Marist Brothers High School Darlinghurst
~ Merry Christmas Gentlemen ~
to each of you and to members of your family
and welcome to the Christmas edition 2023 of the Blue & Blue
from the OBU Team.
With Christman upon us,
it's time to reflect of all the positives that the year brought such as
... and there was .... well, an end to covid, sort of. Yes, 2023 has had
a lot of things best left in the past, reflecting the very anthesis of
Christmas, across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Fortunately
Australia remains a bastion of blessed existence for the vast majority
of us, even with our heart-breaking droughts, devastating fires and
2023 was the 60th
anniversary of the Class of '63, the 70th anniversary of Class of '53
and for quite a number of even more senior members, another anniversary
Chasing up Old Boys, as
emails & addresses often change, is somewhat time-consuming. With the
2023 reunions, Patrick McDonnell (Class of 1943) loomed large on
our radar, being his 80th Darlo anniversary but Patrick was
unable to be located. We did, however, receive a response from James
McDonnell (Class of ’60) advising, “The only Patrick
McDonnell that I knew finished his school studies at age 12 in
Loughburke,, Ireland – my father! He emigrated to Australia with
his brother Tom in 1930.
The Class of '63 celebrated our reunion at the Dee Why RSL with Tony
Bacci returning for a brief visit from the USA, where he has been
domiciled for decades. Undoubtedly refreshed by the Oz cultural
reinvigoration, Tony could return, able to entertain his compatriots
with magic tricks, which our gatekeeper displayed at their reunion.
Hugh Thompson sent his apologies from Europe, where he was
holidaying. Robert Jones rendered his apologies. Jeffrey
Fallon made the trek from Murwillumbah but health issues kept him
from attending. Peter Dawson couldn't believe his luck with the
venue almost a jog from home. After leaving his hearing aids at home,
Bob Brassil enjoyed the lip-reading exercise. Graham Jones
demonstrated his maths expertise differentiating double figures from
treble. Kym Derriman "entertained" with a couple of magic tricks.
Oleh Butchaski watched as his brother, Roman Butchaski,
conducted a circuit of attendees to see who had the greatest claim to
medical procedures. "Butch" produced gales of laughter, however
unbeknown to all, it was to be the last time that some of us would see
Another reunion was celebrated with the class of '58. Des Cannon,
also on a brief visit from the USA where he too, has been domiciled for
decades, met up with classmates Kevin Fitzpatrick and Michael
Blakeney at the Crow's Nest Hotel. The walls would have vibrated
from laughter, with that combo. Kevin fell and broke his hip earlier in
the year, whilst climbing a ladder on a Probus probe in a ship at the
Maritime Museum but, not to be deterred, managed to make it to the
Now, for some more reflections on the year that was, 2023:
(Class of '65) advised that he and his wife, Dallis, sold their trophy &
engraving business and decided to give retirement a try. "We have been
living in Coffs Harbour for the last 37 years (behind the 6th tee of
Coffs Harbour Golf Club). If any Darlo golfers are passing through
please make contact. Thanks for keeping the Darlo old boys going."
Class of '65) returned with tales tall & true from Phucket, long enough
to change underwear and then off to China. The cultural plunge had him
squinting upon his return, disseminating philosophical jewels.
(Class of ’60) sent across some interesting facts.
“Whilst watching the show ”Who do you think you are” on SBS, I learnt
about the building of Horizon, Darlinghurst in the 1854 by John Rae, the
first Clerk of Sydney in the 1830/1850s.
further checking I found it is the building at 278 Liverpool St. that
was the Marist Brothers’ Monastery and MBHS Darlinghurst office during
the period the school was operating, in addition to Stoneleigh on Forbes
Street.” Details and photos:
Maybe the Brothers acquired it from John Rae (1813-1900) estate when
they were acquiring the school site about 1910.
(Class of '53) followed in the footsteps of Kevin Fitzpatrick as
President of Probus for Neutral Bay-Mosman.
