Welcome to MCA - Old Boys Association

Marist College Ashgrove Oldboys Association was formed with two main objectives. The first is to facilitate a continuing relationship with the College and former classmates once students complete their education at Marist College Ashgrove.  This is achieved by coordinating a number of functions throughout the year that all Oldboys are invited to attend. The second objective is to provide a number of bursaries for students to attend the College that otherwise would not be able to attend. While the Oldboys Association is financially responsible for these bursaries, selection is at the discretion of the Headmaster. For more information regarding bursaries, please contact the College Headmaster.  




A Joeys Old Boy and GPS Schools premiership winning captain (1955), Terry Curley debuted as a Wallaby against the All Blacks at age 18. He then toured the British Isles and played in all tests. A great career lay ahead of him. 

He gave it all up after 11 tests, at only age 20, to become a Marist Brother. After completing his training, his first posting was to Ashgrove in 1965. He revolutionised the College while he was here in those 6 wonderful years. Terry's sacrifice was to the benefit of a generation of young men who were fortunate enough to attend Ashgrove during that period. 

He coached the greatest rugby and cricket teams Ashgrove ever produced. His methods were tough but visionary. Four rugby premierships in those six years from teams which themselves produced endless Wallabies and representative players.  

Above all, his powerful character shaped the very essence of Ashgrove. Simplicity, Modesty, Humility. After a successful life of sacrifice and dedication, Terry eventually left the Marist Brothers because of health issues and qualified as a lawyer.

His students never forgot him. Terry returned on several occasions to the College he loved just to be part of the atmosphere. 

Terry passed away aged 78 on 17th October 2016. A Memorial Service will be held next week in Sydney. Details in the Sydney Morning Herald. The OBA passes on its condolences to his beautiful wife, Libby, who accompanied him back to Ashgrove in those latter years. Vale to the great man.   



Now an entrenched part of the calendar for over a decade, the annual Sony Camp held at the College in late September each year provides a powerful reminder of the Champagnat spirit. Parents of children with a disability take a break while the College community, led by some of the Seniors, host some precious visitors for a few days on site. The new pool will get an absolute work out.

Despite the thousands of hours provided by volunteers, the College still  needs support by way of money and the donations of gifts. The Old Boys Association is exceptionally proud to be a major supporter of this brilliant event and has donated generously on behalf of members. But there is always room for more. Put bluntly, Ashgrove likes to spoil its special guests and their families. They deserve it.

All Old Boys are encouraged to contribute but the OBA would particularly encourage those younger Old Boys (and their families) who have benefited from this fantastic experience to put their hands in their pockets to see if the tuckshop money is still there. No amount is too small.   

Mr Luke McMahon, Head of Mission at the College, will be waiting for an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or a call (07) 3858 4581



Despite all the accolades, the professional and humanitarian achievements, the captaining of the Wallabies and being the legendary manager of the victorious 1984 Grand Slam and 1986 Bledisloe Cup tours, Dr Charles “Chilla” Wilson was first and foremost an Ashgrove man. One of the Foundation students in March 1940 with his brother Fergus, they also spent the happiest of days at the Eagle Heights campus during the War years.

Born in 1931 and growing up within site of the Tower, Chilla died peacefully last Friday. His service will be held at the Great Hall at BGS at 11 a.m. on Thursday 8th September 2016.

One of three Old Boys to have captained the Wallabies, Chilla’s love and support of the College remained until the end. He cherished Ashgrove and everything it stood for.

When reading the following quote from Mark Ella, Old Boys will easily recognise the essence of Ashgrove in the man:

He was quiet, unobtrusive and didn't make a lot of noise. In fact, you wouldn't know Chilla was the manager until the time came for somebody to get up and say the right thing. The biggest thing Chilla had in his favour was that everybody loved him. We gave him a hard time, but nobody wanted to be the one that let him down. He was the perfect player's manager.

The entire Ashgrove community has Chilla and his family in our thoughts.


