Junior School Newsletter

From the Headmaster

Dear Parents,

Attributed to Leonard Cohen is the statement, ‘act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act’.  I have long held the firm belief that character, good decision-making and ensuring one acts in line with your personal, family and community values, can be developed and strengthened in a similar fashion to musical or sporting skills flowering by practice and repetition.

Stand up for an adult passenger on transport once and the second time is easier, and so it goes.  Demanding of a schoolmate or friend that they speak respectfully of another, may well be difficult the first time you do so, but speaking up will not only be easier for you the second time, but may well encourage another to back you.  This view of building character capacity applies from the everyday examples as mentioned above, to significant decisions in your life.

Ms Canny, Mr Daly, Mrs Ryan, Kate and I were guests last night at the Combined Associations’ Eucharist and Dinner.  Mass was deeply enjoyed, enhanced by Father Malcolm Crawford’s prayerful presence and engaging sermon.  I accept it’s still November, but when many of us entered Boyd Egan Hall for dinner, the settings and decorations certainly made a Christmas statement.  The goodwill, friendship and sense of community were uplifting and enjoyable.  This evening, alongside my son, James (SKC 05), I shall attend the Year 11 Father and Son dinner at Melbourne Town Hall.  Professor David Brewster (SKC 98) and Mr Philip Baré (SKC 97) are the guest speakers.  I will be away from the weekend returning to school next Wednesday, attending the Year 12 Leaders’ Camp at Toolangi.

My Christmas best wishes will be expressed more fulsomely in the Omnia you receive prior to the Feast Day, but I take this extra opportunity to wish all a happy and Holy Christmas and holidays.  Thank you for your support throughout 2019.

Co-curricular Appointments

MusicCaptainJustin Mitchell
Lawn BowlsCaptainJoshua Lake

Captain of Boats

Deputy Captain of Boats

Oscar Ryan

Liam Burke

Table TennisCaptainMichael Athanasiadis


End of Year Functions

Glendalough P-6


7.00pm Tue 3 Dec

Smith Hall

Year 6


6.00pm Thu 5 Dec

St Ignatius Richmond

Years 7 and 8


6.00pm Mon 9 Dec

Melbourne Town Hall

Year 9


6.00pm Tue 10 Dec

Smith Hall

Years 10 and 11


8.00pm Mon 9 Dec

Melbourne Town Hall


2020 Term Dates

Term 1

Friday 31 January – Friday 27 March

Year 7 Orientation Day: Thursday 30 January

Term 2Tuesday 14 April – Friday 19 June 
Term 3Monday 13 July – Friday 18 September 
Term 4

Monday 5 October – Friday 4 December

Years 7, 8, 10, 11 Presentation Night: Monday 7 December

Year 9 Presentation Night: Tuesday 8 December


Kind regards
Stephen Russell

From the Director of Glendalough

Dear Community Members,

We’ll have a different kind of Christmas this year.  Our family lost my wife’s father and her brother within the space of six weeks in the middle of this year. Both heartbreaking, one death was expected while the other so sudden and incomprehensible that we will probably go to set him a place at the Christmas table before remembering that he will not be here this Christmas nor indeed for any Christmas to come.

But we will still dress the tree, decorate the house and lay a feast out on the table. What else are we to do?  They will not be here regardless of which traditions we do or do not observe. Christmas and life are like that; they are both about how we deal with what befalls us.  Look no further than the original Christmas story to see that this is true. 

Amidst the disorientation of such a time, we will look to Advent, a season which offers hope. Despite the empty places at our table, or perhaps because of them, we will look to the hope that lies in the Christmas story, the hope that lies in the Christian story.

I will remind myself of this as I reflect on the year that’s been.  All the stresses and problems I’ve had to deal with, some of my own making, many of other people’s, and I will be reminded of how insignificant they all were in the scheme of things.  The petty squabbles and irritations that are symptoms of being human and of being in community.  The things that really do not matter when weighed against the things that do.

I will think too of the things that do matter. An understanding heart, a kindness, an act of thoughtfulness or a word of gratitude. Responding to what befalls us with faith and grace. The treasure trove of humanity that lies beneath the rubble of everyday life.  A loving heart and a conscience that thinks beyond oneself.  The essence of Christmas. The gift that we are all called to give one another each and every day of the year, a calling we do not always heed.

 I will remind myself of these things as I taste the sweetness and the bitterness of this Christmas season.  Remembrance and perspective will be a Christmas gift to myself to help me face the New Year.  And if you’re unlucky or lucky enough in 2020, it will be my gift to you too.

Wishing each of you a blessed and peaceful Christmas and New Year bathed in perspective and in grace.

“At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving the others with God's own love and concern.”
 Mother Teresa

James Daly
Director of Glendalough

From the Ministry Team

The people that walk in darkness

I’m sure I’m not the only person who has been watching the new series of The Crown on Stanflix or Netbox or whatever it’s called. Apparently, the series takes a few liberties with the story of the royal family in the 1960s but I am hardly in a position to judge. I’m just glad that the producers did not choose to make a show about my family although you’d get an entire series about our encounters with dentistry. It could also be called The Crown.

