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Fifteen-year-old pilot Luke Celigoj was
1200 feet above land near Murray Bridge
completing engine failure drills when he
heard a mayday call.
It was from a pilot nearby whose plane’s
engine had failed.
Without hesitation, the Year 10 Christian
Brothers College student took control
of his plane so that his flight instructor
could quickly co-ordinate a search for the
stricken plane. Calculations estimated it
was on the ground somewhere between
Murray Bridge and Goolwa.
It was soon discovered that the pilot was
safe after having ditched his plane in a
Disaster had been averted. And, for Luke,
precious extra time in the air was gained.
“It was a pretty amazing day,” he says.
Luke says the experience has not dented
his determination to fly for the Royal
Australian Air Force or a commercial
He obtained his recreational pilot’s licence
for a light sport aircraft in February after
clocking up more than 24 hours of flying
Luke worked part-time after school at
a service station last year to pay for the
expensive lessons, totalling about $5000.
He’s now working towards cross country
flying, which requires a two-hour solo
flight, and has his sights set on gaining
a commercial pilot’s licence once he
finishes Year 12. He’s been involved in
the Australian Air League and the Royal
Australian Air Force cadets.
“I’m pretty passionate about flying,” he
Luke’s earliest recollection of his desire
to fly was at an air show in the Barossa
when he was eight years old. “I saw those
planes and I thought: ‘I want to do this for
Paul Belton says his five years running the
Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club and
decades on the field as a player and coach
will help him lead 635 boys and 75 staff at
St Paul’s College.
Mr Belton has been appointed principal
of the all-boys college in Gilles Plains. In
2017, he will oversee the college’s historic
move to an R-12 school. The school began
enrolling Reception students in 2013 and
currently teaches years R-2 and 5-12.
The 56-year-old former SANFL player
clocked up 252 games at the Port Magpies
and West Adelaide over 14 years and
represented the State twice. He played
in three premiership teams, coached the
Magpies U/17s and was an assistant
coach to the Magpies League team during
the 1998 and 1999 premiership seasons.
“I grew up in a family of nine children,
with very supportive parents, only 400
metres from Alberton Oval and Dad was
very involved in sport,” said Mr Belton.
(His father Keith was a junior champion
swimmer, a State amateur footballer and
administrator of the Semaphore Centrals
Mr Belton said his role as a father of
six children and coach to hundreds of
footballers over the past 30 years had
certainly shaped his leadership style.
“As parents in a big family, Deidre and
I have had to understand all the unique
talents and differences of our children and
try to encourage them to make the most
of their abilities and, as a coach, in a team
environment, you need to do the same
thing and make sure you’re all on the same
page, working with and for each other in
order to achieve the same goals.”
One of his first goals is to make St Paul’s
a “school of choice and excellence for
boys”. “It is a wonderful accepting and
diverse community, full of very dedicated
staff...and I aim to ensure more people are
made aware of how good it is.”
Since 2011, three St Paul’s College Year
12 students have received the Governor
of South Australia Commendation for
academic excellence and community
The college’s leadership team has this
year adopted the theme “Year of Achieving
In his first college newsletter, Mr Belton
explains: “What this means for all of us is
that we are charged with the responsibility
of maximising our God-given talents and
must strive to achieve our personal best in
all we do. This theme will permeate all we
do this year and no doubt inspire our boys
to achieve great things.”
Mr Belton, a eucharistic minister at Henley
Beach Parish, said he also wanted to work
with principals of local Catholic primary
schools to encourage all children and
their families to continue their Catholic
education post primary school regardless
of their financial situation.
He was educated at Blackfriars Priory
School, Prospect, and upon graduating
in 1975 immediately sought a career
in teaching. His first teaching position
was instructing Year 6 and 7s back at
Blackfriars, where he went on to become
sports coordinator and later SACE and
Year 11 coordinator. In 1995, Mr Belton
was appointed assistant deputy principal
at St Michael’s College, and two years
later as a deputy principal.
From July 1999 to July 2004, he was
chief executive officer at Port Adelaide
Magpies Football Club. He then went on to
various leadership positions at Rostrevor
College, including deputy principal and
acting principal, and spent time as acting
principal at Marcellin Technical College.
Mr Belton also coached the Rostrevor Old
Collegians Football Club for five years in
the early 1990s.
He replaces Daniel Lawler who has moved
to Canberra to head St Edmund’s College.
TAKING OFF: 15-year-old CBC student Luke Celigoj has received his pilot’s licence
after more than 24 hours in the air. Left: Luke after his first solo flight last year at
Luke sets his sights on the heavens
Paul ready to kick goals for St Paul’s
NEW TEAM: Former SANFL footballer Paul Belton has been appointed principal of
St Paul’s College. Above right: Paul playing for the Port Adelaide Magpies in 1979.
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