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on 8210 8223 or email
leaving a bequest?
PRESENTATION: Archbishop Philip Wilson was presented with a signed
copy of the book From the Paddock, The Comprehensive History of
St Mary’s Parish, by author David Shinnick last month. Elizabeth
Sawyer, who helped organise the publication of the book, said the first
print run of 100 had sold out on the launch day and a second print run
was planned. She is pictured with Mr Shinnick and Archbishop Wilson.
Any enquiries or book orders email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brother David was born in Adelaide to
Dorothy Agnes Blay (nee Brodie) and
Arnold Jack Blay, a brother to Lorna and
Growing up in Clarence Park, there were
musical nights on Sundays around the
pianola while his dad played a tin whistle.
The Catholic faith practice was very strong
with all the devotions that were popular
at that time. The Rosary was prayed
every night, even when friends or relatives
From grade four he attended Marist
Brothers Technical College at Thebarton
where he came across Brother Tom
Horgan, also known as Brother Godric,
who influenced David’s decision to join the
Marist Brothers because of his teaching
prowess and friendliness.
With strong family support, David left
Adelaide at the beginning of 1955 on a
long rail journey to Champagnat College
Wangaratta, in north east Victoria. Here he
joined other young men to undertake basic
preparation for the Brotherhood while
continuing his secondary education.
After three years at Wangaratta, David
progressed through the next two stages
of religious formation. At the novitiate he
enjoyed cooking and during his time in
the scholasticate he trained as a primary
teacher; he was a natural when it came to
engaging with the students.
After completing his primary teacher
training diploma in 1961, David was
appointed to Broken Hill. The bus arrived
in the early hours of the morning. He was
dressed in his black suit and Roman collar
and was unsure of where to go. The local
police sergeant, a Catholic, sensed his
dilemma and offered him a ride to the
Brothers’ house in the back of a paddy
Later, David moved into leadership roles,
first at Parkes in NSW where he was
principal of the combined primary schools
from 1971-76. David had a high regard for
the Mercy Sisters, with whom he worked.
During this time, David gained further
education qualifications from Bathurst
Teachers College and was invited to help
teachers in the region learn about the new
In 1980, David returned to Broken Hill, this
time as principal of the combined primary
schools where he again worked with the
Sisters of Mercy. His next appointment
was at Santa Teresa, in Central Australia
where he was principal of an Indigenous
community school. As he became more
closely involved with the people and
through gaining a deeper understanding of
the Aboriginal culture, he also learnt much
During a toast in recognition of David’s
golden jubilee, Brother Gregory
McCrystal referred to David’s diligence
and perseverance: “As was the case for
many Brothers in the early days of the
Province, David did much of his study on
a part time basis. Over the years David
has successfully completed studies in
teaching, educational administration,
business and accounting and community
leadership”. Shortly before he turned 50
David completed a Bachelor of Education
degree with Distinction.
After his time in Santa Teresa, David took
on the role of bursar for the Brothers. He
had a remarkable gift of making something
that appeared confusing and complex into
a simple and straight forward matter. He
did this graciously and with understanding.
David held this position from 1996 until
At that time David was also a member of
a number of Province committees. David
was admired, respected and loved by
all who worked with him. His proficiency
and capability were recognised and
appreciated. He also represented the
Provincial on the Sacred Heart College
Council, a role that gave him much
Despite a lengthy battle with cancer he
carried out his numerous duties and
responsibilities until his entry into hospital.
He had led a communion service at the
Oaklands Park Lodge only a few days
before he died.
Brother David was a man of integrity, one
who was disarmingly honest, a gentle
and quiet achiever, a man of dignity and
purpose and one who walked lightly but
with a sense of urgency – a true Marist
whose faithfulness nourished others.
Taken from the eulogy by Brother Des
A gentle and gifted educator
Br David Blay
Born March 8, 1940
Died August 7, 2014
Praying for Vocations in May
Fr Tony Telford-Sharp 8210 8120
Robyn Carroll, Manager
Archdiocesan Events 8210 8220
Vale Fr Sayers
The Adelaide Catholic community is
mourning the loss of Father Jim Sayers
who was a Diocesan priest for 59 years.
Fr Sayers passed away in the Flinders
Private Hospital on February 18 at the age
of 84. During his many years of ministry
he was involved in chaplaincy in the
armed forces and prisons and was parish
priest at Clearview/Kilburn for 30 years.
His funeral was held at the Good
Shepherd Church, Clearview on February
The Vicar General Father Philip Marshall
offered prayers and deep sympathy to
Fr Sayers’ family and Mrs Pat Hehir who
cared for him through his illness.
Parishes and readers wanting to publish a tribute of a
deceased relative (with consent from a family member)
in The Southern Cross can email details to cathcomm@
adelaide.catholic.org.au or contact us on 8210 8117.
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