Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, an Australian community, in a worldwide religious congregation.
Jesus loved with a human heart: with him we proclaim his love to the world.
We work to discover through advocacy, healing and reconciliation, God's presence in our world.
We are to be on earth the heart of God. God has no other heart but ours.
- Published: Thursday, 04 November 2010 11:06
IN MEMORIAM: FR BILL ROSS
Fr Bill Ross of the diocese of Townsville died on August 20th 2010. He had been a priest of the diocese for 52 years. He did his seminary studies at the Sacred Heart Monastery Croydon and was professed in February 1944 with Maurice Griffin and Aub Collins. He spent eight years teaching at Chevalier College, Bowral, 1951-1958.
His funeral took place at St Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane, Bishop Michael Putney the celebrant. Fr Terry Herbert MSC from Chevalier, who had been taught by Br Ross and had been encouraged by him to pursue his interest in meteorology, represented the MSCs.
Bill Ross served in many capacities in the diocese of Townsville but spent later years under the care of Mrs Dorothy Bondio in Brisbane. One of his other accomplishments was a talent for ballroom dancing.
Chevalier ex-student, Tony Herlihy, collected tributes from former students, who acknowledged his talent for educating, his methodical approach to what he did and his skills in teaching. ‘He was a good and interested teacher.’ Initially, rather severe in discipline, he remained strict but affirming of students.
Paul Cassidy (1953-1958) wrote:
Third year English was a delight, with witty remarks written in our books in red and signed "WR" or was it "WMcPR"? I have a diary from this year 1955, recording the time he took to teach us the words of Auld Lang Syne. His favourite topics were Ipswich ("Ip-srich") and anything Scottish. I think strappings and slappings had ceased by then. He would frequently read us the Herald leaders and get a discussion going, emphasising the rigour of thinking. He hated ignorance dressed-up as knowledge, and his favourite phrase "Be an intellectual, eh" was mimicked by us for the next 50 years. He also used it to send himself up. I think he genuinely tried to stretch us intellectually by constant questioning - the Socratic Method. His fourth year Modern History classes were classics, involving play-acting and drama that we listened to second-hand after coming back from a dry-as-dust Latin class.
Terry Herbert wrote:
He taught me English, Geography, Religion, Modern History, some Maths (Junior years) ... a "Keating" of "Dead Poet's Society" in the way he educated us, inspired and encouraged ... especially my weather interest..... convincing a 13 year old to "write for the weekly local paper" ! .... which I then did, for 6 years, thanks to Bill.
Philip Malone wrote:
He was one of my best teachers – though rather tough on us as youngsters as far as discipline was concerned. He introduced me to Greek in an entertaining and interesting way and, while somewhat ‘traditional’ in approach, introduced me to the study of Shakespeare and gave us a sense of learning and appreciating English as communication rather than exercises relating to rules and patterns.
Gerard Coyte wrote:
I remember studying "Kidnapped" in his English class and how proud he was of his Scottish heritage.
Geoffrey Caban wrote:
He was always generous and kind to me. He was my first cricket coach, and I recall that he was always encouraging, never harsh.
Though he probably didn't have great natural talent at sport, he was obviously very determined. I remember him telling me that as a schoolboy he had to undergo a tackling test to make his school team. The test was held on gravel, not grass. 'At the end of the session I had no skin left on my legs or elbows', he told me. 'But I made all the tackles'.
He encouraged me to enter my first Public Speaking event at the Bowral Eisteddford in 1956. The title of my speech was 'The Best Things in Life Are Free', and Br. Ross may have contributed more than a bit to the content. At least this was the view of Michael Friend, an unsuccessful opponent. The five pound prize went a long way in the tuck shop.
Peter Malone wrote:
He was certainly one of the best teachers at Chevalier, for English, Religion and for Ancient History.
Other former students acknowledged their indebtedness to him, some also remembering severity along with their appreciation.