You are currently viewing Peter Bernard Dawson – 1942 to 1996

Toast given by Peter Dawson in 1993 at Rosalie Old Boys Annual Dinner



  • Captain First XV
  • Vice Captain TAS First XV


  • Captain First XI
  • Best Bowler First XI
  • Best Batsman First XI
  • Captain TAS First XI


  • Captain A Grade Tennis
  • Open Tennis Champion – Singles & Doubles


  • Open Swimming Champion


  • Open Athletics Champion

Army Cadets:

  • Cadet Under Officer

All achieved in his last year at College:

In 1993 Peter was asked to Propose the Toast at the Old Boys Annual Dinner.
Peter was waging a battle with Cancer – Multiple Myeloma. In 1992 March [On  his 50th birthday] Peter was told he had Cancer and it was one he would not recover from.
The Doctors offered Peter a chance to live a little longer than the original 3 – 6 months by having a bone marrow transplant.  

Peter’s younger brother Tony was a near perfect match and later in that year following a massive spinal operation, many doses of chemotherapy and radiation his body was ready for this chance of longer life.

The transplant was a success [we can never thank Tony enough for what he gave to Peter and us his family.

Now, here he was able to happily, not only attend the Rosalie Old Boys Annual Dinner but to Propose the Toast to the College that he loved so much.
Here is the talk in entirety he gave on that night. Hopefully, it will bring back many memories to you and give an insight for the more recent “Old Boys” of a past life at “Rosalie”.

“Rosalie - The Fabulous Fifties”

For most of us who served the “full term” we started off at the convent with Sister Mary De Richi – then progressed to the “Girls School” for one year then over to Rosalie Marist Brothers for what was then known as Grade 4.

We were a slightly different school in those days – we paid 1/3 per week school fees. The hat was an integral part of the school uniform and if you were spotted not wearing your hat, you frequently were requested to walk back to the “tram stop”, put it on – and come to school suitably dressed.

We played rugby League in the early 50’s. Boxing was another sport we participated in.
Brother Cyprian soon put a stop to both of these, boxing ceased immediately, and we converted to Rugby Union. A new Association was formed – MCSA – Metropolitan Catholic Schools Association – later to be known as TAS – The Associated Schools.
Most of our students came from Bardon, Paddington, Milton, Rosalie, Toowong, Rainworth and all stops along the “Western Line”. We had 120 boys in one class of a total of 550. We only had 120 in all the Senior classes – Sub Junior, Junior, Sub Senior and Senior – so naturally everyone played in the football, cricket, swimming, tennis and athletics teams. We had to, to make up the numbers. These were the only sports the school played.

On sports days, usually Wednesday each week, we would either walk down to Ithaca Baths or play cricket and football at Finney Park* and Milton state School.
The “Brothers” of note in those days were Regis, Cyprian and Colman as headmasters.
Then Walston, Austin, Norman, Marcellin, Frobert, Bennett, Reginald, Conrad, Declan, Kevin and Harold.

We had a very good school choir in those days – brother Norman’s pride and joy, Miss Denaro would come over each afternoon and just before a concert, Sister Mary Dorothy would come over and ‘check us out’. The highlight for the choir was the picnic day to Shorncliffe.
Army Cadets played a large part in our school curriculum also. Our band was considered one of the best around and we certainly had some fun at the annual camp at Greenbank.

During these years, we had a tremendous P & F Association. With help from some of the Brothers, the men’s auxiliary cemented the whole of the bottom terrace – near the tennis court and put in cricket wickets and most certainly solved the dust problem. Made it more difficult for marbles though!

Our real ‘working bee’ was the work we did at Lavalla, our newly acquired playing fields at Fig Tree Pocket, Brother Cyprian acquired them from Luton White of Barnes Auto – “we never sleep” – fame.

We should be and are forever grateful to Luton White and the far sightedness of brother Cyprian for these magnificent fields. We all played our part with the fields – we missed out on sport quite a few weeks as we were all “requested” to bring a bag of best quality couch grass to school (no paspalum allowed) and instead of sport, we dug out weeds and planted grass and trees.
Because we were considered one of the “poorer” type schools (we never thought so), we learnt many lessons in life the hard way. We were taught things that remain with us all today – the team spirit, the camaraderie, the school spirit. We mightn’t have been the biggest or the best, but we never doubted our ability and took much pleasure in beating Ashgrove, St Laurence and St Peters’ whenever we could and that was reasonably often.

We also learnt how to lose, not that we wanted to, but we found out its important to be able to lose gracefully – and come back even harder next time.

One particular saying of Brother Cyprian always stuck in my mind, even while I was at school. I think I only fully understood it many years later.

It went:

Three things come not back:
The thrown stone,
The spoken word,
and The lost opportunity.”

I trust and hope that all other students through Rosalie had, and have, as much fun and adventure learning as we did between 1950 and 1960. It was, and is, a great school and I was extremely honored and humbled to be asked to propose the “Toast to Rosalie” I cherish the moment.

Tell us your Story!

Are you an old boy or former staff member of Marist College, Rosalie? We would like to hear from you. Telephone Jim Griffith on 0419 715 697 or email your name, address, and the year you finished at the College to