- 9 November-15 November 1882 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
Born: 12 February 1817, Waterford City
Entered: 16 December 1836, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: c 1850
Final vows: 08 December 1857
Died: 04 January 1905, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Mission Superior Australia : 1866-1872; 01 November 1879 - 02 September 1833
Older bother of James - RIP 1907
by 1847 at Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1853 Theology at St Beuno’s
Early Australian Missioner 1866; First Mission Superior 01 November 1879
◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was an older bother James - RIP 1907
His early life after Ordination in the Society saw him as rector at Tullabeg from 09 October 1861. previously he had been Minister at Clongowes, where he had been a teacher and prefect for Regency earlier.
1866 he was sent to Australia as Mission Superior, and duly sailed in the “Great Britain” to Melbourne.
Paraphrasing of “The Work of a Jesuit in Australia : A Grand Old Schoolmaster” - taken from a Sydney Journal, who took it from the “Freeman’s Journal” :
The name of Joseph Dalton is known and reverenced by many people, both Catholic and Protestant. He was known as “the grand old man of the Order” in Australia. Though he is known throughout Australia, it is possible that many don’t quite realise the benefits this man brought through his practical, wisdom, foresight and hard work during the past quarter of a century. The Catholic community were hampered by the fact that the State withheld all aid from higher scholastic institutions, witnessed by the fact that both St Patrick’s Melbourne and Lyndhurst Sydney were both closed before the Jesuits came. Towards the end of 1865, William Kelly and Joseph Lentaigne came to Melbourne, and were quickly joined by Joseph Dalton, Edward Nolan and John McInerney and they reopened St Patrick’s. Three years later, Joseph with consummate foresight, purchased seventy acres at Kew - at that time a neglected little village near Melbourne - and today stands Xavier College. It was bought for 10,000 pounds. When the Richmond Parish was handed over to the Jesuits in a dreadful state, Joseph bought some land where he immediately set about building a new Church and Presbytery. He also built a fine Church at Hawthorn, and a chapel at Xavier, where poor children were taught for free.
1879 Joseph was sent to Sydney, leaving behind a lot of disappointed friends. He came to Sydney at the invitation of Archbishop Vaughan. There he found the chief Catholic school also closed. So, he rented St Kilda at Woolloomooloo and began a day school. Soon, after Daniel Clancy was installed in what was now called St Aloysius at Surrey Hills.
1880 With more foresight, Joseph purchased Riverview for 6,500 pounds, and immediately started a boarding school there. The early seven scholars lived in very cramped conditions in rooms which were multi-purpose - classroom, dining room, bedroom etc.
There was also a school built at Lavender Bay in Sydney.
The value of Joseph Dalton’s contribution to Catholic - and indeed Australian - education in Sydney and Melbourne is incalculable. In the end, ill health forced him to retire from his work, and all he had to show for it was a pair of crutches. Hopefully people will donate to the “Dalton Testimonial” which intends to build the “Dalton Tower” in his honour and grateful memory.
He died at Riverview 04 January 1905
Note from Joseph O’Malley Entry :
1858 He was sent as Fourth Prefect to Clongowes with Joseph Dalton (1st) and William Delaney (3rd)
◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was the third of two sons and four daughters and was raised in Waterford City. His early education was at St Staislaus College Tullabeg and Clongowes Wood College. He was admitted to the Society by Patrick Bracken who was Provincial at the time, and he sent him to Hodder, Stonyhurst, England for his Noviciate.
1838-1846 He was sent to Clongowes Wood College as a Prefect
1846-1848 He was sent to Lyon for Philosophy and recover his health, but the French Revolution of 1848 meant he had to come back to Ireland.
1848-1851 He came back to Ireland and he was Ordained prematurely by Dr Daniel Murray, Archbishop of Dublin, at Maynooth.
1851 He was sent to Clongowes for a year of teaching Grammar and Algebra
1851-1854 He was sent to St Beuno’s Wales to complete his Theology
1854-1861 He was sent back to Clongowes Wood College in a mainly non-teaching administrative role, and he completed his Tertianship during that time (1857).
1861-1865 He was appointed Rector at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg on 09 October 1861. During his time as Rector the school expanded to enable boys to complete their secondary education for the first time, and he improved the quality of the school buildings and scholastic standards. He was appreciated there for his kindly yet military approach to discipline and good order.
1865 He was asked to volunteer for the newly founded Irish Mission in Australia. He was aged 49 at this time, his confreres described him as a man of great energy and vision, who communicated a driving ambition for the success of any venture to which he committed himself,
1866-1872 He arrived in Melbourne, and he lived at St Ignatius Richmond as Superior of the Mission, and he remained in that role until 1872. During that time he was also Rector of St Patrick’s College Melbourne (1867-1871). The Jesuits worked the “Richmond Mission”, which included the suburbs of Kew, Hawthorn and Camberwell, and he began building the Church of St Ignatius at Richmond which was completed in 1870. The Church building at Hawthorn was opened in 1869, but it did not become a separate parish until 1881. He also bought 69 acres of land at Kew for Xavier College in 1871, and the College was opened in 1878
On 14 October 1869 Joseph accompanied the Bishop of Melbourne, Dr Goold, to New Zealand. Discussion were had there with the Bishop of Dunedin, Patrick Moran, about the possibility of establishing a Jesuit college and parish. In the short term, insufficient manpower prevented the establishment of St Aloysius College, Waikari along with the Parish of Invercargill until 1878. Continuing manpower shortage resulted in the College being closed in 1883, and the Parish was handed over in 1889.
1878 moved to St Kilda in 1878 and he started St Kilda House (1879), later called St Aloysius College, and he was Rector there for one year. He had provided Jesuits for the St Mary’s Parish North Sydney in 1878, and then went on to establish St Ignatius College Riverview with its 118 acres in 1880, with 26 pupils.
1879-1883 He was again made Mission Superior from 01 November 1879 to 02 September 1883
1888-1893 He was the First rector at St Ignatius College Riverview, and at the time he was 71 years old. He was also doing Parish work in Sydney at the same time. Later he was an Assistant to the Rector, supervised the farm and garden and was Spiritual Father to the community and the boys.
1895-1903 He was Assistant Bursar and Spiritual Father at St Ignatius Riverview. He did no teaching.
He finally died of old age after suffering a bout of rheumatism. Upon his death, plans were immediately accepted to build a chapel as his memorial, and this was completed in 1909.
