They span three generations, but the Scicluna family see eye to eye on the value of an education at Patrician Brothers’ College Fairfield.
In 1961, Ed Scicluna became the first dux of the College, which celebrates its 65th anniversary this year. His sons Mark, Eric and Martin also attended the College. His grandson Adam just graduated Year 12 with a scholarship to study mechatronic engineering at The University of Technology Sydney. Another grandson, Blake, is a current Year 10 student.
Ed’s family were 10-pound migrants from Malta who arrived in Australia in 1956. He began in Year 6 at the College a month later. Mr Scicluna is quick to define the culture of welcome, excellence and humbleness that has seen many past students send their children to the school or return there to teach.
“I felt like the extra push, the extra discipline and the extra interest that teaching staff took with my education helped me to succeed,” he said. “I still have a heartfelt thank you for what was done for me in those days.
“With nine children and mum and dad all together, income was important. For dad to let me leave the small job I already had to do the leaving certificate must have been a big decision. It was the best thing that could have happened.”
Adam, 18, shares his grandfather’s interest in mathematics and science and sense of belonging at the College. “There is something about this school that brings everyone together to want to strive forward and to achieve the best that they can,” he said. “Being in this school where so many different cultures combine, there is always the knowledge that some has your back if you’re down. “I can see that through learning, through what happens at lunch and recess, and through sporting achievements. We all support each other.”
Principal Peter Wade is also a past student of the College and said the school’s culture and physical environment owes much to the Patrician way of life and the dedication of the Brothers who founded and worked at the school.
“The brothers built this school,” he said. “They might have taught you physics, then that afternoon you’d see them clean the toilets, on a tractor mowing the grass then coaching you in sport. They were very grounded people and very connected with the community.
“There is still a real sense of connectedness and brotherhood at the school.”
The College has grown from a school of only six classrooms in 1953 with a disused orchard and vineyard for grounds, to modern facilities including a state-of-the art Technology and Applied Studies building that cater for more than 1,200 students. The College will hold an open day on Sunday, March 11, 10am – 2pm, at 268 The Horsley Drive, Fairfield.