On the 30th November, 2008 the doors of Marist College Rosalie were closed but three years on the Marist community and spirit is still very much apart of the community. JACdigital investigates how the Marist Rosalie spirit continues to support Marist youths throughout Brisbane despite the schools closure.
After three years since its closure Marist College in Rosalie still continues to be a central part of the Marist community throughout Brisbane. The Rosalie site has now been converted into the Lavalla Centre which is now the main hub of the Marist community throughout Brisbane. Even though the school remains closed the Lavalla centre is now a place which accommodates for Young Marists in Brisbane (YMiB). YMiB is a youth program co-ordinated by Christian Noblez, which encourages both past and present Marist students to unite and rekindle their Marist spirit.
“Each month we run a Marist youth liturgy in the community and we also run retreats at Byron Bay and the Gold Coast which is a great way to catch up with everyone again.” Mr Noblez said.
The Lavalla Centre is not only the central hub for YMiB but it also accommodates for numerous other Marist communities. The director of the centre Brother John Thompson explained that ”The Rosa campus now facilitates for retreats for community and Marist spirituality groups, though it was a devastating event the Marist spirit still lives on within numerous Marist schools throughout Queensland.”
In 2008 the doors of Rosalie were forced to close for over 77 years Marist College school at Rosalie affectionately named ‘Rosa’ by its community members.These community members under the ‘Rosa’ old boys association fought for numerous years to keep the tradition of Rosa alive but due to falling numbers of enrollments Catholic Education was forced to close Marist College at Rosalie.
Marist Brother, Jeffery Barrington, was one of the numerous Brothers whom were heavily involved in the Rosa Community enlightened us on the issues on why the school had to close: “For a number of years the numbers of students at Rosa had been falling, mainly due to its location, inner city and in suburbs where there are very few children,” he said.
When the student numbers fell below 200 it was not viable to get the revenue to continue to keep the school open and so began a tough decision to close the school. Because the students attending Rosa had to travel long distances from way out on the western train line, Graceville, Corinda, Darra, Inala and Forest Lake, also Kenmore and beyond it greatly depleted the schools numbers.
Chris Begley the then president of the ‘Rosa’ old boys was one of the leading individuals attempting to protect the freedom and rights of the students of Marist College Rosalie and to ensure that the school wasn’t closed down. As seen on their website here numerous documents, media files and petitions were carried out but despite their efforts the school was officially closed at the end of 2008.
On the closure of the campus half of the buildings were given over to other diocesan activities but still today many elderly Brothers remain on the campus where they have been occupants since the beginning.
“It had a long and great tradition but it was no longer able to maintain its numbers,” Brother Jeff said.
The then current students had plenty of warning of its closure and most continued at Rosa for the last three years and then transferred to other schools along the railway line, such as St Lawrences, Gregory Terrace, and St Peter Claver at Riverview, and some on the northern side at Marist College Ashgrove. But with the Young Marist in Brisbane program it provides the opportunities for these students to still be innolved in there old school community.
For more information regarding YMiB visit their website here!