When he first arrived in Melbourne he described the Catholic people as very needy, not practising religion and having slight education. He believed they were oblivious to God and the sacraments because of bad example, mixed marriages, drunkenness, poverty and hard work, and only thought of a priest at the hour of death. He noted that if parents were like that, what hope had the children. Later, he observed with concern that many Catholic boys were educated in colleges run by heretics, which was a great danger to the faith. Many Melbourne Catholics had petitioned him for a boarding school, which was considered essential to prevent another generation of Catholic youth being educated in non-Catholic schools. Xavier College was opened in response to this need.
His former students, including the Australian poet Christopher Brennan and Sir Mark Sheldon revered him for his warm-hearted character, unaffected manner and gentleness. They were strongly influenced by his concern for them as people. He was also a keen judge of character. His firm but kindly style was recalled “I would rater take a hiding than hear Dalton say he is surprised and pained, because I know he is speaking the truth, and we ought to be ashamed of ourselves”.
Patrick Keating, later Superior of the Mission and Rector of Riverview, wrote that “Fr Dalton is a man of most wonderful influence with outsiders. I don;t think there is a priest in Australia who is more known and respected as he is.....” His wisdom, tact and common sense made him the friend and confidant of bishops, especially the Bishop of Maitland, Bishop Murray. he won respect from vie-royalty and Members of Parliament, including Lord Carrington, Sir Edward Strickland, and Sir Charles and Sir Frank Gavan Duffy, as well as distinguished overseas visitors such as William Redmond, the old Home Rule campaigner.
He always remained unequivocally Irish, but he showed no animosity towards England or Englishmen.
His diaries reveal a restrained and diplomatic man of considerable warmth, but above all, practical, black and white and pious.They also indicate a range of prejudices, such as democracy - he never liked the outspokenness of the boys.He showed a strong consciousness of religious differences, combined with a friendly ecumenical spirit. Non-Catholic boys were always treated justly. However, one’s religion could be used to explain a good or evil action, although the evidence was not always one way or the other! He was quick to note the efficacy of Catholic practices, such as the wearing of the scapular. When commenting on the worthiness of a man to become a Jesuit Brother he thought would make a good religious, praising him for being a very steady, sensible, pious man, very humble and docile. he had an aversion to alcohol, especially among employees, who were frequently drunk, and ye he allowed the boys to be served wine on Feast Days!
He was not an innovator in education, not a scholar or intellectual, but a simple and courageous man with extraordinary strength. He founded four Colleges and gave them the traditional Jesuit character of the European model. He accepted the existing standards of educated Catholic gentlemen and communicated these to others. His spirituality was pious and practical, religious beliefs demanded application to real life. He was concerned for the faith of Catholic students, their academic progress and character development, keen that they be influential in the development of Australia. His educational views were religious and academic, hoping to provide what was necessary for the sound development of students. The pattern of schools and parishes and basic style of educational practice established By him still remains strong in the works of the Society in Australia.
Note from Michael Goodwin Entry
Michael Goodwin entered the Society in Ireland, 11 October 1864, and arrived in Melbourne as a novice 17 September 1866, with Father Joseph Dalton. Shortly after his arrival he burst a blood vessel and died of consumption at St Patrick's College, just after taking his vows.
Note from Patrick Keating Entry
In 1883 Keating arrived in Australia, joined Joseph Dalton at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, and succeeded him as rector in 1888. Writing to Ireland in 1894, Dalton, at Riverview, believed that Keating's students had great confidence in him and “liked him well”
Note from Edward Nolan Entry
He was a founding father to Australia in 1866 with Joseph Dalton
Note from William Wrigley Entry
He soon proved to be a very capable master, a good religious, and, in Joseph Dalton's view, the most useful and efficient of all the Australian Novices.
Note from David McKiniry Entry
David McKiniry entered the Society in 1854, and after novitiate in Milltown Park studied in Europe before joining Joseph Dalton aboard the Great Britain, arriving in Melbourne in September 1866. Immediately he was sent to St Patrick's College to teach, but on weekends he worked in the Richmond Mission. The arrangement continued until the end of 1869, when McKiniry spent more time in Richmond, and during the middle of the year joined Dalton on a series of successful country missions around Castlemaine, Kyneton and Ararat districts.
◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
by David Strong
Dalton, Joseph (1817–1905), Jesuit priest and missioner, was born in Co. Waterford at Slieveroe or Glenmore 12 February 1817, third of two sons and four daughters of Patrick Dalton and his wife Mary Foley, who married on 15 January 1809. In 1841 they were living at 11 Michael St., Waterford. Dalton was educated by the Jesuits at St Stanislaus’ College, Tullabeg, 1833–4, and Clongowes Wood College, 1834–6. The fees for two years for the latter were £71. 0s.. 0d., indicating that the family was comfortably placed.
On completing his schooling, Dalton was admitted to the Society of Jesus by Fr Patrick Bracken, the Irish provincial, 16 December 1836. For the next two years he completed his noviciate at Hodder House, Stonyhurst, England, and on 17 December 1838 took his vows before the master of novices, Fr Thomas Brownbill.
Dalton was immediately sent to Clongowes Wood College as division prefect until 1846, when he went to France to recover his health and study philosophy at Lyons. Because of the revolution of 1848, he returned to Ireland and was ordained to the priesthood prematurely 2 June 1849 by Dr Daniel Murray (qv), archbishop of Dublin, at Maynooth. A further year of teaching grammar and algebra at Clongowes followed in 1851, before returning to England and St Beuno's, Wales, to complete his theological studies. In 1854 he returned to a non-teaching role at Clongowes, mainly administration, completing his tertianship in 1857. Dalton was appointed rector of St Stanislaus' College, Tullabeg, 9 October 1861. He remained there until October 1865, when he was nominated to the newly formed Irish Jesuit mission in Australia in his fiftieth year. His Irish colleagues of the time described him as a man of great energy and vision, who communicated a driving ambition for the success of any venture to which he committed himself.
He arrived in Melbourne, and resided in the parish of Richmond in 1866 as superior of the Jesuit mission in Australia, and remained superior until 1872. He was also rector of St Patrick's College, East Melbourne, 1867–71. He was superior of the mission again, from 1 November 1879 to 2 September 1883. The Jesuits worked the ‘Richmond mission’, which included the suburbs of Kew, Hawthorn, and Camberwell, from 1866, and Dalton began building the church of St Ignatius at Richmond, which was completed in 1870. The building of the church of the Immaculate Conception at Hawthorn was opened for worship in 1869, but did not become a separate parish until 1881. Dalton also bought sixty-nine acres of land in 1871 for Xavier College, which opened in 1878. The college has produced many distinguished alumni, especially in the medical and legal professions.
