How Parramatta Marist Has Made a Difference - Old Boy Testimonials
Dr Toby (Taleb) Nasr (1992) General Practitioner
NAME: Toby (Taleb) Nasr
PROFESSION: General Practitioner with over 15 years experience.
I feel fortunate to have received a quality education at Parramatta Marist as this set the foundation for my tertiary studies and medical career. The combination of dedicated teachers, a supportive learning environment, a strong Catholic upbringing reinforced by the Marist Charism, and the significant sacrifices my parents made, have forged a lasting impression in my life. I truly am indebted to Parramatta Marist and the OBU Scholarship Fund is one way I feel I can help make a difference in the lives of current students. For me, it is an acknowledgement of what faith and education can achieve and an expression of appreciation for the opportunities that Parramatta Marist created for me. It is extremely humbling and powerfully uplifting to know that in some way you are continuing a great tradition and helping other young men go forth with strength and pride"
Gaby Elsusu (2011) Accountant
NAME: Gaby Elsusu
PROFESSION: Ernst and Young (Big 4 accounting firm) – Accountant in Financial services assurance. Graduated from University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Commerce (accounting and finance) in 2015.
PMHS provided me with a headstart into the working world through the advantages of PBL. This skills and attributes of teaming, communications and leadership are just a few of the numerous distinguishing characteristics embedded throughout an education at PMHS under the new and modernised style of teaching. The value of an education at PMHS goes far beyond the textbooks and school life playing a vital role in shaping the foundations of my university studies and future career prospects.
Robin Connelly (1955) Maths Teacher
NAME : Robin Connelly.
CLASS : 1947 to 1955.
PROFESSION : Teacher in State high schools for twenty two years - Bachelor of Science from University of Sydney, Teacher's Certificate from Sydney Teachers' College. Experience included fourteen years as Mathematics Subject Master and one year as Deputy Principal. Later, taught Maths at TAFE colleges.
My entry to Marist Brothers' Parramatta occurred almost 70 years ago when I enrolled in fourth class, with a staff of 14 dedicated Marist Brothers in a combined primary/secondary school of some 600 boys. The students came from as far away as Emu Plains, Kurrajong, Ingleburn and Glenorie for a Catholic High School education - there were many differences when compared with the sophisticated school of today. The discipline was different; we had no library, gymnasium, swimming pool, assembly hall or heating. We had large classes (some were over 50 in number), some were conducted on verandahs.
The school had a proud spirit - we were competitive in the sporting field, in athletics, in swimming, in cricket and Rugby League. Acadenic excellence was encouraged, school and government scholarships were worked for, class prizes were awarded. I am proud to have been one of the class of 1955 in which all 35 members were awarded the Leaving Certificate and twelve, I think, were awarded Commonwealth Scholarships to universities. The Brothers taught us perseverance, honesty, politeness, to think of others, to show respect for others, especially women and girls and to not seek riches at the expense of all else in life.
I was fortunate to have gained some teaching and leadership experiences while a student at school - in the Army Cadet Corps, I showed younger cadets how to assemble a Bren gun, how to march in step; in the school band, I trained younger buglers; in athletics, as a house vice- captain and as captain of a Rugby League team I gained useful knowledge. In my teaching career, I would have modelled my teaching methods on that of my own teachers. (I would suggest that fellow teacher classmates of mine would have done the same!) Despite the formal semi-aloofness of those days, I have affectionate memories of those men who gave voluntarily of their time to educate me. I was pleased to have made contact recently with three Brothers of my days of 60 years ago, namely Brother Patricius, Brother Cornelius and Brother Januarius.
We did not study music as a school subject - however, we were very active in choirs, participating in competitive eisteddfods, one in Sydney Town Hall, concerts and singing the liturgy at Mass. I still remember the words and melodies of many of the songs. The school drum and bugle band provided musical experiences for around 30 students at a time. In my teaching career and in the community I have continued the musical happenings of my school days.
The Brothers taught us the religious practices of those days mainly by way of their example in speech, behaviour and anecdotal discussion. MBHS Parramatta has had a profound influence on the life style of its students.
Mark Procajlo (1976) Lawyer
NAME: Mark Procajlo
PROFESSION: Lawyer with over 30 years' experience in commercial law
I am one of three brothers, one of whom is an ex Marist Brother, and I have five brothers-in-law. All eight of us were educated at Parramatta Marist High. Despite the occasional and, for some of us, regular canings back in those days, each of us has very fond memories of our time at the School. The Marist ethos of giving each student his chance to show what he can do – whether it be academically or at sport - is very evident now as it was then. I'm very grateful for the chances I received and for the significant role the School played in my development. The Old Boys Scholarship Fund presents an opportunity to give back. I am happy to support the Fund as an expression of my appreciation for what the School did for me and because of how the Fund can make a difference in the lives of both current and future students.