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Br. Desmond James Hornsby

 Date of Death: 08/04/2019
Place: Australia, Bendigo
Province: Australia
Age: 90


Brother Des died at Bethlehem Home for the Aged in Bendigo.

Desmond James Hornsby was born in Mildura on 28 October 1929. His brothers, Brian and Geoffrey, followed. When Des was 9, his parents, Emma Agnes (nee Jess) and James Joseph Hornsby moved the family to Sydney and he attended school at Marist Brothers Bondi Junction and then Bondi Beach. His mother took a job at St Gregory’s College Campbelltown and Des continued his schooling there. He entered the Juniorate in 1945, took the habit on 2 July 1948, was given the religious name Bede and made his first profession in 1949. He was among the first members of the Melbourne Province.

He was Director at Griffith (1959-61), Preston (1962-67), Macedon (1969), Thebarton (1970-75), Superior at Fitzroy (1979-81), Principal in Alice Springs (1982-88), and Superior at Fitzroy North (1989-94). In all, over 30 years of leadership in varied locations and roles. In some ways he was a reluctant leader, preferring grass-roots ministry and contact to administration. However, he was most capable and personable, and for these reasons was chosen as the foundation Principal of the Marist school in Alice Springs.

Des was artistic; took painting lessons and studied art. He was known for his design of banners and motifs for Chapels and prayer spaces. He was also articulate, and in fact a prolific letter writer. These two qualities equipped him admirably for the role of editor of the Melbourne Province Newsletter; a role he undertook for twenty years. His work was characterised by careful attention to detail, regularity and creativity. His newsletters were renowned and widely appreciated. Des enjoyed the challenge, but his occasional skirmishes with technology frustrated him.