On 14 October 1869 Dalton accompanied the bishop of Melbourne, James Alipius Goold (qv), to New Zealand. Discussion took place with the bishop of Dunedin, Patrick Moran (1823–95), about the possibility of establishing a Jesuit college and parish. In the short term insufficient manpower prevented the establishment of St Aloysius' College, Waikari, and the parish of Invercargill, until 1878. Continuing manpower shortage resulted in the college closure in 1883, and the handover of the parish in 1889.
Dalton moved to Sydney in 1877, where he started St Kilda House (1879), later named St Aloysius' College, and was its rector for one year. He provided Jesuits for the parish of St Mary's, North Sydney, 1878, and established St Ignatius' College, Riverview, with its 118 acres, in 1880. He was its first rector until 1888, when he was 71 years old. During this time he also did parish work in Sydney. From then until 1893 he was the assistant to the rector, supervised the farm and garden, and was spiritual father to the community and the boys. From 1895 to 1903 he was assistant bursar and spiritual father. He did no teaching.
Upon his arrival in Melbourne, Dalton described the catholic population as very needy, not practising religion, and with slight education. He believed that they only thought of a priest at the hour of death. Later, he observed with concern that many catholic boys were educated in colleges run by ‘heretics’, which he considered was a great danger to the faith. Many Melbourne Catholics had petitioned him for a boarding school, which was considered essential to prevent another generation of catholic youth being educated in non-catholic schools.
Dalton's former students, including Australian poet Christopher Brennan and Sir Mark Sheldon, revered him for his genial and warm-hearted character, unaffected manner, and gentleness. They were strongly influenced by his genuine concern for them as people. Fr Patrick Keating, later superior of the mission and rector of Riverview, wrote that ‘Fr Dalton is a man of most wonderful influence with outsiders. I don't think there is a priest in Australia who is more known and respected than he is . . .’ (Fr Patrick Keating to Fr Thomas Brown, 29 January 1885; RSJA general curial archives, Rome). Dalton's wisdom, tact, and common sense made him the friend and confidant of bishops, especially Bishop Murray of Maitland. He won respect from viceroyalty and members of parliament, including Lord Carrington, Sir Edward Strickland, and Sir Charles (qv) and Sir Frank Gavan Duffy, as well as distinguished overseas visitors such as William Archer Redmond (qv) (1825–80), home rule campaigner.
Dalton was not an innovator in education, nor a scholar or intellectual, but a simple, practical, and courageous man with extraordinary strength. He gave the four colleges he founded the traditional Jesuit character of the European model. He accepted existing standards of the educated catholic gentleman, and communicated these to others. His spirituality was pious and practical; religious beliefs demanded application to real life. He was concerned for the faith of catholic students, their academic progress and character development, keen that they be influential in the development of Australia. His educational views were religious and academic, intended to provide what was necessary for the sound development of students.
Dalton died of old age after many years of suffering from rheumatism at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney, 4 January 1905 New South Wales, aged 87, and plans were immediately accepted to build a chapel as his memorial. It was completed in 1909.
Dalton diaries, 1879–1902 (St Ignatius' College, Riverview, archives); letters in general curial archives, Rome, provincial archives, Melbourne, Australia, and Irish province archives, Dublin; newspaper extracts, 1886–1911; J. Ryan, A short history of the Australian mission (in-house publication, June 1902); Clongownian, 1905, 57–8; Anon., The Society of Jesus in Australia, 1848–1910; A. McDonnell, ‘Riverview in the eighties’, Our Alma Mater, 1930, 25; T. Corcoran, SJ, The Clongowes Record (c.1933); G. Windsor, ‘Father Dalton's likes and dislikes’, Our Alma Mater, 1975, 19–22; T. J. Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delaney SJ, 1835–1924 (1983), 18; E. Lea-Scarlett, Riverview: a history (1989); E. Lea-Scarlett, ‘In the steps of Father Dalton’, Our Alma Mater, 1999, 37–44
◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Dalton, Joseph (1817–1905)
by G. J. O'Kelly
G. J. O'Kelly, 'Dalton, Joseph (1817–1905)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/dalton-joseph-3358/text5063, published first in hardcopy 1972
Died : 5 January 1905, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Joseph Dalton (1817-1905), Jesuit priest, was born on 2 December 1817 at Waterford, Ireland. He was educated at the Jesuit colleges of Clongowes and Tullabeg and entered the Society of Jesus in December 1836. For the next thirty years he studied and worked in Jesuit Houses in Ireland, and became rector of St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg.
Austrian Jesuits had begun a mission to the German settlers near Clare, South Australia, in 1848 but were diffident to extend their work to Victoria where Dr James Goold was eager to found an Irish Jesuit Mission. The Jesuit priests, William Kelly and Joseph Lentaigne, reached Melbourne in September 1865. Dalton was appointed superior of the mission and arrived in April 1866. The first of his many tasks was to revive St Patrick's College, which had opened at East Melbourne in 1854 with a government grant but closed after eight years through maladministration. Dalton appointed Kelly to its staff and by 1880 'Old Patricians' could boast many graduates at the University of Melbourne, and two of its three doctorates in law. At St Patrick's Dalton was also persuaded by Goold to train candidates for the diocesan priesthood, but he resisted Goold's pressure for a more ambitious college until he had sufficient resources. On land bought at Kew in 1871 he built Xavier College which opened in 1878 and cost £40,000.
Dalton was also entrusted by Goold with the parochial care of a very large area centred on Richmond where some of the colony's most eminent laymen lived. With William Wardell and a magnificent site, Dalton worked towards the grandiose St Ignatius Church, capable of seating almost his entire 4000 parishioners. In his district he built other chapels, schools and churches, including the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Hawthorn. He gave many retreats, lectured often on secular education, and engaged in controversy which led once to litigation. He went with Goold to reorganise the diocese of Auckland in 1869 and after Archbishop John Bede Polding died, the Irish Jesuit Mission was invited to Sydney in 1878. As superior there Dalton took charge within eight months of the North Sydney district, founded St Kilda House, the forerunner of St Aloysius College, Milson's Point, and was its first rector. He also bought 118 acres (48 ha) at Riverview where, as rector, he opened St Ignatius College. There he lived after his retirement in 1883 and died on 5 January 1905.
