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News from Gladstone

24 June, 2024

Blessing and Opening of the Aquinas Wing

Tuesday, 28 May, was a cause for celebration with the Blessing and Opening of Chanel College’s newest learning precinct, the Aquinas Wing. His Excellency, Archbishop Charles Balvo, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, officiated at the official Blessing and Opening Ceremony.  Bishop Michael McCarthy, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockhampton, and the priests of our Star of the Sea Parish, Fr Andrew Chase, and Fr Peter Doherty, were also present.
The Blessing and Opening ceremony was conducted in Lavalla Court, with the new learning precinct in the background. The ceremony commenced with the procession of the official party led by the College’s Drumline and performances by our talented Band and Choir. Included in the official proceedings were addresses by Miss Leesa Jeffcoat AM, Diocesan Director Catholic Education, Diocese of Rockhampton, College Principal Dr Susan Bunkum, and Assistant Principal Mission Ms Kristi Bourke. The unveiling of the Commemorative Plaque, which officially revealed the name of the learning precinct as Aquinas Wing, was met with great anticipation. The wing is aptly named after St Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican friar and priest who is the Patron Saint of universities and scholars.
The Aquinas Wing features general and flexible learning areas, a lift, undercover areas, and amenities, and is home to our College Deans and Heads of House. It also incorporates the College’s modern school cafeteria, Café Chanel. Architects of the project were Tony Madden Architect, and the builder was Murchie Constructions Pty Ltd. The learning precinct has been in full use since Term 4 of 2023. It is a wonderful contemporary new addition to the fabulous facilities offered by the College to ensure quality teaching and learning experiences for students.
The Blessing and Opening of the Aquinas Wing is an occasion which brought together three circumstances that are unlikely to ever occur at the same time, any time in Chanel’s future: the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, His Excellency, Archbishop Charles Balvo, the 10th anniversary of Episcopal Ordination of the Most Reverend Bishop Michael McCarthy, and the last official visit by Miss Jeffcoat before her retirement.
We are truly blessed to have experienced such a momentous occasion and would like to thank our invited guests and members of the College Community, staff, and students for their presence at this memorable event – one that will feature prominently in the history of the College.

Celebration at the Seafarers Centre

Fr Doherty celebrated Mass at the Seafarers Centre with some seafarers attending.