LAST week the courtyard at Christian Brothers College was overflowing with excitement as a giant bronze statue of the school’s founder, Edmund Rice, sunk its feet into the grounds and begun to mingle with students.
Rice, a roman Catholic missionary who dedicated his life to educating the poor and disadvantaged, founded the first Christian brothers’ school in 1802. His principles and teaching methodologies proved highly popular and and there are now hundreds of his schools across the world.
Fremantle CBC principal Dominic Burgio says the statue, created by Freo sculptor Greg James, is a nod to the past.
“We’re trying to make sure that Edmund’s legacy is maintained and that the boys understand the roots of the school, which is why the students learn about him as early as year seven,” he says.
In addition to the statue, the school has just installed a colourful pavement mosaic with four touchstones that reflect Edmund’s teaching ethos.
An accompanying mosaic ws created by Freo artist Jenny Dawson. It was her first collaboration with James, though they’ve shared adjoining studios at J Shed for more than 25 years.
Ms Dawson says the mosaic was an incredible test of her ceramic skills, and believes it was “touched by the hand of god” as a big black circle mysteriously appeared through the clay on one of the tiles.
On Monday night (February 18), 2000 locals gathered around the statue and mosaic for an opening mass.
by CHARLIE BRAY