Fairfield Pat's man says farewell

WETHERILL Park's Kevin Bourke will retire after spending more than 50 years teaching maths to the students at Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield.

The 81-year-old began his teaching career in 1955, spending five years at Maitland Marist Brothers' College before a year at Marist College, Ashgrove in Brisbane.

He then made the move to Patrician Brothers' College in Fairfield in 1961, where he's spent the past 53 years teaching mathematics.

"I mainly taught years 11 and 12 and was the maths co-ordinator for 30 years," he said.

"It has been terrific working here. It's home away from home."

Mr Bourke, who spent some of his early years at the school teaching music, religion and physics, as well as coaching the schools swimming, athletics and rugby league team, said there were plenty of highlights throughout his career.

"One of these included the rugby league competition, Amco Shield, in 1975 where we won the final," he said.

"That was one of the biggest rugby league competitions among schoolboys at the time, so to win that was great."

School principal John Killeen said Mr Bourke would be missed.

"It's going to be a happy but sad day because it marks the end of everything," Mr Killeen said.

"He is a fantastic classroom teacher and it was a difficult decision for him to make."

Mr Bourke, a father-of-three and grandfather-of-six, said health was a factor.

"I'm going to spend time with my wife and hopefully we will travel to New Zealand and Tasmania," he said. "There's also a lot of work to do at home."

Mr Bourke will attend a function organised by the school at Fairfield RSL on December 12 where he will say his final goodbyes.

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