The Boys of 71 is a group of approximately 250 who went to Parade College between 1964 and 1971, and who would have or did graduate Matriculation/HSC in 1971. Many started at Alphington in Grade 4, most came to Alphington in 1966 for Form 1/Year 7; and some joined at Bundoora along the way after 1967. We were the first year to not have Prefects, but instead we had a Student Representative Council. Brother Bill Greenings attempt to bring democracy to the classroom. We were in the first in-take into Bundoora Campus. We were the first year not to provide a priest or a Christian Brother.
The 1976 Reunion was the first for the Class of 1971. An unusual event for the former students. No other year commenced their “own” reunions; and the College did not really commence reunions until the 1990’s at the earliest. Rick Jordan, Peter Given, Mark Gregor, Jack Ryan, John Mantesso were some of those who kicked around the idea of having a reunion. There were some fun Committee meetings, nearly all at Rick Jordan’s home in Greensborough. The Reunion was held at the College in the Stadium, and Paul Collins did the catering. By this stage we had lost at least one of the brotherhood, Chris Devereaux. Chris left Parade in 1969 when his father moved to Broadford to work at the Broadford APPM Paper Mills. Chris was killed in a motor vehicle accident near Broadford when he was 18, probably in 1972.
The 1988 Reunion was held at Dominic Torre’s hotel, the Gasometer, in Alexander Parade Fitzroy.
The 1991 Reunion was held at Il Vicolo Restaurant Grattan St Carlton, a venue organised by John Mantesso. Again, John has plenty of photographs to prove it. One anecdote of the night was going downstairs and finding Peter Cantwell having dinner with either his wife or fiancée. He didn’t know we were upstairs and joined us!!!!
The 1996 Reunion was held at a pub in Coopers Inn corner Exhibition and Lt Lonsdale Street. Once again a venue organised by John Mantesso, and once again plenty of photos. It was a great turn out I think one of our biggest and many of us retired downstairs after dinner for a late ‘cleansing’ session!!! Organising Committee included Russel Atkins, Rick Jordan, John Mantesso, Jack Ryan and Andy Walsh to name a few.
Jack Ryan gave a speech on the night and discussed the common bond and mateship which existed amongst the group. Jack suggested we form a loose network which met 4 times a year for lunch, and to offer support for our mates when they needed it. A loose network with a common goal – to look after one another.
The name Club 71 was used officially to describe the group. Paul Niall even sent us a Congratulations fax and wished us “Good luck with the establishment of CLUB 71” one week after the Reunion.
Throughout 1997 and 1998 a group did meet regularly. There was at least one Golf day, organised by Peter Marino; and a number of lunches including Guest Speakers. There was a memorable Lunch at the Collingwood Football Club. Gubby Allen turned up and organised the Guest Speaker, none other than Tony Shaw the Collingwood FC Coach at the time. It was the last lunch with Terry Melican who was killed only weeks later in a Motor vehicle accident. At the Collingwood lunch the guys who were there “signed off’ on a Mission Statement for Club 71.
In 2001, we were ready for a 20 year Reunion. By this stage the Club 71 movement had lost some initiative. It had evolved into a breakfast club, organised by Andy Walsh at Endis Cafe in Brunswick Road, Fitzroy. The day of the Reunion started with a Saturday morning visit, inspection and cuppa at the College. We declined the invitation for lunch on the basis we had a bus booked to take us to Sovereign Hill, where Jeremy Johnston had organised everything. Formal dinner and a sing along with drinks into the wee hours. A horrible next morning and a few casualties on the bus trip home. Tommy Finnegan suffered more than most, particularly at the hands of Russel Atkins.
We lost Ralphie Guijarro early in 2005 and Rick Jordan on 20 October 2005. Quite a delegation turned up for Rick’s funeral. Victor Marchetta was another one we lost along the way. And a few others!!
From this time on Shane Bond was galvanised into action and took the lead in re-invigorating Club 71. Quarterly breakfasts became meetings. In December 2008 at one of the Breakfast gatherings, it was agreed to incorporate the group. Paul Niall proceeded to incorporate Club 71 Inc on 28 January 2009. The group drifted on, holding regular breakfasts and a Pizza night in Preston. Then the whole thing shifted another gear when it came time to organise the 2011 40th Reunion.
Shane Bond along with a solid team of members drove the whole thing, with the group utilising Shane’s offices in Moonee Ponds for Meetings. The organising Committee included Peter Given, Andy Walsh, John Mantesso, Jack Ryan, Garry Henshall and Shane Bond. With assistance from Michael Billings, we were able to access the Alphington Bowls Club and the 40th Reunion occurred on 19 November 2011. As well as some 60 old boys from local and interstate, also in attendance were two teachers, Neville Colvin and Ian Bibby. Others including Stan Ogilvie, Len Foster and Bill Greening sent their apologies.
The Reunion was also used to call the first Annual General meeting of the Incorporated Club. Shane Bond was elected President along with others as committee members. However, due to personal reasons, Shane stepped down and the position of Acting President was filled by Garry Henshall. The Committee agreed that there was a need for stronger Corporate Governance and that we were behind with Statutory Obligations under the Associations Incorporation Act. Decisions were made to rectify these issues.
The next Annual General Meeting was held at Niche Restaurant in Bridge Road Richmond on 19 November 2012. Garry Henshall was elected president.