Judge Kevin Rowe receives Arthur Apelt Memorial Service Award

On August 12th another outstanding Vintage Blue and Gold Lunch was capped off by the presentation of the OBA's most prestigious award, the Arthur Apelt Memorial Service Award for dedication to the College and the Old Boys. The recipient was none other than Judge Kevin Rowe (1946) (2nd from left) whose many contributions includes his superb stewardship of the Golden Anniversary celebrations in 1990 and bringing the Canvass of Dreams to life. Tom Treston provided an intriguing history of Kev's decades of service to the College and the OBA before the presentation of the Award was made by Arthur's brother, Colin. Current Headmaster Peter McLoughlin and OBA President, Dom Melrose (1992) were on hand to witness the proceedings. A standing ovation from a packed house. The OBA extends its heartfelt congratulations to Kevin. We are forever in your debt. 


Old Boys are invited to stay up late on 18th August to swim (1.5 km), ride (40km) and run (10km) alongside Ashgrove’s latest Olympian, triathlete Ryan Fisher (2008). Ryan will hit the water on the famous Copacabana Beach at midnight (our time) to take on 54 of the most elite athletes in the world. All of Ashgrove will be right there with him.

Ryan’s sensational accomplishment, after years of sacrifice, is thoroughly deserved. You just don’t get anywhere near Olympic selection without sheer dedication.

All Old Boys wish our man the very best. OB Twitter people can follow Ryan on @RyanFisher20


OB Steve Meehan (1983) is to add yet another jewel to the coaching crown when Toulon meets the Dan Carter led Racing 92 in the French Top 14 Grand Final early this Saturday morning in Barcelona. That's right - the famous FC Barcelona stadium is absolutely sold out with a club world record 98,000 fans rolling up. Old Boys should be able to catch the game Eurosport in the early hours.
Old Boys enquire how Steve, as the backs and attacking coach, copes with all the crazies of French Rugby. The answer is simple -- once you've experienced coaching the 15A's at Ashgrove (which he did in 2012),  everything else is like shelling peas. The OBA wishes Steve all the best. Rumour has it a frenchman may even take the field in the second half.



Do you get tired of reading about people who get a major award for basically doing their job, painting or even for just giving a speech someone else wrote ? --  Particularly when there are real people out there who actually make enormous sacrifices and quietly go about serving others.

The Old Boys Association congratulates Brother Daniel Hollamby AM (1969) on his long overdue recognition for service to primary education, particularly in Indigenous communities, through senior teaching and leadership positions

Not only was Brother on staff at the College in the 70's, he was the Headmaster of Ashgrove's primary school from 1983 - 88. However, his most outstanding efforts came in running the Marist indigenous communities at Bourke, Murgon and now at Santa Theresa in the Territory. No bright lights or shiny badges out there. No cocktail parties where you can talk yourself up. Just dust, hard work, and educating and caring for the most underprivileged in Australia.

The OBA recognises your generosity and humility but would just like to say --- GOOD ON YOU, BROTHER !!!  All Old Boys are very, very proud. If we still had Knighthoods, you’d have one of them too.



One of the most insidious of all diseases is mesothelioma. Asbestos lung cancer. Painful, slow and frequently lethal. It is often associated with those who are somewhat older but it has struck down one of our young old boys, David Fry, at age 37. A father of two little ones, the Fry/Moore families connection with the College goes back to Day 1, 1940 when David's grandfather, Kevin Moore, attended before serving his country in WW II.... Kevin's name has a special place on our Memorial Gates. David's father, Anthony Fry and Uncle Terrence and three maternal uncles Brian, Gavin and Michael Moore are all old boys. The roots are as deep as they go. The access to the life saving drugs is an expensive battle. The costs are prohibitive. Government assistance is negligible. David's wife, Renee, has set up a fund for the battle at https://www.gofundme.com/mesosucks.

With wife Renee's blessing, the Old Boys Association has decided to make a public call on all Old Boys who can help financially to visit the site and assist. Please keep David in your prayers.



It’s only a 4 km drive from Ashgrove's famous No 1 Oval to Lang Park -- but it represents an incredible journey for Nick Frisby (2009) son of Denis (1979) and Jacqui and younger brother of Emma and Sam (2007). 

On Saturday, Nick came off the bench, if only for a few minutes, for his first Wallaby cap against Six Nations Grand Slam Champions England. Just a few short minutes to start – but the first of many more to come.

