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Friday November 21 2008 is a day that will
always be etched in the minds of the Ryan
family; the day they lost their beloved son and
brother in a tragic car accident.
Martin Ryan, 17, had just completed his Year
12 studies at Xavier College and had applied
to study music the following year. The talented
musician was with a fellow band member when
their car crashed and they were both killed.
As his mum Annie told The Southern Cross,
losing a child is not something you ever “get
over” and she and husband John and adult
children Millie and Bart continue to talk about
and remember Martin each day.
They were therefore very grateful to learn that
Xavier College last year erected and blessed a
memorial cross which stands as a reminder of
those members of the school community who
have passed away.
“There’s been about five students from the
school who have died and it’s a nice spot to
remember them,” Annie said.
While Bart graduated in 2012, the Ryans have
continued to have a connection with the Gawler
Belt college through their generous funding of
the annual Martin Ryan Music Award. This award
is presented to the student deemed to be the
most passionate about their music and in 2016
the recipient was Kyle Savil.
“Martin loved music. He played rhythm guitar in
a band and little did we know until after he died
that he had applied and was accepted to study
music at university,” Annie explained.
While Martin remains close to their hearts, the
Ryans unfortunately lost all his memorabilia
– including the piano and the guitars he used
to play – in the Pinery fire which destroyed
their family home in 2015. The tragedy was so
great they decided not to rebuild and have now
relocated to Freeling.
“I remember at the time saying a few prayers as
I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Annie
recalled of the moment when she decided to
leave the property and she saw that the roof of
their home was in flames and the nearby sheds
were also alight.
“We lost everything, but the sun still comes up
and we’re lucky we are alive.
“Our son’s memory lives on with the students
who win the award at Xavier, so they can
continue their love of music. The ongoing
support our family has received from the school
fraternity has also been phenomenal in helping
us recover from tragedy.”
CLOSE TO HER HEART: Annie Ryan with a photo of her son Martin at
Xavier College’s new memorial cross.
Place to reflect
By Lindy McNamara
Monday 6 March 2017, 6pm to 8pm
Open doors, Open minds, Open hearts
53 Wakefield Street, Adelaide SA5000 | Ph 8217 3200 | Fax 82124908 | email@example.com | www.sac .sa.edu.au | CRICOS Provider No: 00371F
A Ministr y of Mercy Education Ltd
Congratulations to our wonderful
Year 12 Class of 2016 on their
outstanding SACE results.
100% of SAC students successfully
achieved their SACE.
Our students received an outstanding
total of twenty two (22) Merit
Certificates across a range of subjects
including the areas of English,
Mathematics, Science, Humanities and
Social Sciences and Research Project.
Year 12 Dux 2016 achieved
an ATAR of 99.75
Coming from a nation renowned for its long
distance runners, Kenyan priest Father Charles
Lukati is quick to point out that he is happy to
simply finish a race.
The Aberfoyle Park parish priest has completed
five long distance events since coming to South
Australia three years ago and is planning to
compete in the Sunday Mail Bay-City Fun Run
next month to help raise money for Project
“I just love it – it’s hard, but once you get into
it you’re hooked,” he said of his passion for
In preparation for the 12km event, he has been
running three to four times a week in the Belair
National Park, his favourite spot for a jog.
“The quietness of the area is beautiful, it’s a
chance for reflection,” he said, adding that
praying the rosary takes his mind off the pain.
“It is a break from your usual activity, something
different and good for your health.”
Fr Charles is hoping others will join him in the
Bay-City Fun Run on Sunday March 19. Or if they
are not up to the distance, they can run or walk
the shorter course of 4.5km. Some of the funds
raised through Project Compassion, the annual
Lenten Appeal of humanitarian and development
agency Caritas, will go towards projects in
Caritas Australia’s local committee is organising
the Project Compassion team for the event and
will provide participants with branded t-shirts and
online sponsorship pages.
Project Compassion will be launched on Ash
Wednesday, March 1, during midday Mass at
St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, followed by a fish
burger lunch in Mary MacKillop Plaza.
For more information contact Angela Hart at
the Caritas Australia Adelaide office on
8210 8172 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Going the distance for compassion
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