by MICHAEL OTTO
AUCKLAND — The 75th jubilee of St Peter’s College was almost gatecrashed by their
brethren from Sacred Heart College — but not quite.
The rugby first XVs from the two schools fought out a 22-22 draw on St Peter’s fabled “cage” in front of many hundreds of the school’s old boys and supporters on August 9. Considerable
Sacred Heart support made for a rousing sporting atmosphere.
The two teams, which had both qualified for the top four playoffs in Auckland secondary rugby, were even at half time at 10-10.
Each team had a player spend time in the sin bin, and although Sacred Heart’s forwards
probably had the edge, St Peter’s took advantage of every scrap that came their way, with fullback Jordan Trainor outstanding.
Sacred Heart had the chance to win the game in the final seconds with a penalty kick, but
the ball struck an upright and St Peter’s clung on to share the spoils.
The result ensured Sacred Heart retained the Hibernian Shield, but St Peter’s finished just above them on the points table.
The jubilee celebrations were spread across three days and featured a “mix and mingle”, a first eleven soccer game, a jubilee ball at the Ellerslie Convention Centre and a Sunday Mass
in the college hall.
More than 400 old boys attended the jubilee and were glad to catch up with school friends from the past.
At the Mass, headmaster Kieran Fouhy appealed for support to build a future chapel for the college. “Just as we had a huge crowd at the rugby yesterday, and it is very important,we do want to see our men of the future seeing the primacy of worship and prayer as important as that game on Saturday,” Mr Fouhy said.
The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Denis Browne of Hamilton, who went to St Peter’s from 1949-51.
Concelebrating were old boy priests Msgrs Des McCarthy and Paul Farmer and Pa Peter Tipene, as well as Msgr Terry Leslie, who was a first day pupil at St Peter’s.
The Christian Brothers were acknowledged, especially the handful present.
Bishop Browne recalled that the brothers inculcated a love of Jesus in those they taught.
“We remember, in a way, the Christian Brothers imbibed in us a thirst for improving our lives.
“That was the whole purpose of their being with us. They came to give us the spirit of Peter. They came to give us the spirit of Jesus.”
The spirit of the brothers has been carried on by lay staff, and all associated with St Peter’s could be proud, Bishop Browne said.
The writing of a history of St Peter’s called Upon this Rock is underway and is expected to be published by early next year.
by MICHAEL OTTO