JPC Eagle Summer - page 9

“For example, we had no library, no science
laboratories, no sporting facilities, a caravan
for a tuckshop; and, when we opened,
I, as Principal, had only enough money
to pay my teachers up to the Easter holidays,”
he added.
In spite of such humble beginnings,
John Paul College survived and flourished;
and soon became recognised as one of the
finest of independent schools in Australia.
“From the day of our foundation,
our emphasis was always on establishing
a culture of excellence and students were
encouraged to see themselves as people who
would “soar like eagles” and never be alone
in their efforts to do so. Staff and parents
were the “wind beneath their wings” and this
allowed them to soar to greater and greater
heights,” Mr Munns said.
For two decades, Mr Munns believed
he was simply “plain lucky” and honoured
to have supporting him the Board, dedicated
staff, committed parents and the hard working
students. He also acknowledged the wind
beneath HIS wings – his own family.
“Being Principal of a great independent
school – especially setting one up in an area
where there had previously been none – being
Principal of such a school can be a lonely job,”
Mr Munns said.
“The value, of a wife and family who not
only support your educational “impossible
dream”, but who are willing to live it with you,
can never be over-estimated. From Noelene,
I had the added advantage of professional
support of the very highest calibre. Indeed,
John Paul College
officially celebrated
30 years of history
at the Foundation Day
Assembly in August
and there was no more
fitting guest speaker
than Foundation
PRINCIPAL, Mr Cec Munns.
Mr Cec Munns and Father Leo Burke walk through
the Guard of Honour
Foundation Chairman, Mr Harry Coleman joins
Mr Cec Munns to officially open the Noelene Munns
Learning Centre
john paul college
uring his speech, Mr Munns
shared some of his knowledge
of the struggles in establishing
John Paul College some 30 years
ago, and the joys and tribulations of the first
decades of remarkable growth.
“Firstly, could I share that neither our
Founders nor I ever imagined, when we
opened John Paul College in 1982, that it
would become such a great school in such a
short time,” Mr Munns said.
With the determination of parents
to provide the very best education for their
children, meagre funds and one transportable
wooden building, John Paul College opened
on Australia Day, 1982, in the Drake Building
– our “wooden shed”.
“As you look at our great facilities, today,
it is difficult to comprehend the absolute
humility of our foundation,” said Mr Munns.
Noelene, herself, had many dreams for John
Paul College; and most of these became
educational realities in her time.
“However, her dream of a purpose-built
Library/Learning Centre for her Prep to Year
7 students was not turned into reality in her
time,” he added.
Mr Munns said that with the opening
of the magnificent Noelene Munns Learning
Centre, that she would be looking down and
smiling, with a message of “Well done, in the
service of the young people entrusted to you!”
“Life has taught me that there is no stopping
an individual who has a really powerful
dream,” he said.
“Noelene’s “powerful dream” was to nurture
those in her care to excellence. She turned that
dream into reality not only for her students and
staff at John Paul College, but also for those
of us of her close family. She was and remains
“The Wind Beneath our Wings”.
Life has taught me
that there is no
stopping an individual
who has a really
powerful dream.
Foundation Day
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