HISTORY OF THE HOUSES
The six Chevalier College Houses are Burford, Clancy, Giles, Osborne, Reid and Riversdale. Four of the houses were established in 1960, with the addition of Burford in 2010 and Clancy the following year. The original house colours were all different to today’s colours, and we are still scouring the college records to identify just when and why the colours all changed.
The inaugural year of Burford House, 2010, was an exciting and rewarding time for all Burford students and teachers alike. Fr Terry Herbert (Class of ‘57) commenced the first house meeting with a history of the name of the house, named after Fr John T Burford, a gentle MSC priest and past Rector of Chevalier College.
Fr Burford was on staff at Chevalier College from its first year in 1946-47, again in 1952 to 1956 and then 1975 to 1982. His dedication in working with the Chevalier Parents and Friends is reflected in the dedication noted in the window in the Riversdale Chapel.
Father Burford’s sister, Sr Philomena Burford RSSJ, dedicated many years to developing literacy at the college, further strengthening the Burford tie to Chevalier. Sr Philomena was here from 1988 to 1995.
There has been a terrific participation level at sporting carnivals, swimming, athletics and cross country. The colour purple stands out boldly as Burford members go to great lengths to develop house spirit and foster a real carnival atmosphere amongst the Burford students. Our past and current house leaders, as well as our senior students, have all helped to promote the spirit of Burford House. The new team’s grand entrance at their very first house athletics carnival was spectacular, as they marched united and singing out the Burford cries – a wonderful moment to be involved in.
Burford claimed the overall 2010 House Cup in their debut year – a fitting result for everyone’s efforts – and has since made a valuable contribution to the school community, setting a standard for others to admire from their first year, and foundations for a strong, cohesive and friendly house.
Why purple? Because purple is not yellow, green, blue or red!
During 2011 it was decided that, with increasing numbers of students enrolled at Chevalier College for 2012, a new house was necessary. Naming the new house “Clancy” with respect, honour and gratitude to our dear Br Ken Clancy msc, was a popular choice. Br Ken was born on 3 July 1925 and began his journey as an MSC Brother, undertaking his official Profession on 26 October 1960. A long time friend of Br Ken, Brenda Hill, says “Beneath Ken’s shy and quiet demeanour beats a resilient heart with a fierce determination and a passionate love for all God’s creatures.”
Ken still continues on his journey and there are many tales to tell about this wonderful and inspiring man. A small book about Ken’s life up to 2010 was compiled by long-time friends Brenda Hill and Terry Litchfield – click here.
One of Br Ken’s most visual contributions to Chevalier College was his annual planting of popular sunflowers. The huge sun yellow flower heads on long strong stems brightened the College gardens, and it was their deep orange centres that inspired the choice for Clancy’s orange house colour.
While Br Ken was our resident MSC Brother for many years, Clancy House is also dedicated with honour and acknowledgement of the contribution of all the MSC Brothers and non-teaching staff who contribute to Chevalier in the past, present and future.
Giles House began in 1960 and is named after Monsignor Joseph Giles (D.D. Dph), parish priest of Mittagong in the early to mid 1940s. Monsignor Giles recognised the problem of finding suitable secondary education for the boys of his parish since there was no Catholic secondary boys’ school between Campbelltown and Goulburn. Due to his prayers and exertions, together with the support of Cardinal Gilroy, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart were persuaded to open a college at Riversdale.
Gold was the original colour of Giles House. We are still scouring the College records to identify just when and why the colour for Giles House changed to BLUE!
Osborne House began in 1960, originally named Berrima House. Berrima was introduced in 1960 to identify the dayboys – non-boarders. The original colour of the house was sky-blue, but modern Osborne House members proudly wear yellow for their house. As to when and why the colour changed to yellow is not exactly clear.
The following is an extract from 1966 Year Book:- “It was decided in 1966 to abolish Berrima as a special house for dayboys; there are now boarders and dayboys in each house, the fourth house being named Osborne, with its colour, royal blue. The opportunity for greater mixing between boarders and dayboys has proved to have had a good effect on school Spirit.”
Osborne House is named after Henry Osborne. Henry Osborne acquired Sadlier’s grant (part of the now Riversdale property) and commissioned John Hunt as architect of what became the Riversdale House. In the early days of Riversdale there was much criticism as to the choice of location of the house – had they placed the building 150 metres to the south-west it would have commanded a superb view of the district, a picturesque panorama of the valley of the Wingecarribee – then in fact it would have been Riversdale, or the Dale of the River !
It appears the final choice of the house location was down to Mrs Osborne, who loved gardens, and the present locale gave her more scope for the sweeping lawns and the lush flower beds and hedges she did eventually produce.
Riversdale House began in 1960 – named after the property on which the original house was built in the late 1800’s. The property of “Riversdale” was owned by a number of individuals until, in 1946, the MSCs purchased the property with the intention of commencing a boys’ boarding school which we now know as Chevalier College.
The original colour of Riversdale was green – now proudly RED!