On the 27 May, Trinity Sunday, the De La Salle Brothers celebrated the Oak Jubilee of Brothers Julian Watson and Christian Moe at St Bede's College Mentone, Melbourne. Several Brothers from across the District were in attendance to commemorate the special occasion: celebrating 80 years of serving the Human and Christian Education of young people by the Brothers.
Born one month apart in 1922, these Brothers have seen and lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s and experienced many decades of change and growth both in Australia and overseas. Brothers Christian and Julian joined the Brothers Novitiate, Castle Hill in Sydney, before commencing their teaching careers in the late thirties and early forties. Their commitment and dedication towards the work of the De La Salle Brothers is evident in each Brothers' timeline of service towards the mission.
"The Oak Jubilee of Brothers Julian Watson and Christian Moe is quite a momentous occasion, not only as a life achievement but a remarkable moment of privilege for the entire De La Salle Brothers community," said Provincial Br David Hawke.
Br Julian Watson, the second eldest of four children and educated by the De La Salle Brothers in Richmond, entered the Novitiate in 1938. He began his teaching career in 1940, working at De La Salle College Marrickville Sydney, De La Salle Orange and De La Salle College Cronulla. In the late forties, Br Julian arrived in Malvern where he taught Year 8 for the next three years, even teaching his own younger brother Ray.
Regarded as somewhat of a New Zealand pioneer, Br Julian became Principal and Director of the first Lasallian School at St Mary's Blenheim in the South Island of New Zealand in 1953, and later Principal and Director at De La Salle College, Mangere East and then to Francis Douglas College at New Plymouth for 10 years. Returning to Australia, he took up a placement at De La Salle College in Scarborough Queensland and in 1978-1987 returned to Malvern as a Teacher and Community Director looking after five young Brothers in Formation. He served as Deputy Principal from 1989-1993. In 1994, Br Julian became an assistant to Br David Hawke during Br David's first term as Provincial before finally retiring to the Malvern Community.
Br Christian Moe, after joining the Novitiate, commenced his years of service at St Bede's College Mentone and Ashfield De La Salle in Australia throughout the early fortifies. In the 1950s and 60s he studied in Rome and France which included Theological Doctoral Studies. He even got caught up in some French troubles in 1968 (the volatile period of civil unrest in France during May 1968).
Returning to Australia in 1970, Br Christian was engaged in the Formation of Brothers and the education of people training to be teachers. While a staff member at the Catholic College of Education at Castle Hill he became Head of Humanities and for a short time, Head of Religious Studies. At the age of 60, Br Christian was keen to retire but at the suggestion of the Provincial of the time, accepted a position at the Teachers' College in Mount Hagen Papua New Guinea for the next two years. After his PNG placement, Br Christian returned to Australia and continued to work tutoring students in Latin and writing articles for the Catholic Weekly Sydney. He also spent a period teaching at the seminary in Melbourne. He finally retired in 1998 and was awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal, also known as the 'Decoration of Honour' which is conferred for distinguished service to the Church for lay people and clergy.
Read the address by Br. Gerard Rummery: A Celebration of two Outstanding Jubilees