Class of 1975 School Reunion

The Marcellin Class of 1975 celebrated their 40th Anniversary with a reunion at the Manningham Hotel (ie The Sentimental Bloke Hotel) on Friday 6th November

Old Collegians Laurel Akins and Angela Williams talk about life as a Marcellin student back in  1975

The Class of 1975 celebrated their 40th Anniversary with a reunion at the Manningham Hotel (or as it is more fondly known, The Sentimental Bloke Hotel) on Friday 6th November 2015.  The night was a hit with sixty members of the cohort celebrating well into the evening.  They were joined by teachers Al Parkin and Tony Box.

The function was preceded with a tour of the College hosted by the College Principal, Mr Mark Murphy.  Congratulations to Andrew Pranckunas, Leon Hamond, David Bolzenello, Stephen Grant, John Doyle and others for their efforts in getting this off the ground.  


I was delighted that so many of our year made the effort to come, some from far away places such as Canberra, Townsville and Perth.  It was wonderful to see everyone and to try and speak with as many as possible – though there is never enough time on such an occasion.  When I finally got home, I lay awake overwhelmed by the many images and conversations and emotions that were buzzing through my head.
What a surreal experience it was to look around the school, guided by the principal, Mark Murphy.  The fantastic new and upgraded facilities made the place almost unrecognizable from the 1975 version.  However we did go into a couple of the old classrooms which had not really changed – and if those walls could talk…
We paused to reflect on the fact that a half dozen of our cohort had passed away since 1975.
For many of us, it was the first time back at Marceliin and at the Manningham since we jumped the fence after our final HSC exam 40 years ago.  Of course at that time, the hotel was called the Sentimental Bloke, and by coincidence, this year marks 100 years since the publication of the poem from which the venue’s name was derived.  (I resisted the opportunity to read out the thirteen verses by C.J Dennis but recited my one-verse version of “The Sentimental Bloke”:
In the old days this place was “The Bloke”
Being asked for I.D. was a joke.
You’d think they’d have seen
We were just seventeen
When they served Southern Comfort & Coke.)
It was also wonderful to have representation from the teaching staff.  John Telfer was unable to come down from Queensland but sent his best regards.  
A couple of our teachers were able to attend, much to my relief.  I explained that when I dropped Latin in form 5, my piano teacher, Miss Mannes, said to me “You broke Brother Placidus’ heart”.  Sadly, that year Brother Placidus died on the tennis court.  In form 6, I dropped piano and, within a few months, Miss Mannes also passed away.  So of course it felt as if a huge burden had been lifted when I saw Al Parkin and Tony Box in person at our reunion.

Happily, two of our classmates from Our Lady of Mercy College also came along to the reunion, commenting on the skewed male-female ratio.  We remembered enough of the maths we'd learnt at Marcellin to point out that had they not attended, that ratio would have been infinity.
The night flew by quickly and before we knew it, it was midnight, the bar had closed and we were being encouraged out the door.  About a third of the group then proceeded to the Old England in Heidelberg, determined not to let go of the moment.
The general feeling on the night seemed to be that the next reunion should be held in 5 years’ time.  So let’s make sure we keep our contact details available - and track down those who couldn’t come or couldn’t be located at this time.
Stay in touch with one another, keep well and see you at the 45th !!!
Andrew Pranckunas