Nick becomes Ashgrove's 22nd Wallaby. Like all Ashgrove Wallabies, ‘Pickle’ is the product of a rugby nursery in the true sense -- born and bred on the Flats and who had to earn his spot in every Ashgrove team he played. He carries with him a tradition that can't be imported, sponsored or purchased. 

The Old Boys Association congratulates Nick and his family, and the coaches who played such an important role in his development. We look forward to the years ahead.   

Marist College Ashgrove presents, “Jazz under the Stars”

Join us for an entertaining evening of jazz with Andrew Butt & Friends

Ticket price includes Jazz, Wood Fired Pizza, Gourmet Deli Baskets, and Wallabies v England on the big screen. Tickets are $50 per person. Drinks are extra and can be purchased on the night. Tickets also available for pre-ordered bucket of drinks. Cash Bar Available.  Bookings - www.trybooking.com/ldeb


Having its genesis at Eagle Heights, Mt Tamborine during WW II, ‘The Gungalora’ was the pre-eminent Ashgrove war cry from the 1940’s to the mid 70’s. The powerful chant was steeped in a beautiful combination of Marist and Indigenous culture. But for a short rebirth in the late 80’s, it had all but disappeared and was feared by many Old Boys to be lost to the winds of time. Over the last 40 years newer, trendier chants and songs had made their way to the forefront.

The visionary Seniors of 2013 and 2014 lit the flame by returning ‘The Gungalora’ as a war cry during rugby matches, but it was their 2015 younger brothers who finally cemented its long awaited return as an inseparable part of life at Ashgrove. Having initially respected the history of the College by chanting it as a ‘welcome home’ to the returning First XVs of 1955, 1965 and 1975 at the Old Boys Sports Day in June, a special moment was created when the entire 2015 Senior cohort chose to bind together and roar ‘The Gungalora’ at their farewell on 20th November 2015. (see video link)

An emotional OBA President, John O’Hare, said of the impromptu moment: “Bravo to our young men of 2015. Brilliantly done ! I can hear the spirit of Brother Herbert Jones cheering from Mount Tamborine. Long may this new tradition continue.”


There has been no greater period in Ashgrove Track and Field than the 15 years from 1979-1993. Need proof ? To this very day, about 30 College Open and Age records from that era still stand.

The Leavy brothers Open sprint records from the early 80’s remain the benchmark, the Mooney four year domination of the 800m through to 1993 has stood the test of time and the greatest of them all, Geoff Moon’s unassailable 1979 Open 1500m ...record, stands alone 36 years later. Many of the other records would still be good enough to win AIC titles in 2015.

But the recent win, for the first time in 10 years, by Ashgrove of the AIC Championship and the first place of Ashgrove’s intermediate year group (15 - 16) at the National Schools Knock out Championships in Melbourne signifies that a new era may just have arrived.

The OBA congratulates the Intermediate boys on their brilliant gold medals in Melbourne and hopes that 2016 might just see the record books re written.

A Tribute to Derek Cameron - Part 1 & Part 2 

This edition will consider the career of the longest serving member of staff in the history of the College, Derek Cameron. Derek began teaching at the College in far off 1974, and is currently in Term 4 2015 on long service leave. Counting inclusively that is 41 years of teaching in a school which has been in existence for 75 years, so Derek has seen much of our history, and has indeed contributed to it mightily. It is not just the quantity of Derek’s service that is significant, but also the quality of it – in so many ways he has been the embodiment of Viriliter Age, giving of himself to others in the classroom, on the sporting field and in the swimming pool, as a Union representative, and as a colleague.



On top of all the accolades, the tributes and the kind words  – this was the greatest of all.

At the graduation ceremony last Saturday night, President John O’Hare surprised Richard Ward by presenting the absolute Jewel in the Crown –  Honorary Life Membership of the Old Boys Association.

Only bestowed in the very rarest of circumstances, there was universal acclamation as Wardy joined the other 250 graduates in receiving his very own Old Boys tie and three violets. Some even claim to have seen a tear in his eye.

Richard will undoubtedly be a welcome attendee at reunions for decades to come – and as an Honorary Life Member and living legend is permanently excused from having to buy a beer.

The OBA welcomes Richard as a member of that very elite group.

New Marist pool opens with a splash

The first student has dived into our sparkling new pool heralding the start of this year’s swimming season in world-class facilities at Marist.

