LAST Sunday was a time of mixed emotions for 91-year-old Arthur Kean, one of Marist College Rosalie’s oldest old boys.
Mr Kean, in the Brisbane college’s first intake in 1929, was among those attending a Mass to mark the end of one era and the beginning of another at his much-loved “Rosa”.
It is closing as a secondary college at the end of the 2008 school year and open as the LaValla Centre in January.
The LaValla Centre will be used by the Marist Brothers for teacher in-service training, presentations, retreats, meetings and offices; and as a place of prayer and a base for involvement with youth in the local Catholic parish.
Mr Kean was one of many old boys attending the Mass celebrated in Sacred Heart Church, Rosalie, by Bishops Brian Finnigan and John Gerry, himself a former college pupil.
Throughout his long life, Mr Kean said he had lived in only two addresses within blocks from the college and was on the original committee that started the college’s Old Boys Association before World War II.
Yet, as Mr Kean explained, the Mass had also been a great celebration.
He was particularly thrilled to see a video of an interview conducted with him two years earlier shown at the celebration Mass.
“That was great,” he said. “I remember saying in the interview how all us kids had the wind up when we left the local convent to head for the college.
“All the sisters warned us about the brothers and how they wouldn’t take any nonsense.
“When we got to the college, I think a few of us thought we’d be lucky to get out alive!”
Jubilee parish priest Fr Peter Brannelly said old boys of all ages had packed the church for the celebration.
“Some of the latest crop even cut their Schoolies celebrations short to be at the Mass,” he said.
The mood at the historic Mass was both sad and optimistic, he added.