Joeys past parent, Bez Hines from Young, shared her story with other mothers at the 2018 Year 12 mothers mass, about her son Julius (2018), Joeys and the journey her family has taken.
My youngest son, Julius, has just completed his final year at Joeys. It’s exciting that he will soon be entering the next stage of his life, however I wish I had more sons so I could stay a part of the school for longer. It seems my son is ready to leave but I am not!
I feel very lucky he ended up at Joeys. We had initially enrolled Julius in another Catholic independent school but luckily, my husband Gerard attended an information night at Joeys, just in case. After listening to the Headmaster speak, wandering around the school and chatting with the boys, Gerard called me and said, ‘We need to send Julius to Joeys’.
It was the boys who changed his heart that evening. It was their manners and enthusiasm. It was their openness and sense of fun. Gerard commented that the day boys didn’t seem to want to go home. What a good advertisement for a school – students who don’t want to leave!
Joeys has a history of educating boys who didn’t want to leave. My grandfather graduated in the 1920s, even he only went home to Trangie at the end of each year. Between terms he would usually stay with his uncle, John, who was the barber at Joeys for 50 years. My own uncle and brother were also boarders.
Our start at the school was a significant change for the family. Julius was reluctant to even get in the car on our first trip from Young to Sydney, he then refused to let his beloved dog out of the car. Eventually we pried the dog from Julius’ tight embrace with the three of us crying and the dog whimpering. It was hard.
That first trip to Sydney now feels like a lifetime ago. The time between Year 7 and 12 has flown by in the blink of an eye. There was the anticipation of the next school holiday, bouts of homesickness, stress about school work, winter colds, hot sleepless nights – and that was just me!
As our families set up lunch on the College lawn, and our sons raced from picnic blanket to picnic blanket, the number of boys who came to lunch grew considerably between recess and lunch. Two boys often turned into 20 and it was a case of the more the merrier.BEZ HINES – PAST PARENT
The same was true for Julius. Weeks and terms were marked by the ebb and flow of school life. From earning a great maths mark and a win in rugby, to getting dropped from the team and the occasional Sunday detention. There was excitement and disappointment, all of which have shaped the young man he is today.
Then, all of a sudden, Year 12 was upon us. Although this last year has been hard work for all of us, for the mothers it has also been filled with lunches, Masses, dinners and weekends away. At the end of our time here, we can be proud of our sons and celebrate the connections we have made with our beautiful friends.
As a Joeys mother, I’ve relished the school’s rituals, My favourite of all the Joeys’ rituals, though, was lunch leave. As our families set up lunch on the College lawn, and our sons raced from picnic blanket to picnic blanket, the number of boys who came to lunch grew considerably between recess and lunch. Two boys often turned into 20 and it was a case of the more the merrier.
These lunches were a lovely way of getting to know Julius and his mates, and I often thought, there isn’t a place I would rather be than here with my son and his friends at this magnificent school. I often reflect on our privilege and good fortune to be able to access a Joeys education for our son.
We have had some wonderful years watching our son enjoy, and sometimes endure, secondary school. Throughout this time Julius has been cared for, educated and mentored by the kindest and strongest of people. They have never let him walk alone.
An Old Boy once described Joeys to me as, ‘A good place’. This simple sentence encapsulates it for me. It’s hard to understand what makes Joeys so special. There’s the Marist faith, history, brothers, teachers, parents, facilities, sport, art and culture. It’s all of this and more. Joeys has soul.
Julius will always be a Joeys Old Boy. This is a source of great pride and the basis of life-long friendships for both him and us. In his time at the school our son has become one of the boys my husband met at the information night so many years ago.