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Laurels Society Annual Lunch 2019


Xavier College owes much to the generosity of its donor community both past and present. But in many cases, it is the foresight of those who have left a bequest to the Foundation that has had the greatest impact. Leaving a bequest to Xavier College Foundation is an opportunity to honour how you wish to be remembered and can provide a lasting legacy that benefits generations of Xaverians to come. The Laurels Society at Xavier College celebrates those who have notified us of their intention to leave a bequest and each year come together for an annual luncheon to recognise and thank existing and welcome new members.

This September the luncheon was held at Green Acres Golf Club and our guest speaker was bursary recipient Sam Ellis (OX 2011).  Although Sam confessed he was not a “huge public speaker” the guests were completely enamoured with his authentic, humble and sometimes profound reflection on his time at Xavier. Here is an excerpt from Sam’s speech:

My connection with Xavier was a long standing one, My great uncles attended the school, my uncles and father attending the school and boarding house, my brother Pat (class of 2007) similarly so attended Xavier. Often, I’d sit down with my Dad and uncles and listen to stories of the ‘good old days’.

[As a boarder at Xavier], Being exposed to such a high-performance environment that encouraged and facilitated success and the celebration of doing well in whatever your chosen field, was brilliant. Rural communities often suffer with [poor] resourcing and isolation, yet the ability of country kids to continue to do well at school and at times outperform city counterparts and peers is testament to a willingness to do well, irrespective of the hurdles and obstacles they may face. However, being immersed in an environment where all students wanted to do well, compete and strive for success indeed spurred me on and raised my output. Truth be told if I stayed in Mildura and completed my VCE, hand on heart I don’t think I’d have had the scores to study Law at Uni. 

My story is not one that is overly unique, in fact many of my fellow boarders could probably recount a similar, if not more impressive, background as to how they ended up where they are today. But that is beside the point. For I have no doubt that but for the generosity, support and compassion of people like those in this room I would be half the person I am today. To my mind, all it takes to change a community is to change one person’s perspective – however you have all done so much more than that.

So, thank you for your past and continued support for the school and various initiatives, your generosity creates wonderful opportunities for people that otherwise wouldn’t have had. You have provided, experiences, friendships, enabled and facilitated growth that cannot be quantified nor aptly explained. I hope one day I too can be sitting in the audience, in a position to provide the wonderful opportunities afforded to myself, the many before me and the many after me will have , all due to your selflessness, your want and will to make a difference and thinking purely of others before yourself.

If you would like to learn more about leaving a bequest to the Xavier College Foundation, please contact Ms Lucy Cohen, Associate Director of Development on +61 3 9815 4838.

Wed, 18 Sep 2019