Berwick College has experienced thousands of students pass through its doors since that momentous day in 1977 when 113 students met in their first assembly in the canteen plaza to hear from foundation Principal Mr Roy Fraser. Since that time there have been quite a number of gatherings of past students with contact made through social media. If you are interested in organising a reunion please let us know so we can assist you.
What do you need to do?
- As perhaps ten years looms (or other milestone) gather a group of friends and determine to meet.
- Form a small committee to plan, book and ultimately organise your gathering.
- Contact the College (8768 1000 or Berwick.email@example.com) to see what assistance is available. The school may have data which might be used to contact people from your year.
- Contact Rob Hansen firstname.lastname@example.org to see if his help is needed.
- Commence the process of communicating with your fellow colleagues – then good luck!
The Foundation year for Berwick College gathered in the VCE Centre of the College to pay tribute to those who planned, established and organised the educational cornerstone for Berwick College.
Nearly 50 former students, teachers and administrators shared vivid memories, laughs and warm expressions of joy at seeing one another again. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of a Foundation Plaque as well as a photo of the first Year 12 group. Rob Osborne, long time Year 12 coordinator and VCE teacher for over two decades mentioned the special bond that hallmarked the 17 students who completed Higher School Certificate together in 1982. “This was the first such year 12 group and they enjoyed an intimate relationship with their teachers – something that was unique because of the size of the group,” commented Rob Osborne. A large photo of the group was presented by Rob to current principal Kerri Bolch.
Mr John Collins, who served the College with distinction from 1980 as both Assistant Principal as well as Principal, also commented on the special nature of the Foundation group. He noted that, “I could see that you all developed a tight bond with one another as well as your teachers. It was a joy to lead such students and was something I will never forget.” He then presented the Foundation plaque to Roger Hall current School Council President. The plaque contains the names of the foundation students of 1977, the Year 12 students of 1982, the first teachers as well as the first School Council President, Mr Ron Wheeldon and Dr Bruce Coller, the first School Council Secretary. These two gentlemen led the drive to establish the school in Berwick.
A slide show of photos from the 1980’s was one of the key moments that brought gasps and amusement to the gathered throng. This had been carefully prepared by former foundation student and current Pakenham Gazette photographer Donna Oates, whose camera skills created a wonderful legacy for the College.
The Foundation Launch organiser Rob Hansen (a foundation teacher) observed that there were many requests during the evening for an annual Foundation Dinner. “Hopefully this will be the beginning of moves to celebrate and publicise the school’s rich history that has so far spanned 35 years since 1977.”
Berwick College Foundlings meet to plan thirty year festivities
On July 29th 2012, seven foundation students of the Berwick College, Karen Irwin, Jane Foster, Donna Oates and Jenny McCraw met with founding teachers Laurie Cantwell, Julie Misso and Rob Hansen to swap stories and reflect upon their unique experience when they commenced the activities upon which the current College has been fabricated.
By Rob Hansen.
BERWICK FOUNDATION GROUP GATHER TO CELEBRATE
“ The privilege of attending a growing and developing secondary school at Berwick High School cannot be underestimated,” commented foundation teacher Rob Hansen when he addressed an appreciative group of Foundation students and teachers gathering at Slippery Jacks restaurant in Beaconsfield .Nearly 40 people met to celebrate the part that the College had played in shaping them as individuals during the inaugural foundation dinner. This group have commenced an annual tradition of joining to acknowledge their special educational experience together. Chief Executive Officer of the Challenge Foundation and former student Dave Rogers urged fellow students and past teachers to look to supporting those whose lives have been touched by cancer. As one of the guest speakers Rogers described his early education as challenging him to find what he was suited to in life. “After leaving at the end of Year 10 in 1980 I journeyed to a camp in America and discovered that recreation and dealing with young people was something with which I was comfortable. From there my life has been transformed by trying to assist young kids who suffer with their families through the challenge that is cancer.” The former Berwick College Student Representative leader now heads up a multi-million dollar organisation that attempts to support children from 0-19 who face the journey with cancer. Challenge works through Monash Medical centre as well as the Royal Children’s Hospital. The foundation group also listened to John Waterhouse, President of the Archivists’ Association of Australia who encourages the development of alumni and urged the group to consider being involved with Berwick’s story as well as inscribing their own story for future generations. Current Principal Kerri Bolch indicated that she supports the concept of growing the Foundation Year and certainly supports an organisation being developed which focuses on past students and teachers reinforcing the current College activities. Hopefully out of this embryo will grow an effectively functioning group that sustains the Berwick Story.