Presented at the SPCOB annual dinner. For any nominations could you please send a short biography of the candidate including his achievements and contact details. Please also include contact details of the nominator. Forward by mail to the freepost address or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The award may be granted annually, and is honorary life membership granted under rule 7 of the Association.
The recipient will be an Old Boy who has promoted the betterment of the people of New Zealand, fostered the Catholic way of life and carried the principles taught at the St Patrick’s Colleges into the community.
The panel which will recommend the award, acting on its own initiative, or on the recommendation of the Executive will be the Rectors of the Colleges and the President of the Association.
Felix Kane left Silverstream at the end of 1945. He had spent four years at the College. His third form year, he had been spent at another school in another part of the country. During his time at Silverstream, Felix had gained University Entrance, been a prefect and a member of the 1945 1st XV which beat New Plymouth Boys’ High School – not a frequent event in those days. Felix considered that he owed a debt to the College. In 1946, he joined the St Patrick’s College Old Boys’ Association. For the next sixty-four years he was actively involved with the Association and the two Colleges, holding Office for about fifty years as Secretary.
Old Boys who were present at his Vigil, learnt a great deal more about Felix. We were all conscious of his service to the Old Boys. This was shown as his work as a Committee member, his interest in all that went on, his encyclopedic knowledge of Old Boys and their lives, the comprehensive filing system of Old Boys which he collated over the years and his attendance at funerals of Old Boys in various parts of the country. At his burial, we heard of other activities which took the attention of Felix – his work at a Knight of the Southern Cross, (he as Supreme Knight for New Zealand), his practical involvement in his parish of St Pius X and the parish school, his long service as a Board member of the Bishop Viard College Board of Trustees, the more mundane tasks of coaching junior rugby teams and giving a helping hand to those in need. Indeed, when he was manager of Accountants Publishers, his Secretary said that she was not too sure if she worked for Accountants Publishers, St Pius X Parish or St Patrick’s College Old Boys Association!
Felix was conscious of the College Motto, “sectare fidem” -“hold fast to the faith”. He was a man who put into practice what he has learned as a schoolboy in the classes of Fr “Cliffie”Bowler. He had a deep knowledge of the faith. He read widely on matters of the faith and the church. (I have inherited some of the international catholic magazines to which he was a subscriber.) This was also shown by his life as a praying and active Catholic.
In his Epistle to the Romans, St Paul talks of faith. This great apostle to the Gentiles insists that faith is dead and sterile if it does not flower into good works. Felix understood this message; many do not.
It is a sad fact of existence that the good that people do is so often acknowledged only after they are dead. To a large extent this is also true of Felix Kane. However, the current executive of the Association is to be commended in acknowledging Felix personally prior to his death in naming the annual award of Old Boy of the Year in his honour. His dedication is the criterion by which other outstanding Old Boys will be assessed.
In remembering the dedicated life and death of Felix Kane, we offer sympathy to his wife, Louie, and to his sons and daughters. Felix had many friends and they will be sad too. Numbered among these are all of us who mourn the passing of an outstanding Patsman.
Written By Fr. Brian Wysocki SM