2019-09-18 AUSTRALIA

Anthony Paterson

Anthony John Paterson was born to Gordon and Brenda (nee Harper) in Adelaide on 25th May 1950. He was the oldest of four, twins Heather and Andrew after him, and then Fran, the youngest. He always had great affection for his siblings and their families and showed them constant loyalty.

His secondary school was Sacred Heart College and he graduated in the same year as Paul Gilchrist. Paul recalls: “In those days, believe it or not, he was a quiet unassuming young fellow with a small close-knot group of friends”.

Tony’s ‘numbers’ came up when he turned 18 and he was conscripted into the army. He is one of the few Brothers who saw active service overseas. Like many veterans, Tony spoke very little about this experience. When he returned he took the opportunity to study, and through a Government scheme for young men leaving National Service, won a place at Flinders University, where he completed an Arts Degree. During this time he found his way back to the Marists.

Tony became a Postulant at Hawthorn in 1977, entered the Novitiate in Naenae (New Zealand) in 1978 and took first vows at Templestowe on 7th January 1979. He professed his Final Vows at Shepparton in 1987.

His ministry in secondary education took him to Traralgon, Forbes, Shepparton, Somerton Park and Bendigo. In addition to teaching he fulfilled various roles – Faculty Leader, Year 12 Coordinator, Dormitory Master, Religious Education Coordinator, Head of Curriculum, Deputy Principal. He was Principal of Redden College and Foundation Principal of Samaritan Catholic College. He was the only Marist Brother to lead McKillop College at Swan Hill (2005-2010). Irrespective of his location or role Tony was particularly kind and helpful to the kids in trouble, and he gave very practical help to them and their families.

He enjoyed study and scholarship and over the years completed two Diplomas, two Bachelor’s degrees, three Masters and in 1998 commenced a Doctorate at Emory University, Atlanta. He loved this experience and told many a story from his time there, living with the Marist Fathers and navigating the local characters and culture.

His love of history, reading and scholarship equipped him admirably for the two roles he excelled at in recent years – as Editor of the Lavalla and Champagnat Journals, and as Province Archivist.

After completing his term at Swan Hill Tony returned to Melbourne and was given the task of assisting Michael Green with the establishment of Marist Schools Australia. Michael recounts:

“His intelligence, experience, organisational acumen and never-failing humour helped us enormously as he took on responsibility for drafting a whole new set of policies for schools, became the editor of the Lavalla journal, attended committee and board meetings on my behalf, and readily took on a myriad of other tasks. His approach was both professional and proactive”.


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