On Sunday 17 October 2010, the very day of the Canonisation of Australia’s own Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, the long-awaited Oswald Learning Centre at Salesian College Sunbury finally saw ‘the light of day’ after many years of planning, designing and building.
This spectacular, multi-million dollar building was officially opened by Fr Frank Moloney SDB AM, Salesian Provincial, and blessed by Fr Peter Monaghan SDB, Rector of ‘Rupertswood’, in front of a large cross-section of the great ‘Rupertswood’ family, including Mrs Della Oswald and members and friends of the Oswald family.
The Oswald Learning Centre, a state-of-the-art Science, Information Communication Technology, General Learning and House/Pastoral Care facility, is, in fact, named after Allan (deceased) and Della Oswald, both of whom served as teachers at Salesian College for twenty years and acted as exemplary role models and mentors for the students, staff and parents who were part of the ‘Rupertswood’ Community during the decades of the 1970s,1980s and 1990s.
Allan and Della Oswald both had a great love for ‘Rupertswood’ and did so much to advance it as an excellent school for the education and care of young people. They also demonstrated a tremendous loyalty to the Salesian priests and brothers and to the lay colleagues with whom they worked, and an extraordinary rapport with the students and families to whom they ministered so tirelessly. But, most of all, they had a great devotion to Jesus Christ and Saint John Bosco and, in their name, became most effective ‘signs and bearers of God’s love for the young’.
During the Opening Ceremony itself, Mrs Della Oswald acknowledged the tremendous honour that had been bestowed upon Allan, her family and herself through the naming of the Learning Centre:
“It has been my family’s great privilege to have had an association with the Salesian Community for nearly 70 years, commencing in India. The Salesian Family have contributed to the spiritual and intellectual growth of our children and grandchildren. Rupertswood has truly been a second home, and although Allan’s absence is felt today, I know he is with us, and would be very humbled by this honour.”
So, finally, The Oswald Learning Centre formally opens its doors to the students, families, staff and friends of ‘Rupertswood’, past, present and future! It is at once a Centre for Teaching and Learning, especially in Science and Technology, a Home for Bunjil House, and a Function Area for meetings, gatherings, social events and musical soirées, but also a Museum of Pteranodons, fish, lizards, frogs and exotic plant life and a Gallery of Rupertswood memorabilia in the fields of historical, academic, cultural and sporting aspiration and achievement.
Thank you to all those who have played a part in the development and completion of this ‘leading edge’ educational facility, which has catapulted Salesian College Sunbury from a treasured past into an exhilarating future. Be assured that your efforts are greatly appreciated and extremely worthwhile!
Yours in Saint John Bosco,
Fr Greg Chambers SDB