On the one day the College community, parents, past pupils and guests participated in two distinct events which together made the day a highly memorable one.Firstly there was a Eucharist in St Mary’s Cathedral in central Sydney. This was a Mass of the Holy Spirit to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of St Augustine’s College, which began on its present site at Brookvale in January 1956 with an enrolment of a total of seventy-four students in the two upper primary grades.
The Eucharist was concelebrated by the Most Rev Peter Comensoli (Bishop of Broken Bay), past pupil the Most Rev Christopher Saunders (Bishop of Broome), Fr Dave Austin OSA (Augustinian Prior Provincial for Australasia) and eight other Augustinians, most of whom had formerly served at the College.The Eucharist featured live streaming of the event. To view it (1 hour 40 minutes), click on the You Tube icon below: The following were present: The Hon Mike Baird MP (Premier of New South Wales), the Hon Brad Hazzard (Member for Wakehurst, Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister for Social Housing), Councillor Regan, Councillor Jean Hay (Mayor of Manly), and Mike Ryan (Chairman of the College Board). There was good representation of present College parents, past staff members and past pupils at the ceremony.
Following the Commemorative Mass, staff, students and guests returned to the College for the Blessing and Opening of the $12m Clancy Project buildings, which includes the Good Counsel Primary School, the Clancy Wing and the Mendel Wing. The culmination of this multi-year project saw the complete re-building of the primary school, a complete rebuilding of the schools science classrooms (Mendel Wing), and the Clancy Wing – named after the late Cardinal Edward Clancy of Sydney (died 8 August 2014), who had visited and assisted at the College a number of times. This large-scale building project also provided a new school canteen, Senior study rooms and on-site car parking.
The following day saw celebratory social events to commemorate the Anniversary, inckuding one that involved parents intending to have their son(s) begin at St Augustine's in 2017.In an address at the conclusion of the Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, Fr Dave Austin O.S.A. (Prior Provincial) paid credit to past and present supporters of the College over sixty years, “Some of you here remember that day in 1956 when the College doors first opened – the dusty playground, a few tufts of grass, plenty of weeds and barely a tree, the half-finished buildings, and two Augustinians Frs Dave Brimson and Steve Moran teaching classes in the church until the proper classrooms were ready – men who lived very simply in the humble priory in Gulliver Street with little furniture and not much to eat either.”
“Yet this is how our God often blesses us and achieves great things – through these small beginnings - in our founding Augustinians, and the many Augustinians and lay staff, parents and students, past and present, who believed in hard work and committed themselves, and still do, to the core values of this college dedicated to St Augustine, the great Searcher, caring Pastor and Teacher, and life Model for young and old.”
The College Principal, Mr Tim Cleary, also expressed similar sentiments: “We have much to be grateful for – our Augustinian connectedness with the global Augustinian network worldwide – rich and diverse communities who share in our Catholic story. The support of the Australian Governments – past, present and future. The rich and colourful tapestry of our College Community in a Nation which is strong and proud.”