His Grace, Archbishop Daniel Mannix, officially opens and blesses St Joseph’s College on Sunday 3 February 1935. Brother Richard Xavier Butler, formerly Superior of St Mary’s, is appointed the first Principal. The College opens its doors with an official enrolment of 128 students.
Boarders arrive at the College. Brother Butler enjoys his Golden Jubilee Celebrations at the College in the newly constructed dining hall. His term in office comes to an end with significant building work concluded, turning St Joseph’s into a first class boarding college for boys of which Catholics could be proud. A ‘Butler Scholarship’ is instigated in his honour.
Brother Francis Hillary Molloy is Principal of St Joseph’s for the first half of the year, before returning to St Augustine’s Orphanage. Brother Francis Bertrand Jordan takes over as Principal for the balance of 1941. Due to failing health he is unable to continue the position in the following year.
Brother Cornelius Placidus Foley becomes the new Principal. The Parents and Friends Association is formed. One of the original House Captains of the school, Flight Sergeant John ‘Jack’ McNeil is killed in action flying from Singapore on 18 January 1942. The McNeil Memorial Cup is later donated to the school by his father to be awarded to the most distinguished student in study, sport, and conduct – it is still awarded today. Air Training Corps is established.
The St Joseph’s College Old Collegians Association is founded.
The ‘Josian’ College Magazine is first published. 133 former students see military service during the war, of whom 9 died. Their obituaries are recorded in the Josian at the end of hostilities.
Brother Oswald Stanislaus Adams succeeds Brother Foley as Principal. He is a keen supporter of the College magazine, which becomes titled “Virtus” and an annual publication. He also supervises and assists in the construction of the now Zampatti Oval, taking quite literally a hands on role assisting with digging and removal of stones.
The St Joseph’s College Army Cadets are established.
Brother Leo Austin Nelson succeeds Brother Adams as Principal. He changes the College Uniform from navy to grey.
Brother Kenneth Kilian O’Donohue becomes Principal. St Joseph’s has about 500 students including 80 boarders, and staff.
Brother Joseph Raymund O’Keane succeeds Brother O’Donohue as Principal.
Ad Alta Virtute makes its first appearance as a news bulletin. The College celebrates its 25th Anniversary with the launch of the Building Fund Appeal for the construction of a new block of 12 classrooms. The College’s Houses are renamed in honour of four Brothers who gave outstanding service to the College: Butler, Foley, Jordan and Brophy.
Total enrolment reaches nearly 600, almost 5 times the original intake in 1935. The first photographs of ‘Sons of Old Boys of the College’ appear in the pages of Virtus.
The Jubilee classroom block is completed.
Brother David Plunkett Carey succeeds Brother O’Keane as Principal. He completes the building program, including the library (which he plans himself) and a science laboratory.
Brother Carey oversees the phasing out of boarders at St Joseph’s College. The boarding house is closed at the end of the year.
Carey Oval is added to the College and the Quadrangle is sealed.
Brother Herbert Breach succeeds Brother Carey as Principal. The inaugural College Ball (later known as the formal) is held in Geelong City Hall.
Brother Kevin Roland Tuck succeeds Br Breach as Principal. St Joseph’s has a roll call of 880 students from Year 3 to Year 12. The Brothers’ House is demolished and a new residence, office and staffroom added in its place.
Three tennis courts are constructed on the old Palms Oval – which never was an oval – but did have palms.
The old boarders’ dining room is converted into a gymnasium.
The Cricket Pavilion is constructed on Zampatti Oval.
Brother Maurice Carthage Clarkson succeeds Brother Tuck as Principal. He resolves to improve various sections of the school and with the aid of Russell Zampatti converts disused rooms to classrooms and replaces benches with single desks and chairs. He also works to improve the tuck shop, office area, drains the College Pool which had become a nuisance and then turns to the gardens, seeking to begin making positive changes at the College by first making the buildings and gardens look fine.
College has its first computer for boys to use. 12 boys are introduced to basic computing at The Gordon Institute. The St Joseph’s College Cadets come to a close.
Brother Thomas Alexius Howe succeeds Brother Clarkson as Principal.
The Br O S Adams Multi-purpose Centre is officially opened. The new hall/gymnasium and drama centre further expands boys’ opportunities.
