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Brother Patrick Ambrose Treacy CFC (August 31, 1834 – October 2, 1912) was a Roman Catholic educationist who established the first permanent Christian Brothers community in Australia in 1868.

Early life

Br. Treacy was born on 31 August 1834 at Thurles, in County Tipperary, Ireland. He was educated at the Christian Brothers school in Thurles, and he himself joined the congregation in Waterford (where the Congregation’s founder, Edmund Ignatius Rice, had founded the first school) in February 1852.

Foundation in Australia

In 1868 Bishop James Alipius Goold asked for a community of Christian Brothers to establish schools in Victoria, Australia. Treacy was chosen as leader, and with three confrères arrived in Melbourne in the Donald McKay in November. Treacy opened a primary school in Lonsdale Street in 1869.

Undaunted by lack of money, Treacy initiated a colony-wide campaign to finance land and buildings. With generous help from colonists of all religious backgrounds a college was erected in Victoria Parade on Eastern Hill, Melbourne. Duly called Parade College, this school still operates, albeit on a new site at Bundoora. Opened in January 1871, its final cost was about £12,000.

By 1900, when Br. Treacy retired after thirty years as a provincial superior, he had established twenty-seven schools in the principal cities of Australia, and one in New Zealand. He was recalled to Ireland in 1900 as an assistant to the superior-general of the Christian Brothers, and returned to the Australian province in 1910. Although retired, he insisted on working and was sent to Brisbane, where he died at St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace, on 2 October 1912.




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