Br. Paul Murphy
shared reflections on football and too, what is a criteria of Marist
Some of you may have watched Celtic play Sydney FC as well as Everton FC
in Sydney last year. You probably know that the great Brother Walfrid
fms founded this club 134 years ago in 1888 to get kids of Irish
shipyard builders off the streets of Glasgow and provide them with meals
and something to aspire to other than being vagrants. Hence he founded a
football club for kids he called Celtic.
had the good fortune to visit the club a few years ago and I was
delighted to see just how Marist it still is. In the huge trophy cabinet
next to the UEFA cup they won years ago is a beautiful siver figurine of
Marcellin Champagnat with Kids. Our young guide a Scottish ex student
who did not know that I was a brother regaled us correctly on the life
of Champagnat and Bro Walfrid which astounded me. When he learnt who I
was I got the royal treatment at Celtic Park. When I asked him how
importantly Celtic sees its mission to the poor today he went to great
lengths to enlighten me even taking me outside to view some of its
You might have noticed that on the famous green and white hoop jumpers
worn last weekend besides the club badge was inscribed the words 'Celtic
Foundation'. On their website this Foundation is described as:
"Charity is a fundamental part of Celtic’s identity. Our foundation
recognises the enormous importance and responsibility of honouring the
legacy of our founding father, Brother Walfrid. With your help, we
create opportunities for our society’s most vulnerable and marginalised
individuals and groups."
What a legacy Brother Wilfrid whose bronze statue in black soutane and
rabba stands on a plinth outside the club's entrance and oval today with
the words reminding us .... to ensure that no child should go to bed
contributed well-compiled research to the Maristian on our schoolboy
athletes of the 40’s.
represented Australia in the 1948 Olympic Games in the Decathlon where
he finished a very creditable sixth to the legendary Bob Mathias.
Because of his all-round sporting talents which were evident at school
at Darlinghurst, Tom was offered a scholarship to a Canadian university,
which he accepted and he became one of the most prominent basketballers
in Canada, ultimately being coach of the Canadian team and for at
least a year of his life played in the team which were night in and
night out, beaten by the Harlem Globetrotters. His younger brother
Peter Mullins, was an Australian champion hammer thrower but because
he was pursuing studies in America and Canada, the Australian selectors
refused to select him either for the Commonwealth or Olympic Games
because all his record throws were performed out of the country.
There could be no mention of Darlo old boy cricketers without reference
to Ray Lindwall, who was a schoolboy champion not only in cricket
but in rugby league and athletics. He and his brother Jack played first
grade rugby league for St George and Ray appeared in two grand finals,
the last of which was before he transferred his full attention to
cricket. On that occasion his usually reliable kicking boots let him and
his team down in the grand final against Canterbury; By the time Ray had
achieved international status after the 1948 Australian tour of England,
three Darlinghurst schoolboys were showing incredible aptitude for
cricket. John Bolster, Brian Flynn and Jack Clark all
played Sheffield Shield cricket. John had an incredibly long career with
Randwick and ultimately Sutherland, while conducting a successful
One of the interesting features of Australian Test cricket particularly
the Ashes series is that between 1938 and 1990 only four players who
attended Catholic schools were picked to play for Australia -Ray
Lindwall, Jack Moroney (Joeys), Gordon Rorke ( St Aloyisius) and Kerry
O’Keefe (Kogarah Marist from whence the Lindwalls came to
Darlinghurst);Lindsay Hassett, a Catholic, did not attend a Catholic
High School. The belief is that this situation arose because of Donald
Bradman’s antipathy towards Catholics in the 1930s. The irony is that
one of Darlo’s early cricketing prodigies E.A.Chappie Dwyer,
himself a NSW Sheffield Shield player was a National selector from 1930
to 1952, throughout the entire career of Bradman and obviously succumbed
to Bradman’s sectarian wishes after the 1938 English tour. However
Chappie could not dismiss the talents of Lindwall and Hassett and they
were selected to play for Australia.
The current Australian Test Captain, Pat Cummins, is a great grand-son
of a Darlo old boy and WW1 Veteran, Jack McGloin who ran a
successful manufacturing pharmaceutical company.
