Third Generation St Finbarrians


TIMG_6780.JPGoday we welcomed Dan Barry to our St Finbarr's Feast Day Mass to speak about his time at St Finbarr's. Dan is the father of Lucy, Grade 4 and Olivia who came to St. Finbarr's but is now at​ Mt. St. Michael's. Olivia and Lucy are third generation St. Finbarrians, as were his sister's Louise's children Angus “Paw" and Lara Healy.

Hear what Dan had to say to our community about his time at St Finbarr's.

"I went to St. Finbarr's in early 1980's, after following in the footsteps of my father and uncle who started as students in 1938 and later progressed to Marist College.

Of course over the years the school has grown considerably, but to me, it still feels the same as it did when I was a student.  When I walk into the school I can often walk in looking through the eyes of a 5 year old me.  This is due to the fond memories and friendships I have developed while being part of St. Finbarr's family.

I remember when getting to school all the boys would converge to the bottom, lower playground where we would face a few overs in the cricket net from Principal Peter Stark.  We would then play on the old tractor and would roll old car tires that were left there for our enjoyment and use.  I remember the girls would be playing netball, elastics, knuckles and ball games in the top playground which is now the teachers carpark.

While playing we would receive a 5 minute warning bell which would be an indication for us to prepare for class and wash off the dirt from the mornings play.  At that stage the toilet block was where the administration office is now.

Upon attending the classroom we were greeted with a warm smile from the teacher which would give us the reassurance that we were in a safe learning environment and would encourage us to strive to be the best that we can.

I remember lunch time, the current green corner on Betheden Terrace was where everyone would go to for a play on the monkey bars, and would play 'Red Rover' where the boys now play soccer.  I remember there was always a teacher on hand in the event the ball went over the fence or if someone scraped a knee.

After a day of learning and towards the end of the day the teacher would choose a couple of us to go to take the chalk board duster out into the playground and using a ruler to wack them clean.  Then we would help the teacher place any used paper or cardboard boxes in the incinerator which still remains at the school to this day.  On Fridays we were treated with tuckshop and would make our way down to the Preps room where we would excitedly wait patiently in line for our salad rolls in a brown paper bags.  At the end of each year we would celebrate with plays in the hall which has been frozen in time and remains the same apart from the new tuckshop.

The friendships I have formed while being part of the St. Finbarr's Family have stayed with me some, for as long as 40 years and some may be with people in this room today.  Apart from educating us the teachers taught us to value our parents, family, friends and community and promoted respect for ourselves, others and the world around us.  All the teachers I had at St. Finbarr's supported my learning with the patience and understanding a child needs which gave me the self confidence to positively embrace my learning journey.

I always remember feeling the warmth, safety and school spirit while being at school at St. Finbarr's.  After having only good memories of St. Finbarr's it was an easy choice when deciding where Olivia and Lucy should commence their Catholic schooling journey.

I pray that each and every student in this church today has the same experience I did and recognises just how lucky you are to be part of the St. Finbarr's Family and Community."

Dan Barry, September 2022​

© Brisbane Catholic Education, St Finbarr's School (2023)​