On Friday 19 November celebrations were held at Dominic College, Glenorchy, Tasmania to mark the 75th Anniversary of the arrival of the Salesians in Glenorchy.
In 1946 under the leadership of Fr John Brennan, the first Rector, the first group of Salesians arrived to take over responsibility for Boys Town which only had 26 boys and to establish a school for the boys.
In the intervening years many changes and developments have been made and what began as a small initiative has grown to what it is today – a large school of one thousand students with both boys and girls aged from 4 to 16 years.
Three events were held at the College during the day to mark this special anniversary and a fourth took place at the associated parish church.
The first was a mass of thanksgiving in the morning to thank God for the seventy-five years of the Salesian presence and of Salesian education for the young, celebrated by the Rector, Fr Bernie Graham and Fr Guy Riolo, Parish Priest. The Mass of Mary Help of Christians was used to both recall and ask for continued blessings and intercession from her. During the mass a new Memorial Wall was blessed, which contains the names of those students and staff who have died whilst attending or teaching at the school.
Principal Beth Giligan speaks during the mass.
The second event was an assembly of the current student body to mark this historic occasion as the successors of all students who have gone before them, and to honour all the Salesians who have been part of this educative community over the years. (Unfortunately, due to Covid travel restrictions none of the Salesians who had been members of this community in previous years were able to return for these celebrations).
The school assembly was a wonderful celebration for all those currently involved with Dominic College
At the Assembly a new school bell rung, it was commissioned for the anniversary and the handle was crafted by Br Barry Parker, a current member of the Glenorchy Salesian community and staff member of the College.
The third event in the evening was for the Past Pupils of the College at which a number of them were presented with medals to thank them for their current contribution to the life of the school in a voluntary capacity. A book was also launched ‘May Our Lives Respect’ which contains a short biographical outline of the lives and achievements of seventy-five past students who have made or are currently making very valuable contributions to society, ‘Honest Citizens’, in a vast array of fields.
The Past Pupils gathering was also a wondeful opportunity for past students to swap stories with those who have had similar experiences at the school.
These events at the College were followed on Sunday with the blessing, by 94-year-old Fr Bob Curmi, the longest serving member of the community (34 years), of a new ‘Salesian’ Window in the local Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Glenorchy, which is under the pastoral care of the Salesian community.
This is the fifth window in the Church created by Michael Nunn, an artist who is a member of the parish. The window depicts the original school building, the parish church, the Salesian logo and words from Don Bosco ‘Serve the Lord Joyfully’.
These four events were a wonderful way to celebrate the presence of Don Bosco in Glenorchy for seventy-five years.