Although a Nudgee man, the Most Reverend John Alexius Bathersby D.D. was a great friend of Ashgrove. The Archbishop made countless visits the College and was the main celebrant at many Inaugural Masses. His Grace brought his real life experience and great humour when addressing the boys. A brilliant rugby player in his youth, the Archbishop favoured Ashgrove with his proudest moment – crash tackling Ashgrove’s greatest ever, Des Connor, when stoutly defending the try line. The Archbishop loved to recount to the boys how Des would acknowledge the ferocity of the tackle – “even though I didn’t have the ball, Your Grace.”
His Grace’s love of Ashgrove, however, was no surprise with 11 nephews attending the College: John Mahoney; Damien, Brendan, Chris and Dominic Bathersby; Steve and Ben Johnson; and Peter, Michael, Dan and Paul Nolan. There are also 3 Ashgrovian grand-nephews – OB’s Ben and William Bathersby and the youngest, Max Bathersby, now in grade 7.
May perpetual light shine upon John Alexius Bathersby.