Year 5 student Charlie Wilkinson was ‘extremely excited’ to have the honour of taking the first plunge after winning the lucky ticket in Headmaster Peter McLoughlin’s Raffle.  Led by an encouraging clap from his classmates and school officers, Charlie gracefully dived into the third lane of the 10-lane, 50 metre pool - to surface moments later with a wide grin. His photo will be framed and displayed on site to capture this historic event at the College.

Charlie’s mother Caroline says her son has always been very keen on raffles and was particularly excited about the Headmaster’s Raffle for the pool. He was asking to do various jobs around the house in order to earn the money to enter, so it’s delightful that his persistence paid off.

The new Marist Pool and Water Sports Complex is one of the projects of the Marist College Foundation who are still seeking donations to cover costs ahead of the official grand opening function early next year. Contributions can be made online HERE.

Year 5 student Charlie Wilkinson was ‘extremely excited’ to have the honour of taking the first plunge after winning the lucky ticket in Headmaster Peter McLoughlin’s Raffle



Some iconic photos have been created over the years which now form part of the great history of the College. This one is special for the Old Boys.

On St Patrick’s Day 1940, 75 long years ago, the first assembly was held in the shadow of the Tower. No paved driveways, refectory or TV rooms. Just dirt. In the middle of nowhere. Brother Ignatius O’Connor was there. So too were Denis Tarte, Colin Apelt,  Alf Cruden, Brian McGrath, William Ridley,  Don Whittington, Brian Cannon and  John Walpole. 

On 14th August 2015, eight of the original ‘Sons of Ashgrove’ returned to that special place. Only a few of their brethren remain from that historic first day. They came to savour the memories, to laugh and catch up. To remember how it used to be. The greatest of all reunions.

OBA President John O’Hare would ask all Old Boys to share this historic photos with friends and colleagues.     

Denis Tarte, Colin Apelt,  Alf Cruden, Brian McGrath, William Ridley,  Don Whittington, Brian Cannon and  John Walpole (Ashgrove Legends –17 March 1940).


After endless hours of consultation by our expert selectors, coaches and peers, the 15 men who make up the squad for the finest Ashgrove cricket team of the last 75 years have been announced.

Regard was had not only to their individual performances and the strength of their teams while at Ashgrove (nearly all were contributing members of undefeated and/or AIC or TAS premiership winning sides), but also to later performances at age, club and first class level. Those from the 1950’s were unanimous in their acknowledgement of the leg spinning brilliance of Brother Roger Burke (6 wickets in an 8 ball over) while team mates from the early 90’s still shudder at the thought of the express pace of Roberts. Connolly and Dux each were a schoolboy phenomenon who had outstanding  A grade performances at an early age before being lost to rugby. Thompson and Beath continue to forge successful careers in modern day grade cricket and we look forward to seeing them move to the next level. The selectors went for an extra leggie with the unplayable Dieckmann but also included gifted all-rounders in Greig, Cusack and Toovey. McPhee, Selwood and Hamill, from that golden era of 1976-80, round out an attack of the highest calibre. No doubt, the Hayden brothers would have guaranteed the team always had a big score to bowl to.

The OBA and the College thank the selectors who spent many hours in putting together not only this team but the teams from each decade.


A unique event occurred at the 75th Anniversary dinner last Saturday night.

Amongst a moving poetic tribute to Headmasters past, an eloquent toast to the College by the Chief Judge and an entertaining interview with Ray Meagher, came the moment of the cutting of the Jubilee Cake.

Hundreds of years of history came together when Old Boy, Brother Roger Burke, was joined to perform the honours by four headmasters, Ashgrove’s oldest living Old Boy, Ray Cottrell (aged 88) and no less than six sons of Ashgrove who attended the College on the very first day on 17th March 1940 ! A moment which set the room alight. Congratulations to all members of the Ashgrove community who worked so hard to produce such a wonderful event.


At the 75th Anniversary dinner in Brisbane on Saturday 1st August 2015, the Australian All Marist Team of the Last 75 years was announced. President of the Old Boys Association, John O’Hare, took the time to thank the selectors for a magnificent effort in producing a team for the ages which draws on the superb talents of those who have represented Marist Schools in the last 75 years. 


