2019-09-16 AUSTRALIA

Nello Facci

Nello’s parents, Giacomo and Enrica (nee Cristoferetti) married in Italy in 1925. His father came to Australia in 1926 and his mother and older sister, Bruna, followed him four years later. The Facci family settled initially in Victoria, and it was there at Myrtleford that Nello was born on 30th September 1932. Soon afterwards the family moved to Western Australia.

Nello was a boarding student at St Ildephonsus College New Norcia in 1949 and 1950. The Brothers made a strong impact on him and he was inspired to travel East, initially to Macedon and then onto Mittagong. He started the Postulancy in January 1952 and entered the Novitiate in July the same year. Twelve months later, with the Religious name David, he professed his first vows. Then it was back West – where he spent the next twelve months teaching at Northam – aged 22 and with no formal qualification or preparation to teach.

Nello’s early years as a Brother were predictable: various appointments, often short term, teaching various subjects, wherever there was a need, engaged with students in sports and other school activities. He lived an active life and was able to pursue his own love of sport. Between 1953 and 1960 he taught at Northam, Bunbury, Subiaco, Somerton Park, Alberton.

1961 was the year that changed his life. He had begun a new appointment to Assumption College Kilmore.. It was here that he became a committed Essendon supporter and a collector of ‘Bombers’ paraphernalia.

Such was Nello’s resilience and dedication that he was appointed the Foundation principal of St Joseph’s College Mitchell Park – what was to become Sacred Heart Middle School. He supervised the construction of the school and was Principal for its first six years. The Mitchell Park Visual Arts Centre now bears his name.

Nello moved onto Subiaco, Griffith and then in 1978 to Mt Gambier where he enjoyed eight years of active ministry. While there he helped start the Charismatic Prayer group, was a member of the Parish Council and was keenly involved in the Italian community. From there he went to Churchlands and then Bulleen.

Nello was very proud of his Italian ancestry, its culture, and his extended family. One of the highlights of Nello’s life was the four years (1998-2001) he spent as House Manager at Manziana, outside Rome. He revelled in the opportunity to savour Italian culture and made some lasting friendships. It also gave him the opportunity to meet and connect with family members, and to revert to his Christian name.

On his return to Australia he was appointed to Templestowe where he acted as Archivist and undertook other varied responsibilities. At the start of 2013 he returned home to Perth, and to his extended family.

Nello’s signature farewell was “Ciao and God bless”. So we say: “Ciao Nello. Thank you for your faithful witness of 67 years of Marist life and brotherhood”.


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