Archbishop Visit

Visit from Archbishop Mark Coleridge
The last week was one of highs and lows. The visit by Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Fr Wrex was very refreshing and every report was full of resounding praise given to all at the College by the Archbishop. The community enjoyed the interest Archbishop Coleridge took in all whom he met. The students in the Italian class loved the fact that he was fluent in Italian and had lots of answers for the interesting questions they had prepared! The Archbishop joined in the discussion in the Youth Ministry class around capital punishment and the Catholic rejection from an ethical point of view. Another highlight was the visit to Sion Hairdressing Salon – upon receiving a Sion hairdressing Gift Pack, Archbishop Coleridge remarked that in all his visits to many places that this gift was a first!!!
As Mr Darren Crilly commented, “The grounds looked great; our students were superb, as were the staff! The Archbishop mentioned many times how impressed he was with the College, its facilities, the way our students held themselves and how accommodating our staff was with his visit. He was amazed at the opportunities our students are given and at the achievement of both the College and the students across all areas.”
And then the low - the weather changed for the worse not long after the Archbishop’s departure.  The stewardship, which is a key message of Noah’s Ark was exhibited in the situation of flash flooding as it occurred. Just as Noah took all to safety and fitted many in to the boat, so too did our staff care for the many stranded students in challenging circumstances, with the last leaving around midnight from the MMPC.
A large number of staff cooked for the students, warmed them up, engaged them in activities and allayed any fears. We thank everyone for their assistance. We are grateful to those who braved the elements to get students to buses or into rooms after school – before they were stranded. Our office staff worked tirelessly answering phones and helping people. Thank you also to our facilities team for facing the sea of rain, and attempting to keep the campus as safe as possible, with only some minor water leaks in the library and some surface water in the ERC building to report, as well as some washing away of garden mulch.
Ms Tammie Johnson, one of our caring teaching staff, who looked after our students in the MMP, commented as follows;
“I cannot express enough just how impressed I was with our students on Friday. I really was blown away. The way they conducted themselves when they were unsure of how they were getting home, and if brothers and sisters and parents were ok, was truly amazing. They all just carried on with it and enjoyed each others’ company. They watched movies, played monopoly, basketball and guitar and not one child showed any signs of complaining, frustration or annoyance. They all helped each other out and supported each other, even the last 8 who were there until 11pm. We even spoke with the Bribie bus driver at 9:30pm and she had nothing but positive things to say about the unfortunate students still on the bus without food, water and toilets. Gee we are lucky to have such great students! It was nights like that that remind me why I chose to be a teacher! “
And from grateful parents – the Collins family;
“I would like to pass on a huge thank you to all the teachers and staff who looked after the children that were stuck at school on Friday due to the weather events. I work in Brisbane so there was no way I was getting anywhere fast and my husband was one of many that were stuck (for 6 hours) trying to get to the boys! I do not know what I would have done without these wonderful people. Although the whole afternoon/evening was very stressful for all, I at least had comfort in knowing that my children were safe at school. They told me the teachers cooked them party pies and made them hot chocolates. They said they played a lot of basketball and even got a few demos on the piano! The thought of them being on their own was terrifying so I am so, so thankful! Please pass on our thanks and a hug to all of your staff!”
Overall, it all happened very quickly and I would like to express my thanks to Darren Crilly and the Senior Leadership Team and all the staff, and parents in a situation which happened quickly and needed a calm, safe and reassuring response. It was so tragic for those families who were swept away in the flood waters. I was attending a Principal’s meeting in Hervey Bay and was unable to get back to Brisbane until Saturday due to the airport closing. However, I was receiving reports of the patience, generosity and care shown in the extreme circumstances.
Ann Rebgetz