The College Board is formed to advise the Principal. The College celebrates its Golden Jubilee.
St Joseph’s becomes a Years 5-12 College with the younger Years 3 and 4 being phased out.
Peter Joseph Cannon succeeds Brother Howe. He is the first lay Principal appointed to the College. The Brother Tom Howe Creative Arts Centre is opened to give opportunities for practical skills in woodworking, art and design. The Br P A Rahill Resource Centre is opened.
The St Joseph’s College Foundation is established. The College celebrates its Diamond Jubilee.
The Old Collegians Annual Golf Day is reinstituted.
Pathways learning for Years 8-10 is implemented. The Josephines for mothers of former students is established.
Paul Francis Tobias succeeds Peter Cannon as Principal. Old Collegians members Des Podbury, Peter Larkins and Colin Silcock-Delaney carry the Olympic torch when it passes through Geelong.
All staff are equipped with laptop computers that can be linked to classroom video monitors.
“Ad Alta Virtute – Striving Together” the new College song is sung for the first time. The Peter Cannon Performing Arts Centre and Costa Auditorium is opened.
Pat Bourke Student Support Services Centre is opened. St Joseph’s celebrates its 70th anniversary. The Joseph sculpture is unveiled and blessed at the entrance to the College.
The Newtown and Chilwell Library is taken over by the College as the new home for the College Archives. St Joseph’s becomes a Years 7-12 College with the bridging Years 5 & 6 no longer running.
The College Celebrates 75 Years. Noble Street Oval is purchased by the College and renamed O’Driscol Oval in memory of Daniel O’Driscol who managed St Augustine’s Orphanage from 1857-1878. The original site of St Augustines was on the now O’Driscol Oval. The newly refurbished Br O S Adams Centre is rededicated and opened, now more than double the size of the previous centre and includes audio visual equipment, the Adam Bryant Wellness Centre, Physical Education classrooms and storage areas as well as increased staff study spaces. The College can now gather as one, indoors. Student laptops are introduced for one to one computing in Years 7 & 10.
The College purchases the Southern half of the old Western Heights Minerva Road Campus with the vision of converting the site into a standalone Year 9 Campus. Construction begins on a new Trade Training Centre at the Newtown Campus.
The Joseph Innovation Trade Training Centre is officially opened at St Joseph’s, offering students in the Geelong region a wide range of study opportunities in the fields of allied health, electrotechnology, plumbing, furnishings, building and construction and carbon management. The entire student community is equipped with laptops for one to one computing.
Year 9 students begin their first year at the new Westcourt Campus. Named after the birthplace of Edmund Rice, the founder of the Christian Brothers.
Westcourt is officially opened and
St Joseph’s for the first time, has more than one College Campus. It is an opportunity to challenge Year 9 and enhance their learning experience with an exciting new curriculum and innovative learning spaces.
The Paul Tobias Centre is officially opened providing a new Student Support and Careers Centre along with a new Staffroom, Boardroom, maintenance workshop, offices and classrooms.
Mary’s Chapel is opened providing a Spiritual place of gathering for students at the Year 9 Westcourt Campus.
The Mrs Pat Bourke Gallery is also opened giving students a gallery display space to showcase their artworks at the Edmund Rice Campus.
Tony Paatsch succeeds Paul Tobias as Principal. The College has 1730 students and over 200 staff.
In 2019 the College completed the construction of a new gymnasium at the Westcourt Campus. The funding of this new facility was made possible by the generous donations from the wider College community through the "Every Boy, Every Dream" capital appeal. The new facility houses a basketball court, circuit gym, classrooms amenities and storage.
Extension and renovation works were completed on the Peter Cannon Performing Arts Centre, this extension has increased the seating capacity from 260 to 360 thus allowing an entire year level to be accommodated. These works were also made possible via the "Every Boy, Every Dream" capital appeal. The College now has over 1800 students.
For over 80 years St Joseph’s College has provided a Catholic education to boys in the Geelong region. The story of St Joseph’s College will grow and change with time as we continue to ‘Strive for the Highest’.
As the journey progresses each year, we see our school as being a place of hope and encouragement for all members of our College community, past, present and future.