School re­flects Ruby ju­bilee suc­cess

Western Suburbs Weekly - - John XXIII College Turns 40 - By MON­TANA ARDON

FORTY years ago, John XXIII Col­lege opened its doors for the first time as a co-ed Catholic school.

Fol­low­ing the amal­ga­ma­tion of Loreto Col­lege and St Louis School for Boys in 1977, the school op­er­ated on the es­tab­lished sites of the Clare­mont schools, on op­po­site sides of Stir­ling High­way, un­der prin­ci­pal Fa­ther Daven Day SJ.

In 1979, Loreto’s Sis­ter Denise Des­marche­lier be­came prin­ci­pal and pushed the idea of re­lo­cat­ing to one site.

In 1981, ne­go­ti­a­tions be­gan to pur­chase the cur­rent 24.6ha John XXIII site from the State Gov­ern­ment.

In May 1986, the Col­lege’s Mt Clare­mont cam­pus was of­fi­cially opened, and to­day 1500 stu­dents from pre-kindy to Year 12 are en­rolled.

Twenty-three teach­ers have been at John XXII for 20 years or longer.

Ron Lloyd is one of the long­est serv­ing staff mem­bers, start­ing as an English teacher at John XXIII in 1985.

“I re­mem­ber we had teach­ers cross­ing the (Stir­ling) High­way to get be­tween the old cam­puses,” Mr Lloyd said. “And then I saw it (the cur­rent site) get built, it was just a sand­pit.

“Peo­ple said how crazy it was to build a school be­tween a sew­er­age farm and a tip, but look at it now, it’s one of the best cam­puses in Aus­tralia.”

Mr Lloyd said the school had come a long way since its hum­ble be­gin­nings.

“There’s the new ded­i­cated Year 7 build­ing, new mu­sic cen­tre, gym­na­sium, drama cen­tre… the kids have got so many choices now,” he said.

Prin­ci­pal Robert Hen­der­son, who started at John XXIII in 2016, said the Col­lege had an ex­cit­ing year ahead.

“It’s very ex­cit­ing, it’s a real cel­e­bra­tion, the fact that we are 40 years as a Catholic co-ed col­lege,” he said

“Be­ing a catholic co-ed school is some­thing quite unique and some­thing we are very proud of.”

Mr Lloyd, who plans on re­tir­ing soon, said he was priv­i­leged to be part of the school for so long.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d466357

Jan Hill, Ron Lloyd, Jodi Power, Yoon Mar­garet, Jim Fitz­patrick, Jan Watkins, Veron­ica Bren­nan-poland and Denise Fudger are staff mem­bers who have been at John XXIII Col­lege for 20 years or more.

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