A Tribute to Terry Feely

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid: that foundation is Jesus Christ (1Cor 3:10-11).

As Foundation Principal of St Peter’s College from 1994 to 2009 Terry Feely has indeed been a master builder. He set a direction in 1994 and has held firm never losing his focus on our identity and Mission as a Catholic School.

He will be remembered for many things in our community, his love of literature and history which was the cornerstone and motivation for his teaching. An inspiring teacher he continued to share his great gifts and knowledge in the classroom despite the varied responsibilities of Principal that consumed his time.

Always with an eye for detail he took great pride in the development of the school master plan, ensuring that all areas of the curriculum had facilities that would give opportunities for students to develop their God given potential. Technology centre, Library, general classroom complexes, Multi-purpose Hall are to name a few of the facilities that were constructed under his stewardship. A stewardship that also understood the importance of financial prudence setting aside resources which were ultimately used for the future expansion of St Peter’s College for the benefit of generations to come.

A dry sense of humour was never too far from the surface and to go away on student retreats or staff conferences was to see another side of Mr. Feely, a great story teller and one who was at home with and enjoyed the company of others.

As mentor for many teachers who aspired to be leaders within schools he placed great pride in the fact that a number of those whom he had employed or guided in leaderships positions had gone onto Principalships in Catholic Schools or other senior leadership positions in Catholic Education.

As a member of the Diocese of Sale Secondary Principals Association Mr. Feely was a great supporter of Catholic Education playing significant roles on the Diocesan Education and Finance Committees. His great love of Celtic Spirituality and history saw him lead several tours of pilgrims on behalf of the Diocese to Scotland and Ireland. These tours were well received for the way he was able to impart his knowledge of different cultures and their spirituality in his unique and enjoyable manner. Mr. Feely was also a foundation member of the Southern Independent Schools (SIS) an organisation established to foster cultural and sporting activities among its 12 member schools in the southern and outer suburbs of Melbourne.

Mr. Feely has given enormously to Catholic Education and in particular to our school community. He has lived a life of Faith, Education and Service, a master builder who has laid a firm foundation for us to follow and we are most thankful. As a community we look to the future with great hope encouraged by our school motto to “Be Not Afraid“, as he so often said, reminding us to have faith in ourselves and faith in a God who walks beside us every step of the way.

I extend our deepest sympathies to wife Dorothy and Mr. Feely’s three children, Siobhan, Terry and Brendan.

Tim Hogan