Darlo, with its small numbers, produced one international NRL player,
Harry Finch ,a South Sydney winger who won two premierships with
Souths and was a member of the 1929 Kangaroos. Sammy Ogg who was
the NSW government analyst for many years and constantly called upon to
discover the causes of mystery deaths and was a fearsome tackler in the
5/8 position played first grade for Sydney University as did
Jim Comans , ultimately a lawyer after a distinguished
career as a pilot in WW2 and was the initial Chairman of the NRL
From the 1940 school years Les Brennan and Brian
Staunton went on to great careers, Les with Souths and Brian with
Balmain. Les played for South Sydney in the 1955 premiership team
and scored a record number of tries in that season and held the club
record for 67 years until Alex Johnston surpassed it. Brian Staunton, a
halfback, who died in 2021, captained Balmain in the 1956 final against
South Sydney, by which time Les Brennan had retired. Balmain won that
match but were beaten by St George in the grand final; Ron Thornton
played more than 100 first grade games for Canterbury. He had won
prizes for sport and good conduct at school and is still living in
Canberra. His younger brother Brian Thornton also played for
Canterbury but mainly lower grades.
subsequent years Michael Ogg, Greg Christensen, Denis Ryan
and Stan Browne played grade football but mainly in the second
and lower grades. Darlo did not produce many Rugby players although
Daryl Rees (father of former NSW Premier Nathan Rees) played some
great football as a centre for Easts but as a former Wallaby team mate
said, his great talents as a penetrating centre who could tackle, were
wasted with ten-man Rugby.
Darlo produced many good schoolboy boxers at a time boxing was a school
sport (this ceased in the late 30s) but a student in the primary school
in 1950s Roy Thurgar went on to win the state professional
light heavyweight boxing championship which he lost to Bobby Dunlop – he
also played lower grade Rugby League with South Sydney and after
retiring as a boxer moved into a life of crime ,his life ending
outside Marcellin College in Alison Road Randwick where he was shot
whilst waiting to collect his wife from her laundromat.
Darlo influenced the Sport of Kings as two old boys were successful
finished school in 1956 to become an apprentice jockey to Fred Allsop a
one-armed Randwick trainer. Dorian was a leading apprentice, Dux
of the Apprentices school but with increasing weight was forced to ride
in Malaysia and India and tragically lost an arm in an accident which
put an end to his career before he was 30. Rae Togo Johnstone had
incredible success in India, Malayasia and particularly in France in the
1930’s as well as in postwar England
Furthermore Cyril Angles a friend of Togo Johnstone was a
legendary pioneer race caller and Michael Laffan (Class of '58)
was one of the youngest bookmakers to field at Randwick.
passed away May 24, 2023.
Dr. Brian Pollard
’43) passed 27 March 2023
Pollard was a leading anaesthetist at St Vincent’s Hospital before he
moved to Concord Hospital where he pioneered palliative care at that
Hospital through anaesthetics.
(Class of ‘51) of West Ryde passed on 7 Feb 2023. Ron was involved in
the musicals organised by Brother Honorius in the early 1950’s and
retained all the programs. Ron won a University Exhibition in
Engineering and a Commonwealth Scholarship.
(Class of ‘59),elder brother of John and Peter, passed away 31st.
May 2023. Dearly loved life partner of Arpita (Jutta) and father of
Jamie (deceased) and Daniel.
(Class of ‘50) passed away peacefully 22 May 2023 at the age of 89
in the Cricket world as “Smokie”. Much loved and loving husband of wife
Jan for over 35 years.
of great passion, determination and drive, his life was inspiring.
(Class of '63) an avid adventurer and often lone-fisherman, "Butch" is
missing-in-action after chasing his passion in dangerous waters. He will
be surely missed, especially by his family and too, by his classmates
with whom he enjoyed weekly encounters over the decades, since leaving
(Class of ’58) Sadly another member has dementia and while his long term
memory is OK his short term is not so good. John and his brothers went
to Darlo. Their father was a highly decorated general who served in WW1
and 2 and at one stage led the Brigade that defended Tobruk. He later
became Trade Commissioner to Sri Lanka and New Zealand and was awarded a
Christmas is a time for laughter and good cheer so we encourage you to
visit an abundance of it, awaiting in our website.
Beyond Blue continues to provide support for anxiety and depression,
providing resources for recovery, management and resilience.
*Class of " refers to the final year for those who sat the LC or HSC in that year and also to their classmates who left school in earlier years.
Reg Richardson A.M.
Br. Paul Murphy
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