(From left) Libby Lee with St Augustine’s Principal Graham Meertens and BCE
Executive Director Pam Betts
TEARS flowed freely at St Augustine’s College, Augustine Heights, when the community farewelled one of the last of its foundation staff members.
Libby Lee retired after a 45-year career in teaching, the last 18 as a teacher, Guidance Counsellor, Assistant Principal and finally Head of Primary at the college.
In what was a wonderful surprise for Mrs Lee, the college unveiled a plaque in a special area of the college gardens dedicated to the love and passion she put into the college since it opened in 2003.
Named Roccaporena, after a village in Italy where St Rita of Cascia was born, it was hoped the area would become a place of adventure, discovery and sanctuary for staff and students alike.
As she unveiled the plaque Libby talked through tears, about her pilgrimage to Roccaporena and her connection to St Rita.
Long-time friend and BCE Executive Director, Pam Betts spoke at the gathering about the depth of gratitude owed to Mrs Lee for her commitment to Catholic education over 45 years.
Miss Betts paid tribute to Mrs Lee’s contribution to not only St Augustine’s, but to all the places she had made a difference, including St Edward’s School, Daisy Hill, St Pius X School, Salisbury, and St Martin School, Carina
“During those past 45 years, thousands of young people have benefited from your teaching, your commitment, your respect, your compassion and your care,” Miss Betts said.
“What an amazing legacy you leave,” she said.
An emotional Mrs Lee said her journey with St Augustine’s College had given her so many opportunities, memories, and friendships over the years.
“The children at St Augustine’s have always been the reason that made coming to work each day so remarkably rewarding for me,” she said.
“I have been blessed to witness incredible stories of resilience, persistence and student achievement at this place across many years.
“These will always hold a special place in my heart and the Augustinian spirit of this college will be with me forever,” she said.
The surprise gathering, which observed Covid-19 rules, began with a prayer led by Principal Graham Meertens and the college leadership team.
Mr Meertens invited College Board Chair and college parent, Lorraine Potts, to speak followed by P&F President Antonia Hanlon, who spoke about her shared memories and presented Mrs Lee with a wooden plaque.
Mr Meertens said a Catholic community could not be built from a book; it needed an investment.
“Time, dedication, care and strategic thought are the attributes Libby displayed during her 18 years at St Augustine’s College and we all benefit from this wonderful contribution,” he said.
“On behalf of the college community, including everyone who has been involved with the school over the past 18 years, we say thank you Libby.
“Your love, care and dedication to this community will never be forgotten and we hope retirement brings many happy moments as you share this time with your family and friends,” he said.
Brisbane Catholic Education Office
2A Burke Street, Woolloongabba Qld 4102 Australia
Turrbal and Yuggera Country
GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone: (07) 3033 7000
Fax: (07) 3844 5101