Dalton founded two great public schools and made more than a dozen foundations, of which only one at Dunedin proved abortive; they involved debts of at least £120,000 which were mostly paid by 1883. He published nothing and his inner life is not revealed in his diary (1866-88). Those who knew him well attested that he was first and foremost a holy priest, and he was widely revered in Richmond and Riverview. His energy and vision were striking, and his work established the Irish Jesuits in the eastern colonies.
J. Ryan, The Society of Jesus in Australia (privately printed, 1911)
papers and St Patrick's College records (Jesuit Provincial Archives, Hawthorn, Melbourne).
◆ Australian Jesuits http://jesuit.org.au/a-story-often-graced-but-sometimes-grim/
A story often graced, but sometimes grim
'Dalton lost 40 per cent of his workforce, his team, in one year. Did it stop him? Of course not. He was never one to look back.' Fr Ross Jones SJ, Rector of St Aloysius' College Milsons Point, recalls the life and ministry of the school's founder, Fr Joseph Dalton SJ, on the occasion of the school's 140th anniversary.
The 140th Birthday of the College is only possible because there were great men and great women who preceded us and built the sure foundation. The larger-than-life and the unassuming, the people of faith and wisdom, the living and the dead. ‘A house built on rock’ as today’s Gospel encourages. That’s why we are here. So many people of influence and so many stories to recall and share. We could spend many days speaking of all those heroes and telling their stories. But I will recall just one. Our Founder, Fr Joseph Dalton SJ.
Joseph Dalton was born at Waterford, soon after the restoration of the Jesuits and their return to Ireland. Young Joseph went to school at Clongowes Wood, whence our present ‘Gappies’ hail. Dalton joined the Society of Jesus and later became Rector of two Jesuit Colleges in Ireland. Then the new Irish Mission to Australia was launched.
The Provincial wrote to all the Jesuit communities inviting volunteers to be missioned halfway round the world. Dalton later said, ‘I couldn’t expect anyone in my community to volunteer if I, the superior, didn’t put my name down first.’ So he did. And the Provincial chose him. He was then aged 50 — at the time, that was more than the life expectancy of a male in Ireland. Imagine that. Dalton is living the magis. Never past his ‘use by date’. For him, there was always another door to be opened.
He left for Australia, with two other Jesuits, as superior of the new Mission ‘Down Under’. In pre-Suez Canal days, the good ship Great Britain took the passage around the Cape. By all reports, it was a tough journey. Passengers did not see land after leaving Wales until they sighted Australia.
En route, there was a duel on board and a case of smallpox. A cow, kept below decks to provide fresh milk for well-to-do First Class passengers, died of sea-sickness after only one week at sea. The crowd of Second Class passengers cheered maliciously as it was thrown overboard. But then the vacant cow stall was used to lock up troublesome passengers of the lower classes! Perhaps the cow had the last laugh. The three Jesuits were quite active on board and Dalton records that there were ‘three converts to the Faith’ along the way.
They arrived in Melbourne in 1866 to join two confreres already there — three priests and two brothers now in all. But in their first year, one of the brothers left to marry. And the other brother just plain disappeared — perhaps to the goldfields? So Dalton lost 40 per cent of his workforce, his team, in one year. Did it stop him? Of course not. He was never one to look back.
Fr Dalton immediately took over the decrepit and moribund Cathedral school, St Patrick’s in Melbourne, and soon turned it around. He was there for 12 years. Its enrolment, its spirit, its outcomes, all soared. Dalton never shied away from a challenge. Sadly, that great school, St Pat’s — ‘the Aloys of Melbourne’ — was taken from us by the Archdiocese in the 1960s and demolished.
Fr Dalton purchased 70 acres of land for the new Xavier College at Kew which opened in 1878. He established our two parishes at Hawthorn and Richmond with a primary school each. A man whose vision was nothing less than bold. Even during that first year at Xavier, he was negotiating expansion to Sydney.
In 1878 he moved to Sydney amid a great deal of anti-Jesuit feeling here and campaigns to thwart the Jesuits’ arrival. Even Archbishop Vaughan, who eventually invited the Jesuits to Sydney, was advised by his own brother, a Bishop in Manchester, that, in welcoming the Jesuits to his Archdiocese, he was only ‘creating a rod for his own back’. A number of NSW parliamentarians were on the offensive. Some Catholic quarters were also suspicious.
Dalton went into that lion’s den. And he soon won them over. His weapons would only be a natural openness and the conversational word.
Dalton took over the parish of North Sydney, which then extended from the harbour to Palm Beach across to Berowra and back. Huge! We are told those first Jesuits lived very poorly in a four-room shanty built from corrugated iron and flattened kerosene tins. Imagine that in a Sydney summer. But he was building God’s Kingdom — that was enough. I think Dalton lived out that Prayer for Generosity — ‘to toil and not to seek for rest’. Turning his attention to education, he then rented St Kilda House in Woolloomooloo, which was to become our St Aloysius’ College.
Dalton was Rector for one year before purchasing 118 acres to establish yet another boarding school at Riverview. Our ‘Founding Father’ also established the Lavender Bay parish and parish schools as well. Such an energetic man. The only foundation of his that was to fail was St Aloysius’ College and Parish in Dunedin, New Zealand, which operated 12 years between 1878 and 1889.
Fr Dalton remained at Riverview the rest of his life. Despite all those earlier misgivings and distrust of Jesuits, in his lifetime Dalton had become the friend and confidant of many members of the hierarchy, as well as earning the respect of vice-regals and parliamentarians. His pupils loved him. He died in 1905, aged 87, and was buried from St Mary’s North Sydney. The funeral was enormous. Church and civic leaders, parliamentarians, non-Catholic friends, families and so many Old Boys — all mourning such a great loss.
Interestingly, Dalton was no great innovator in education. He was not an academic or an intellectual. He left few writings, apart from his diary. And his faith was lived out simply and practically. But so pastoral. He loved others and was loved in return.
As a young man, he could never have guessed where his life would take him. But he left a mark beyond his dreaming, in a place beyond his imagining. Here. For us. Joseph Dalton’s story is a rich one. A story so often graced. But also a story sometimes grim. Dalton’s experience of success and failure, of hardship and ease, of the permanent and the passing, of allies and enemies, is something we all know from time to time. It is part of our story, too. That’s why he is such a good patron.
Apparently, during his life, Dalton’s favourite expression, a Latinism, to wish people well in a venture was Felix faustumque. ‘May it be favourable and prosperous.’
So today, we look about us here. Felix faustumque? Yes, it has been.