The 1980’s produced some magnificent cricketers. It would be a foolhardy Old Boy to suggest there has been any more lethal opening combination in the history of the College than McPhee and Kelly whose sheer pace made replacement stumps in the kit bag a compulsory item.  With both Haydens opening and the flawless technique of John Schouw at no. 3, one wonders whether the middle order would ever be reached. But no one can deny the 1970’s team were brilliantly gifted in all aspects of the game. No Ashgrovian has ever had a better strike rate then Hammill which would be backed up by the guile of Selwood  and Edwards from the other end. The team also possesses David Ford, a true all-rounder of the highest calibre. Really, were there ever any better decades than these two?


Dozens of brilliant tries were scored over those magical 10 years. But the "Try of the Decade" is not about razzle dazzle, skill and speed. It has been judged by the selectors on the strength of the opposition, the conditions, the scoreboard at the time, the player and, above all, whether it epitomised the Ashgrove spirit of never giving up --  ever ! It must be a try all Old Boys can identify with.
In June 2004, on a mud patch in a place far, far way, the 2004 First XV stared into the abyss -- the season gone against a powerful, unbeaten opposition -- an Iona side that had been specifically groomed for the last 5 years just to beat Ashgrove. Deep into injury time, the Ashgrove no 10 belted the sodden ball downfield. The exhausted forwards chased hoping for a miracle --except for 1 who was out on his feet. The Iona full back recovered and pounded the pill high and back into Ashgrove's half. Second row, Nick Cervetto  - exposed, exhausted and friendless -- found himself in possession 60 metres out with the superstar Iona full back (who they boasted never missed a tackle) bearing down on him……..

The rest, as they say, is history.

Fortunately, the moment was caught on video and the "voice of Rugby" Gordon Bray was in the commentary booth.  Watch for the Ashgrove student's reaction afterwards. Nick Cervetto -- Italian for Viriliter Age !

Follow the link to see the video:  https://juiceboxproductions.wistia.com/medias/w41umoagh9


Alex Pope rolled back the years to dominate proceedings in leading the Ashgrove Old Boys  to a  magnificent 4-3 victory over St Laurance’s in the inaugural Old Boys touch football challenge to honour Laurie’s centenary and Ashgrove’s 75th anniversary.

John O’Hare brilliantly coached a star studded line up which spanned the generations from Alex right down to Darcy Meehan, who captained the 2012 1st XV, in front of a huge crowd.

Thanks to all who participated in what will now be an annual fixture on the sporting calendar between the OB associations of these two great schools.

For those who would like to order one of the fantastic 75th Anniversary shirts please email   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





The Old Boys Association extends it congratulations to Kerry O’Brien (1967) on his appointment as Chief Judge of the District Court of Queensland.

Kerry’s appointment, as expected, has been met with universal acclaim given his unimpeachable record of integrity, intellect and hard work.

Old Boys who are lawyers have confirmed to the OBA the stature in which Kerry is held by the legal profession. One email described the appointment as follows:

The District Court is the busiest and most diverse Court in Queensland dealing with major criminal, civil and planning and environment matters in all corners of the State.

It requires a particularly gifted person to not only maintain the integrity of the judicial system but to also lead the Court in an age of advancing technology and disputes of ever increasing complexity.

The people of Queensland are fortunate to have a person of Kerry’s calibre prepared to accept this challenge. It is an extraordinarily difficult role. The unanimous endorsement of the legal profession, the judiciary and the broader community are testament to the absolute quality of his appointment. The Ashgrove community should be particularly proud that many of Kerry’s outstanding qualities – in particular his humility, compassion and dedication to hard work - were forged during his years at the College.

Kerry has remained a longstanding supporter of the College and served on the Foundation for a number of years. Sons Matthew (2006) and Michael (2007) are also Old Boys. Twin daughters, Amelia and Emily, attended Stuartholme.

The Association and the entire Ashgrove community wish Kerry and his wife, Donna, the very best as he takes on the demanding role of guiding the Queensland District Court into the next decade.

Contact Us

Frasers Road Ashgrove Q 4060
PO Box 82 Ashgrove West Q 4060
P: 07 3858 4555
F: 07 3858 4502
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