Br Leo Austin Nelson was appointed Principal in 1950.
Br Nelson had served the Christian Brothers in South Africa and India. He was not exactly a 'team player' but a strong and unpredictable individualist. He began his tenure at St Joseph's with some controversial decisions - shortly after his arrival he changed the school uniform from navy blue to grey, the change came during a time of severe credit squeeze and shortages which resulted in both parents and shop keepers being unimpressed with the cost of replacing uniforms. He also introduced a new policy regarding chores and maintenance work around the College, assigning the painting and maintenance of ovals to the boys rather than the maintenance staff. Despite this, he maintained a healthy spirit in the school as he never required from others what he would not do himself - a good example of leadership as he worked as hard as any.
For all his controversial and surprising policies, much fruitful work was done and much progress was made during his tenure. He was determined to see that St Joseph's made its mark in both academic and religious spheres in a time where it was becoming harder to get sustained mental effort from the boys with the introduction of films, radio and illustrated papers.
On leaving St Joseph's Br Nelson became a novice master at Lower Plenty.