Martin Walsh.
Although a lot of students left Kyneton after finishing school and the years have taken toll on many, a large turnout can be found each January when the annual reunion is held. [Diminishing numbers would be expected as a sixteen year old student in the year of closure is in his early 60s]
So respected in the Marist community is the KMBOBA that the Provincial and a number of other Brothers come to the annual reunion to worship and partake in the family luncheon and concert provided by KMBOBA members.
The Annual General Meeting held on the same day as the Annual Reunion. This is on the last Sunday of January!
On a date fixed in cooperation with the Parish Priest an annual requiem mass in remembrance of past students, teachers and alumni family members is also convened.
The School Badge and Alumni Crest
One of the early events was the designing of a badge to be part of the school uniform. The badge was designed by Brother Louis the first director in 1926 and was supplied by A H Wittenback of Richmond. The badge of very neat appearance contains the school colours. Cerise – typifies the Sacred Heart, Blue – the Blessed Virgin Mary, Gold – our sun drenched country, Australia with a golden heart.
The symbols are the Southern Cross – Australia’s emblem [using that as depicted on the Victorian state flag]. The lamp and open book of knowledge and the Marist monogram. Around them a laurel of victory and the motto Servabo Fidem [I will keep the faith.]
The Old Boys Association took the school badge and incorporated it into the Association shield by adding the wording that appears at the bottom.
The School Hymn
When it was adopted is lost in history but the hymn sung by the congregation at the annual reunion mass. The words are repeated here:-
Text: Frederick W. Faber, 1814-1863
Music: Henri F. Hemy, 1818-1888; adapted by James G. Walton, 1821-1905
Tune: St. Catherine, Meter: 88.88.88
1. Faith of our fathers, living still, in spite of dungeon, fire, and sword; how our hearts beat high with joy whene’er we hear that glorious word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.
2. Faith of our fathers, we will strive to win all nations unto thee; and through the truth that comes from God, we all shall then be truly free.
3. Faith of our fathers, we will love both friend and foe in all our strife; and preach thee, too, as love knows how by kindly words and virtuous life.
There are many recordings of the school hymn available for purchase. In keeping with our credo Servabo Fidem we sought advice from Dr Geoffrey Cox Director of St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir: –
I have found that there is indeed a recoding of “Faith of our Fathers” from the 1960s on the “Hymns of the Catholic Church” directed by Rev Dr Percy Jones.
Details of this recording are included on our website www.melbourne.catholic.org.au > st patrick’s cathedral > music > cathedral choir > recordings of the cathedral choir.
Click HERE to listen.