THE Brisbane Catholic Education community is remembering one of its brightest former students who passed away suddenly last weekend.
Mitch Cronin, a former Clairvaux Mackillop College student who excelled at rugby league, died suddenly after a suspected medical condition, leaving his family and many friends in mourning.
Mitch would have celebrated his 28th birthday this Saturday.
He was the captain of the Wynnum Manly Seagulls, where he had moved after being a squad member with the Brisbane Broncos and Canberra Raiders.
Clairvaux MacKillop College principal Brian Eastaughffe said Mitch would be remembered as a “gentle, caring, smiling and compassionate young man” who had earned the respect of peers and staff members alike during his five years at the Upper Mt Gravatt Catholic co-educational school.
“It is difficult for the community of Clairvaux MacKillop College to comprehend that Mitch who was such a positive contributor to the College community is now in the gentle and loving embrace of our God,” Mr Eastaughffe said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mitch’s parents Chris and Andrea and his siblings Ben and Amy.”
Padua College Rector and former Clairvaux MacKillop deputy principal Peter Elmore described Mitch as an “outstanding rugby league player but more significantly. … an outstanding man”.
“Mitch is so well respected by all or who have or known or met him. His passing will be felt deeply by many,” Mr Elmore said.
Mitch graduated with Clairvaux MacKillop College’s senior class of 2009.
His all-round sporting prowess earned him junior sportsperson of the year honours in (2007) and senior sportsperson in 2008-2009, but he was destined for the rugby league stage.
A report on the 2008 Confraternity Shield which features the cream of Queensland schoolboy talent described him as one of the Carnival’s future “stars”.
A Queensland Residents representative, Mitch played 108 Intrust Super Cup games with Wynnum and Souths-Logan after being part of both the Canberra Raiders and Brisbane Broncos NRL squads.
He turned out for the Raiders in the Auckland Nines before his rugby league path eventually led him to another ”Green Machine” on Brisbane’s bayside where he became a favourite among teammates, coaches and Seagulls fans.
He skippered Wynnum Manly in last year’s grand final loss to Burleigh and was again set to lead the Seagulls to go one better this season when the competition was shut down after one match due to COVID-19.