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925
St Patrick’s College, Melbourne has just celebrated its Diamond Jubilee as a Jesuit College. It is the mother house of the Australian Mission.
On September 21st 1865, Fathers Joseph Lentaigne and William Kelly, the pioneer Missioners of the Society in Victoria, landed in Melbourne and took over the College.
On September 17th, 1866 , the second contingent of Irish priests arrived - Fr. Joseph Dalton, Fr. Edmund Nolan, Fr. David McKiniry and two lay brothers - Br. Michael Scully and Br. Michael Goodwin.
Irish Province News 5th Year No 2 1930
St Aloysius College Sydney Australia : Golden Jubilee
St Aloysius College celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its Foundation in the course of last year. The principal functions were held on the 22nd July, and from the 25th to the 29th September.
The beginning of the College is mentioned in Fr, Dalton's diary, under date Nov. 21st 1878. After much negotiation terms were accepted for St. Kilda House at £260 rent per annum. At that date, if the Jesuits, at the invitation of Archbishop Vaughan, had not come to the rescue, there would not have been a single Catholic College in Sydney.
The College was opened early in 1879 with Fr. Dalton as first Rector and Fr, Wm Kelly, Prefect of Studies At the first distribution of prizes, Dec. 23rd 1879, Archbishop Vaughan presided, and claimed the responsibility of having brought the Jesuits to Sydney. “It is I who invited Fr. Beckx, the venerable and saintly General of the Society of Jesus, to found a school and finally a College in Sydney, and gladly do I publicly acknowledge before you all my great gratification at having done so”.
Irish Province News 6th Year No 1 1931
From 23 to 27 August, Riverview celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its foundation... The College was founded in 1880 by Fr. Joseph Dalton, He was “wisely daring enough” to purchase a fine property on Lane Cove from Judge Josephson, The property consisted of a cottage containing eight or nine rooms with substantial out offices, and 44 acres of land, at a cost of £4 500. 54 acres were soon added for £1 ,080, and an additional 20 acres later on completed the transaction. This little cottage was the Riverview College of 1880. The modesty of the start may be measured by the facts, that the founder of Riverview, and its first Rector, shared his own bed-room with three of his little pupils , and when the College played its first cricket out match, it could muster only ten boys to meet the opposing team. By the end of the year the number had increased to 15.
In addition to Fr. Dalton's, two other names are inseparably connected with the foundation of Riverview. The first is that of His Grace, Archbishop Vaughan, who invited the Jesuits to Sydney, formally opened the College and gave the Fathers every encouragement.
The second is the name of the great Australian pioneer, the Archpriest Therry. “One hundred years ago”, says one account : “Fr Therry was dreaming of a Jesuit College in Sydney... and when he went to his reward in 1865 he gave it a special place in his final testament”. Fr Lockington called Frs. Dalton and Therry the “co-founders” of Riverview, and added
that it was the wish of the latter to see Irish Jesuits established at Sydney.
An extract from the Catalogue of 1881 will interest many. It is the first time that Riverview is mentioned as a College in the Catalogue :
Collegium et Convictus S. Ignatius
R. P, Josephus Dalton, Sup a die 1 Dec 1879, Proc_ Oper
P. Thomas Gartlan, Min, etc
P. Joannes Ryan, Doc. 2 class. etc
Henricus O'Neill Praef. mor. etc
Domini Auxiliairii duo
Fr. Tom Gartlan is still amongst us, and, thank God, going strong. Soon a brick building (comprising study hall, class rooms and dormitories) wooden chapel, a wooden refectory, were added to the cottage, and in three years the numbers had swelled to 100, most of them day-boys.
The first stage in the history of Riverview was reached in 1889, when the fine block, that up to a recent date served as the College, was opened and blessed by Cardinal Moran.
The second stage was closed last August, when, amidst the enthusiastic cheering of a great gathering of Old Boys, the splendid building put up by Fr. Lockington was officially declared ready to receive the ever increasing crowd of boys that are flocking into Riverview. The College can now accommodate three times as many students as did the old block finished in 1889. Not the least striking part of the new building is the Great Assembly Hall erected by the Old Boys as a memorial to their school-fellows who died during the Great War.
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Joseph Dalton SJ 1817-1905
At Riverview College, Sydney, on 4th January 1905, died Fr Joseph Dalton, who with justice be styled “The Father of the Australian Province of the Society”. Born in Waterford in 1817, he entered the Society in 1836. He was Rector of Tullabeg in 1861 till his appointment as Superior of the Australian Mission in 1866.
He immediately re-opened St Patrick’s College Melbourne, which had failed through lack of funds. Three years later, with remarkable foresight he purchased 70 acres at Kew, then a neglected village near Melbourne, where to-day stands the magnificent College of St Francis Xavier. When the parish of Richmond, also near Melbourne, was handed over to the Jesuits, Fr Dalton bought a piece of land there for three thousand pounds, and which he built a splendid Church and Presbytery. He also built a fine Church at Hawthorn and a school-chapel in the village of Kew where the children of the poor were taught free.
Having performed such herculean labours in Melbourne he proceeded to Sydney at the invitation of Archbishop Vaughan. His first enterprise in Sydney was to rent St Kilda House at Woollo and to establish a day-school which eventually became St Aloysius.
In 1880 he purchased the Riverview property for £6,500 and at once started a boarding school with seven scholars, three of whom had to share the same bedroom with Fr Dalton in the old cottage, which served as Study Hall, Refectory, Classroom, Playroom and Dormitory. This was the beginning of St Ignatius College Riverview.
The fine school at Lavendere Bay must also be numbered among Fr Dalton’s achievements.
The “Dalton Tower” at Riverview stands today as a vivid memorial to this great man to whom more than any other may be attributed the marvellous progress of Catholic education in Australia.
Truly might he say as he died at the ripe age of 88 “exegi monumentum sere perennius”.
◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1905
Father Joseph Dalton SJ : Founder of Riverview
When we published the last number of “Our Alma Mater”, we little thought that the Founder of Riverview - Rev Father Dalton - was so soon to pass from our midst to his eternal a rest. He just lived to see about five days of the year 1905, in which the Silver Jubilee of the college he founded in 1880 is being celebrated ; indeeci, it looks as if Providence had spared hili just to witness that alispi cious event, and then chant his Nunc dimit tis. We publish the following account of the life, works, and obsequies of our veniet able founder, as it appeared in the Freemani's Journal of January 14th, 1905
The life that faded out at Riverview on Thursciay, Jan. 5th, was that of a Catholic educationalist whose work was singularly free from incompleteness. The Very Rev Joseph Dalton SJ, had the felicity to see the full fruition of his later life-work. There have been toilers in the vineyard who were called to their reward before their eyes had seen the glory of their harvest gleaned from the labour of their lives. Not so with Father Dalton. His long life flickered out amnid the beautiful environment of the great educational establishment which he founded on One of the fairest eininences that smile down upon the waterways of Sydney. Five and twenty years ago he saw it a scrubby height, embastioned by forbidding rocks. Long before his eyes closed in death that suburban Wilderness had vanished, leaving in its place a veritable fairyland that delights the eye of the traveller. In the beautiful grounds that slope down to the Lane Cove River, are set the noble buildings of the college of St Ignatius, where the sons of Australia drink deep of the springs of learning. Such a monunient should alone suffice to engraft the name of Father Dalton upon the tablets of memory. Yet it was not his only monument of the kind, He had accomplished a life's work ere he came to Sydney. But it was at Riverview he chose to end his days. And he ended them as a light gently flicker ing out. For some days prior to death he suffered from a cold. Doubtless the heat wave tended to complicate the ills insepar-- able from old age, and for a few days before death he was in a comatose condition. Yet, with all his infirmity, he had a good hold on life. Five days before liis end, we are told, he was wheeled in his invalidi's chair to the grounds.
As Father Gartlan, the Rector, said, he simply ceased to breathe. The spark of life flickered gently out He had, of course, been prepared for the end, and the end was peace. The sorrow occasioned extended to far corners of Australia. One of the earliest messages of sympathy was froni Mr. William Redmond, MP for East Clare, at that time sojourning at Orange. Soon after setting foot on Australian soil, Mr. Redmond renewed acquaintance with the college where he had been welcomed many years before on his first visit to Australia. He liad not forgotten Father Dalton or his hospitality. Father Dalton's life, like that of many another distinguished exile of Erin, was well spent in two hemispheres. The nineteenth century was but sweet seventeen when Joseph Dalton was born in Waterford, that southern city of Ireland which has given of its best to the Church. It is difficult to realise that the life closed last week began a few years after the battle of Waterloo.
His ecclesiastical studies commenced in his native town, and were prosecuted fur ther in the Jesuit Colleges of Clongowes and Tullabeg. In 1836, when but 19, he entered as a novice of the Society of Jesus, and, fulfilling his probation, took the vows. Thereafter for eight years he taught in the principal Jesuit colleges of Ireland. The year of the great famine, '47, saw him in France pursuing the philosophical studies of the Society. These mastered, as well as other scholastic attainments, he, in 1854-58, went through a complete theological course in St. Beuno’s Jesuit Seminary, North Wales. Dr Murray, Archbishop of Dublin (uncle of the Bishop of Maitland), ordained him priest at Maynooth. Education once more claimed him, and at Clongowes Wood College he devoted four or five years to disciplining the students. As Rector of St Stanislaus', near Tullamore, he presided over a body of students, some of whom are now on the Australian mission. In 1866 the General of the Society ordered him to take charge of the Jesuit Mission in Victoria, and he accordingly, with the Rev Fathers Nolan and McKiniry, left Ireland for Liverpool on the steamer St. Patrick, bound for St. Patrick's College, Melbourne, bound to be, as Father Dalton used to say, “Paddies evermore”. The good ship Great Britain, on which they sailed, steamed and sailed as the spirit moved her skipper, or as the wind favoured her. The voyage, anyhow, was leisurely, and Father Dalton declared long afterwards that he never had had so long a rest in all his life. The Suez Canal was not then finished, and the voyage was around the Cape. The passengers saw no land froin the last glimpse of the Welsh coast till they sighted Australia. One can easily understand how they counted the days between them and Australia. But the little incidents of the voyage varied the monotony. As fellow-voyager, Father Dalton. had the present venerable. Archbishop of Hobart (Dr Murphy), and the two whiled away many an hour over the chess board. Nor were the other passengers uninteresting. Father Dalton used to mention one who had been a member of the crew of the Alabama, the Confederate privateer, that worked such havoc with the shipping of the Yankees in the Civil War, and which made a gallant last stand off Cherbourg, where the Kearsage squared hier accounts. It will be remembered that Great Britain had to pay a heavy award for her breach of neutrality in connection with the Alabama. Doubtless the survivor had stirring adventures to relate. Another passenger was a survivor of the wrecked London, and others were heroes of the Civil War, men who, having fought in fratricidal strife, now met on common terms of peace to seek fortune in the then El Dorado. There were women as passengers, too, whom the war had left desolate. Of course there was a disagreeable passenger on board. He had been an army captain, and somebody having offended him, he challenged the shipmate to a duel of fifteen paces. The “challenger and the challenged”" occupied the same cabin, which may account for the captain's ferocity, especially if the object of his ire snored loudly. But the ship's captain spoiled the duel. A sailor was attacked with smallpox when the ship was in the Bay of Biscay, but the case was isolated, and it only affected the one person, who soon recovered. Those were the days before refrigeration, and the ship was stored with live stock to provide fresh meat for the passengers. There was also a cow, which was to provide the first-class passengers with milk; but it took ill and died of sea sickness at the end of the first week. The passengers declared that they didn't notice any difference in the milk before and after the cow's death, but the second-class crowd rejoiced maliciously. The skipper utilised the vacant cow-stall as a lock-up for troublesome passengers, and many were the opportunities for the other passengers to express the hope that the prospective offenders, would be cowed by his incarceration in the cow-house. Of course, there was the usual amusement committee of five, of which Father Dalton was one. The trivialities of the voyage did not prevent the priests from attending to their sacred duties.
