For Past and Present fellow students of Saint Columban’s
College, Tuesday 12th April, 2011 was a very historic day in
the life of the college.
Our Principal, Ann Rebgetz, had the courtesy and the courage
to invite Vietnam Veterans who attended Saint Columban’s
College to our commemoration of Anzac Day. This is the first
occasion since the Vietnam War that the college had invited
us back – almost 50 years since the war started.
As Vietnam Veterans Saint Columban’s is part of our history
and we Vietnam Veterans are part of Saint Columban’s
The Vietnam War was unique in that it polarised opinion
concerning our involvement. Regrettably many of those
opposed to our involvement targeted the troops rather than
Those events are decades behind us now so perhaps it is time
for us to come together.
It appears to have been a well kept secret but Saint
Columban’s has a fine military tradition.
Saint Columban’s wasn’t founded until after World War One.
For World War Two the tradition appears to have been that we
had 220 fellow students who served. 18 of those were killed
in action and 10 fellow students were decorated for heroic
Our fellow students won a number of Military Crosses/Medals
and the RAAF equivalent the Distinguished Flying Cross.
There has been talk of building a “War Memorial” within the
college. In this computer age part of that process could be
an online memorial detailing the feats of our fellow
students. An example of what could be done is the story of
Lieutenant Adrian Roy Doneley, MC (Military Cross). I’m
happy to help people research by showing them how things
such as the Nominal Rolls work and how to access them
As part of our thank you to Ann, Frank, Linda all the other
staff and you present day students we presented the 2011
College Captains, Aiden Bernard and Odette Pryor, with a framed Vietnam Veterans’ List, with
replica medals typical of what we Vietnam Veterans received.
Year 12 student Ben Shumack read the poem “The Lonely
12 April 2011
Newsletter - includes Anzac Day Commemoration Photos