Principal's Blog - 20 July 2017
Dear members of the Marcellin College Family,
It is great to be with you as we enter the second half of a very exciting and dynamic year at Marcellin. Often in this space I count the many blessing I have received as Principal of this great school. One of those blessings is that I have the chance to meet many inspiring, intelligent, selfless, faith-filled and just simply wonderful people who bring light, joy, warmth and love to every interaction and action of their lives. One such person is a lady by the name of Marie Boyd. Sadly for all of us in the Marcellin family, Marie died on Thursday 29 June, aged 91.
I first met Marie at the 2009 Marcellin College Valedictory dinner. She had come to this most significant celebration to present the award named for her husband Jack, the J.J. Boyd award for excellence, as she had done every year since 1982. Marie and Jack had eight children, the five boys of the family having attended Marcellin. Jack and Marie immersed themselves in the life of the College as selfless volunteers whose generosity, positivity and love of their family and our College knew no bounds.
Following Jack’s death in 1980 the J.J.Boyd award was struck to honor a student who had most exemplified the qualities of integrity, honesty, selflessness, diligence, respect and dignity which were hallmarks of the life of Jack Boyd. These same qualities could be applied to Marie. A woman of faith, compassion and love who endured much in her 91 years including the death of her husband and two of her own children along with personal illness.
Each year before presenting the highest award our College has to offer Marie would speak to the hundreds of students, parents and staff gathered on this auspicious occasion. I have been to many school events and heard many skilled orators speak with great verbal dexterity, wit and polish. I have never witnessed anyone who could command a room like Marie Boyd. Don’t be fooled by the small and even fragile exterior; Marie Boyd was a powerhouse on the stage. She spoke with gravitas born from an economy of words, an abiding awareness and understanding of her audience and an unwavering and confident belief in the message she was there to deliver. Post these evenings I would often ponder the oratorical powers of Marie. My conclusion as to her secret in commanding a room was not anything which could be taught in a public speaking class. It was a genuine, deep and unshakable love for the boys of Marcellin and for the school she had served with equal resoluteness. A love that only a mother could summon.
At the end of her speech Marie would always implore the graduating class to go out into the world and to live with integrity, honesty and respect. At the end of last year’s address at her 35th Valedictory dinner Marie announced this would be the last time she would be presenting the J.J. Boyd award as she said it was getting a bit hard to get there – maybe she knew something that we didn’t?
I am grateful to Marie, not only for her tireless and unrelenting support of our great school for well over half a century, not only for the great sons she produced who attended Marcellin but most significantly for the example of unconditional love she was to all in the Marcellin family. The last of our Marist Characteristics, In the Way of Mary is said to best sum up the other four. There is no doubt that Marie Boyd lived life In the Way that Mary, our Good Mother, challenges us all to live.
The death of Marie Boyd serves as an opportunity for each of us to reflect on the ultimate calling of us all – to love. I ask myself how am I living up to this simple, yet deeply challenging and imposing call? Rest in peace Marie and thanks for the reminder of what it means to live a life of love.
Vale Bill McMahon
Over the mid-year break Marcellin lost another wonderful servant of our community in Bill McMahon. Bill’s relationship with Marcellin began when his eldest son Andrew enrolled in the College at the then Junior campus in Camberwell in 1969 followed by his second son Bruce in 1974. Bill understood the value of parental involvement in schools and he dedicated himself to supporting the life of the College through his membership of the Marcellin College Community Association (the Parents and Friends Association, as it was then known). Such was Bill’s commitment as well as the esteem in which his was held that he was elected President of the MCCA in 1979. A position he held for two years.
Under Bill’s leadership the MCCA was involved in many fund raising initiatives to support the development of our College facilities. The Parents and Friends working bees were significant in developing the landscape of our school for the benefits of those who would come after. Bill also oversaw the annual Art exhibition and sale which raised much needed funds for the development of the Brother Placidus Resource Centre.
On Behalf of all of us at Marcellin I extend my deepest sympathies to the McMahon family followings Bill’s recent passing aged 88 and I extend my gratitude for the dedication, devotion, wisdom and faith Bill demonstrated in his support of our College over many years.