Three Masses were said every Sunday. The Catholics on board approached the Sacraments. Some two or three converts were received into the Church, and many Catholics on board realised for the first time in their lives that Catholics, even Jesuits, were not the bogey men their early training had led them to believe they were. Father Dalton had the privilege of preparing for death a young Irishman who died on the voyage. On April 11, after a voyage of 55 days, which wound up with very rough weather, Father Dalton and his friends were landed in Melbourne, where he was welcomed by Father W. Kellyand Father Lentaigne, pioneers of the Jesuit Order in Australia. Twelve years were spent in directing the studies at St Patrick's College, Melbourne, as well as in missionary labours at Richmond, the suburb set apart for the Jesuits by Archbishop Goold. Four years after his arrival Father Dalton was enabled to purchase seventy acres of an estate at Kew, whereon he began to build the College of St. Francis Xavier. In 1878 Archbishop Vaughan invited him to Sydney. His arrival was signalised by his appointment as Superior of the Jesuits in New South Wales and Victoria, and he may justly receive the credit of founder of the Society of Jesuis in New South Wales. North Sydney was then known as St Leonards, and here the Jesuit mission was established. The day school of the Order at Woolloomooloo, which afterwards became St. Aloysius' College, Surry Hills, and later was transferred to North Sydney, as well as St Ignatius' College, Riverview, were all established by him. Writing at the time of the purchase of Riverview, a Sydney biographer said : “The mere acquisition of the fine estate at Riverview for educational purposes is a strong proof of Father Dalton's keen business faculties, and the success of the college he has founded there affords striking evidence that his early training, ripe scholarship, and long experience admirably fit him to be the head of a great public school”.
When Riverview was opened in 1880, it : provided but scant accommodation for ten or twelve students. Since then the number of its resident pupils has increased by leaps and bounds. In 1892 the then Rector, Very Rev J Ryan SJ, gave a holiday in honour of the 150th boy. Since then the college has gone on prospering, despite the adverse seasons which Australia has known. Father Dalton took a lively interest in the sports of the collegians, and even when overtaken by the infirmities of age, managed to be present at the games. Rather a good tribute was paid to him at the last re-union of the, ex-students of St Ignatius' held in Sydney by Senator Keating, of Tasmania, a former student, who said :
“Time might pass, but he ventured to say the name of Father Dalton would be held as the centre and source of the college, for as long as it existed. They knew that as a priest and a man he was endowed with qualities which a man and a citizen should possess. They all knew he liked manliness in a student, and he thought they could say with justice and truth that his life was gentle. They knew hie exercised a potent influence on the students. To very few men had it been given to exercise so large an influence aş had been given to him."
In his educational efforts Father Dalton's anıbition to see his pupils of Riverview achieve the best results was gratified in the University examinations, in which the boys gave a good account of themselves. Father. Dalton was esteemed not only by those who came frequently within the sphere of his in fluence, but by all who happened to meet him. His was a personality that sought no publicity, but one that found its vocation in devotion to duty, the exercise of true charity, and the practice of those graces which sweeten daily life. Many of his best friends were non-Catholics, who rejoiced in the friendship of one so sincere and serene and, withal, genial in his disposition. The presence of so many former students at the obsequies proved the loyalty of his pupils to his memory. His sympathies were broadly human, and his kindness in accord with them.
The casket containing the remains was re moved on Friday, Jan 6th, to St. Mary's Church, Ridge Street, North Sydney. Here on Saturday morning the Solemn Dirge was chanted and the Requiemn Mass offered for the soul's eternal welfare. It was meet that the Ridge-street church should hear the last chant for the dead ; for was it not liere the Jesuit Order first found an abiding place in New South Wales ? The late Archbishop Vauglian it was who assigned the parish of North Sydney to them in 1879, wheni the Order branched Sydney-wards fronı Melbourne, And, attached to the parish, is the burial-ground of members of the Order at Gore Hill, where already some notable missionaries sleep the long sleep. So it was that the Jesuits' Church was chosen for the obsequies of one who had been no lesser light in the field of the higher religious eclucation, His Grace the Coadjutor Archbishop of Sydney (Most Rev Dr Kelly) presided, the Ven Archpriest Sheehy and Rev M A Flemming assisting. The chanters were the Right Rev Monsignor O'Brien (Rector of St John's College) and the Rev Reginald Bridge. The celebrant of the Mass was the Rev Father O'Malley SJ, the Rev Father H E Cock, SJ, being deacon, and the Rev Father Peifer SJ, sub-cleacon. Right Rev Monsignor O'Haran was master of ceremonies, and there were also present in the sanctuary Right Rev Dr Murray (Bishop of Maitland) and Right Rev Mgr Carroll, VG. Among the other clergy assisting were the Very Rev Dean Slattery PP, Very Rev T Gartlan SJ (Rector St. Ignatius'), Very Rev J L Begley OFM, Rev Fathers J S Joyce OFM, T A Fitzgerald OFM, P B Kennedy OFM, P B Lawler OFM, Rev Father Fay (Rector St Aloysius' College), Rev J McGrath SJ, Rev J Sullivan SJ, Rev C Nulty SJ, Rev J Corboy, Rev Father Cleary SJ, Rev A Sturzo SJ, Rev J Brennan, SJ (Riverview), Rev Father Hassett SJ, Rev G Kelly SJ, Rev J Brennan SJ (North Sydney), Rev J Gately SJ, Rev Father Carroll SJ, Rev T O'Reilly PP (Parramatta), Rev P O'Brien SJ, Rev P Dwyer SJ, Rev G Byrne SJ, Rev JP Movinagh, PP, Rev Father Meaney, Rev Dr Burke, Rev J Furlong, Adm (St. Benedict's), Rev M Flemming, Rev J O'Gorman, Rev P Dowling, Rev T Phelan, Rev J Collins, Rev P Byrne PP, Rev J Grace, Rev D O'Reilly, Rev J Bourke SJ, Rev J J O'Driscoll, Rev Father Gerard CP, Rev Fatlier Ginisty SM, Rev. Father Hall CM, Rev Father McEnroe CM, Rev E O'Brien, Rev Father Cochard MSH, Rev Father Bormann MSH, Rev Father J C Meagher, Brother Stanislaus (Provincial of the Patriician Brothers, Redfern), and Brother Thomas (Patricians, Redfern), the Hon John Hughes, KCSG, MLC (Vice-President of the Executive Council), Mr E W O'Sullivan, MLA, Hon Francis Clark (Federal Tariff Commissioner), T J Dalton, KCSG, J J Lee, KCSG, D O'Connor, KCSG, Mr W J Spruson, Mr Mark Sheldon, Mr C G Hepburn, Mr P Hogan, Major Lenehan, Mr Phil Sheridan, Mr T B Curran, Aldemnan J Lane Mullins, Mr J Blakeney, Mr George Crowley, Mr Lenehair. Former students were largely represented in the congregation, which filled the church, and which included many nuns. Of the former students of Riverview there were present Mr T J Dalton (President of the “Old Boys'” Union), Messrs F W J Donovan, J T McCarthy, PJ O'Donnell, A Deery, and R Lenehan (vice-presidents), and Messrs J Hughes (secretary), B A McBride, A A Rankin, F Mulcahy, W Hensleigh, F Deery, C Birrell, F du Boise, A Cox, B Norris, Paul Lenehan, T D O'Sullivan, J McCarthy, W O'G Hughes, J Slattery, L Kelly, F McDonald, H Oxenham, F Coen, P J Clifford, B Coen, T B Curran, J Punclı, Austin Curtin, Harvey Brown, S Rorke, P Lawler, A W D'Apice, Tom Walsh, J J D'Apice, T Mullins, Nolan, F Fitzgerald, T and L Manning. The Rev Mr Ryan SJ, and the Rev Mr C Cuffe, SJ, were also present.
