Food for lots of thought
Mass, flags set celebrations in train
"A resounding success": Patrician Brothers College, Fairfield, launches its golden jubilee year with the help of the religious community, Patrician Brothers primary school and Archbishop Pell.
It was the beginning of a special Mass to launch golden jubilee year celebrations for the Fairfield college, which is the largest Catholic boys' school in NSW.
But the logistics of the Mass were such that preparations had begun long before - last year, in fact, when the college approached City Rail with a special request.
It needed to charter two trains to take the entire primary school, Years 5 and 6, plus the secondary college - 1500 students in all - from Fairfield station to St James on Valentine's Day, just after morning peak hour.
The journey of more than an hour was made without a hitch and the boys arrived at St Mary's Cathedral to join hundreds of parents and special guests to give thanks for 50 years of education at St Patrick's.
The Catholic Education Office, Sydney, neighbouring primary and secondary schools and parishes, the Minister for Education and the NSW police service were all represented at the Mass.
The Patrician Brothers were there in force, too, led by their superior general, Br Phillip Mulhall, and the provincial, Br Paul O'Keeffe.
Past secondary principals, Patrician Brs Charles Barry, Aengus Kavanagh, Mark Ryan, Bernard Bulfin and Richard Doheny, also took part, with the primary school principal, Br Nicholas Harsas.
The Mass was presided over by the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr George Pell, and concelebrated by priests from Fairfield, Cabramatta, Smithfield and Villawood parishes, as well as priests who are old boys of the college.
The students returned to school to find that a small army of parents and staff had prepared a barbecue lunch to finish off the day.
The current secondary principal, Michael Krawec, said: "The most heartening aspect of the day was the great sense of community and co-operation which was all-pervading."
The students made the Mass a "resounding success and a standard to aim for in our planned events for the golden jubilee year".
Other events planned are an old boys' reunion dinner and a staff reunion, a golden jubilee ball and a concert, plus closing ceremony in December - and, of course, something special to mark St Patrick's Day.