In one episode of this series, Prince Phillip (the Queen’s husband, as you may recall) is trying to get the public to see a more human side of the family. Ironically, they are all, if anything, a bit too human. He decides to have a documentary made showing them going about their daily lives. They have to pretend to watch TV together and that kind of thing. Phillip hopes they might look genuine but it is all pretty fake. Meanwhile, his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, comes to live with the royal family in their modest abode in London. Her story would be worth a series on its own. She lived with schizophrenia and became a nun, helping the poor and refugees in Athens. In 1967, during civil unrest in Greece, she was taken to Buckingham Palace for the final two years of her life.

Phillip is uncomfortable with his mother and possibly embarrassed by her, doing all he can to keep her out of sight, especially of the cameras. But this gentle, wise nun is exactly what the royal family needs. Her selfless service of others and lack of pretence or glamour is refreshing. Even her chain-smoking is a breath of fresh air, so to speak. The episode ends with her and her son drawing closer, putting years of enmity behind them.

There is a powerful message here. Often enough, we try to project an image of ourselves. We want people to see us in a certain way and we do a bit of window dressing to make that happen. While this is going on, we miss important things that are part of our daily lives and which, if we stopped for a moment, would bring us grace, which is the opposite of appearance and glamour. God does not care much for the surface.

A similar story caught the world’s imagination recently. It concerns a woman in her 90s who was selling her house in a town in northern France. The auctioneer was distracted by the picture which was hanging above the hot plate in her kitchen. It had been there for heaven knows how long and no one gave it a second thought, least of all the woman. It could have been a piece of kitsch for the next garage sale, for all she knew. But it turned out to be a work by the Florentine painter Cimabue who was born about 1250 and lived to a few years after 1300. It is called ‘Christ Mocked’ and sold at auction last October for 24 million euro, more money than most of us earn in an entire month. I hope such a fortune doesn’t rob the woman and her family of things in her life of no great material value but which mean much more. You hear stories of people whose misery begins with a big win in the lottery.

Cimabue is a figure of legend. He is responsible for the famous crucifix at San Domenico, a number of superb Madonnas and one of the best-known images of St Francis, who died only a couple of decades before he was born. His work adorns the basilica in Assisi. It is said that Cimabue once saw a young shepherd drawing idly on a rock in the countryside and was so impressed that he took the boy under his wing and introduced him to his studio. The boy is now better known as Giotto, an artist whose style of painting was to supplant that of Cimabue. Another story says that once the precocious young Giotto painted a fly on the nose of one of Cimabue’s characters. The master spent some time trying to swat the insect before he realised it was a joke although it is hard to imagine Cimabue laughing at anything, least of all himself. He was known for a surly temper; his nickname was Cenni di Pepo which means ‘bull-headed.’ He disposed of works in which he or others found imperfections. Perhaps this is how ‘Christ Mocked’ began its pilgrimage over 700 years to end up in a French provincial kitchen.

Anyway, there are things in all our lives a bit like that painting or an old nun. We are slow to appreciate their true worth. Sometimes we miss it altogether.

Advent, which begins a new year for the church this Sunday, is a time for seeing things with a fresh pair of eyes. Advent looks to a time when ‘nation will not lift sword against nation’ and ‘there will be no more training for war.’ We hear the words ‘the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.’ That light enables us to have a whole new vision. There’s plenty of tinsel and wrapping paper around Christmas now. Not to mention all sorts of cheap flashing lights. It’s easy to overlook the child born in poverty. The story is so familiar that we forget how strange and wonderful it is.

Mr Michael McGirr
Dean of Faith

Fullness of Life

  • The Year 12 2020 Headstart Program was conducted during the week.
  • Kenny students with Mr McGirr assisted with the preparation and serving of breakfast at St Mary’s House of Welcome.
  • McCarthy students with Ms Burns assisted with the serving of dinner at St Peter and Paul’s in South Melbourne.
  • The major Associations Calendar meeting was held.
  • Glendalough Class Concerts were enjoyed by parents.
  • Year 2 enjoyed an excursion to the Holden Centre and the Botanic Gardens.
  • Years 7-10 students sat their Examinations.
  • The “Wings” Aviation Dinner was held at Loreto Mandeville Hall.
  • Mr Cosgriff and students participated in the PrintACar Challenge Finals.
  • The Combined Associations Mass and Dinner was held.
  • The Year 11 Father and Son Dinner was enjoyed at the Melbourne Town Hall.
  • The Headmaster presented the Semester 2 Awards at the Glendalough Assembly.
  • The Year 11 Final Liturgy was celebrated.
  • New Staff for 2020 attended an Afternoon Tea at the College.
  • Staff attended Professional Development at VCAA, the Careers Conference, LABCON, the School Librarians Conference and the Softlink Seminar

Mr Ted Guinane
Director of Administration

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