2019-09-09 AUSTRALIA

William (Bill) Dillon

William Edward Dillon was born to David and Eva (nee Greenland) on 7th August 1929 at East Brunswick, Melbourne. He treasured his family and his simple upbringing. His parents were faith-filled people and very active in the local Parish. One of his Camberwell ex-students, Richard Olive, commented on his early years at Bill’s recent birthday: “The love of his parents and the care of the Catholic community steered him through the tough Depression years in his knock-about neighbourhood. After passing through the local Marist school, which ran just up to Year 10, Bill added a year of schooling at the Christian Brothers at Victoria Parade, but his heart was with the Marists so off he went to Mittagong to become a Marist”.

Bill entered the Mittagong Juniorate in January 1947, became a Postulant in January 1948, received the habit and the Religious name Stanislaus in July 1948, and took his first vows on 2nd July 1949. He made his final profession in 1955 and took the vow of stability in 1998.

As was common for his time he received no teacher training, nor did he have the opportunity for initial tertiary study. From the Novitiate he was appointed to New Norcia in the West, where he stayed until December 1952. As a gifted footballer and athlete he was given the role of Sports Master in each of the eight schools to which he was appointed between 1949 and 1973. Having the common touch and being eminently sensible and astute, leadership suited him and he was Deputy Principal at Leeton, Principal at Preston, and Superior at Preston, Kilmore, Churchlands and Traralgon. In all, he was in formal leadership positions for a total of 30 years.

Passionate about sport, Bill played, coached, mentored and followed with enthusiasm and commitment. He had a fine VFL-AFL pedigree, with his father, brother, nephews and great nephews respected players for Carlton, Brunswick and Collingwood. Ironically, he was a South Melbourne supported who later made the transition to the Swans.

While Bill may not have had the opportunity for formal tertiary studies, he relished periods of spiritual development and renewal. He participated in the Second Novitiate (1973), community development programme (1976), Jesuit Spirituality course (1980), Marist Family renewal in New Zealand (1989), programmes offered by the Maranatha Institute (1999-2002) and the Institute’s Third Age Programme (2000). In 2017 he attended the ‘Time of the Sage’ programme for Religious in their 80’s.


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