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Br. John Venard Smith

 Date of Death: 31/01/2018
Place: Australia, Ashgrove
Province: Australia
Age: 89

John died peacefully at the Andrew Villa, Ashgrove last night at 10pm (Queensland time; 11pm AEST). He was two weeks short of his 90th birthday.

John Frederick Smith was born on 12 February 1928 to John and Elizabeth Smith at Kurri Kurri, New South Wales. He had nine siblings, and like many Catholic families of his generation there were other religious in the family. In the case of the Smith family, five in all: John, two Sisters of Mercy and two Sisters of St Joseph. He met the Brothers during his schooling at Eastwood.

After Juniorate and Novitiate he took First Vows in July 1946, and due to the pressing need for Brothers at the time went straight to teaching, as in the day after profession! For the following 47 years he taught at various schools around the old Sydney Province, mostly in Sydney but also in Newcastle, Brisbane and Gladstone. He was Principal at St Anne’s Bondi Beach, St Benedict’s Broadway, Auburn, Hamilton where he was the first leader of the re-constituted co-educational senior school, St Francis Xavier, and finally at Chanel College Gladstone. In all, for 26 years.

In between school leadership he was, with Tom More, Vocations Promoter for a significant period in the 1980s and was also Master of Scholastics for several years. After completing his appointment as Principal at Gladstone he remained in the Diocese and was an Assistant to the CEO Director. It was at this time that he began to write for the Catholic Leader.