His Grace, Archbishop Kelly, in solemn and measured tones, delivered the panegyric, in the course of which he said :
“For a moment I will bespeak your indulgence, if I am led to break the solemn obsequies by a few words which seem to be suggested by the memory of the life which closed but yesterday - the life of the most lamented Father Dalton. Full eighty eight years inark the span of that life. We are now at one reach of the life of Father Dalton, but the other end of that life, or rather the beginning, goes back to the year. 1817. You will feel with me, I am sure, ; that, however ill prepared a speaker may be, he should not allow the occasion to pass without utilising it to the greater glory of God and the better service of the Church ; for if ever we find in this life the grace of edification we find it in the lives of the saints, who bring all the principles of the Gospel into play in the forination of their character and the direc tion of their works. One of the principles of this Gospel is that your light so shine before men that your good works may glorify your Father in Heaven. The light of faith was received by Father Dalton from parents who were children of martyrs. It was a grand talent, this talent of the Irish faith, and particularly grand in the olden, times. This talent, great in itself, was like the faith of a Pancratius. But he would regulate the light that was in him so that it would shine with the greatest effulgence in sight of God and man, copying from Christ Himself every perfection, and so becoming a wortlıy disciple of the great Ignatiuis Loyola. This great saint set an example by which we may set our life in order, by whiclı we may be instructed and be led step by step to conden evil and seek that which is more perfect. Father Dalton had a hidden light. Yet his light did shine before men in the schools in which he taught, and his light was shining before men in the schools he founded. His life has been crowned with success, according to the Gospel principles. Is there one who does not feel that the world is poorer to-day by his loss? That light would live in memory, and his memory would be eternal. Another feature I must call to your minds is in the Gospel : “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and I have sent you that you go and bear fruit, and that the fruit will remain”. Now, the great fruit proposed specially to every son of St Ignatius is Christian education. With a confounded lie on its lips, the so called Reformation attributed ignorance to the Church of Christ. Every treasure of the scientist, of the litterateur, and of art, vouchsafed to humanity, every talent will be cultivated, as it has ever been cultivated in the Church of God. Our libraries are filled with the works of litterateurs and scientists and with volumes of all kinds—all produced by the Society, and all made triblutary to the glory of God and the salvation of souls. The supreme effort of St Ignatius was to cultivate the talents and make all tributary to the glory of God. In this arny Father Dalton rose from the ranks to eminence. His memory will be treasured by the laity and clergy of Australia. Father Dalton's name will be remembered as that of a great educationalist. Here before his remains, I speak in your presence, reverend Fathers, and I would rather you speak than I/we pray that God may give us a share of his spirit to try and do all that he tried to do for Australia, to try and found a true Christian civilisation in Australia, and so attain the end for which we were created. This would be any special recommendation. I speak in the presence of one of our veteran prelates who was a Bishop when, as an ecclesiastic, I might be said to have been in the cradle, I would emphasise one thing let us. not spare ourselves, but spend ourselves and be spent for Christian education for Australia, for this is the true basis and the source of greatness of Christian civilisation. And this remains a condition sine qua non of a nation's greatness and prosperity. That body has often formed one of our circle. His place knows him, no more, but we know good use has been made of all his members. These remains go to the earth as the seeds of corn, but they will yet rise to the crowning glory which God has prepared for him. Brethren, it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, therefore the Church prays, and we here to-day, with all the fervor of our souls, pray “eternal rest give him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him”.
The last Absolution was given by the Archbishop, assisted by the Bishop of Maitland, and the Monsignori. The funeral took place to Gore Hill Cemetery, where the interment was made in the space reserved for members of the Jesuit Order, His Lordship the. Bişliop of Maitland officiated at the grave, and as the body was consigned to the earth the “Benedictus” was sung by the assembled clergy.
The following appreciation of Father Dalton’s work as an educationalist, formed the leading article in the “Freeman’s Journal” for Saturday January 14th
Arnold, Master of Rugby, stands as best type of what the schoolmaster in higher education may be apart from the question of religion. He was, of course, a deeply-religious man, but his pedagogic system was not based on religion. It was, briefly, to make each student the trtustee of the school's honor; it inculcated not only the value of culture, but the immensely greater value of those qualities : which go to the making of the true gentleman - truth and fair play between boy and boy; and left the punishment of the mean arid despicable, if not to the boy's own conscience, to the public opinion of the school. Wherefore, Arnold, Master of Rugby, stands wherever the English language is spoken for the personification of all that is highest in the English public school by that simple rule of three ability, love, and probity.
What Thomas Arnold was to the secon dary educational system of England more tlan half a century ago, only in a higher degree, the Rev Joseplı Dalton, the “Father of Riverview”, who has just passed to his reward full of years and sanctity, has been to the Catholic secondary schools of Australia. Our biographical sketch of the venerable Jesuit's life we leave to other columns in this issue. We only propose here to reflect in all-too-inadequate measure. an appreciation of his life's work as it should strike anyone who has. watched the career of St. Ignatius' College a career of which not only the Catholic community but the Commonwealth should be proud. The man who can, as Father Dalton has done, found a college on the humble lines which are still in evidence in the little cottage on the brow of Riverview hill, and see his efforts crowned by the magnificent structure a few yards away; who attracts hundreds to his school as much by his great personality as by his gift of learning; and who renders the school days a tradition to which the foremost men in our Commonwealth look as to the ark of honourable manhood, must be regarded as one of the great influences in our nation-building which cannot be ignored.
Father Dalton's methods superadded to those of the Master of Rugby the obligation of doing right, not simply because it was right in the abstract, but because it was pleasing in the sight of Almighty God; and set a valuie on culture only so far as it inade for the perfection of that highest of God's creatures, the Christian gentleman. Ask any Riverview ex-student - whether he came under the immediate influence of Father Dalton's Rectorship, or has had it reflected in the traditions of that time - what has deterred him from many a time doing somethiing unworthy, and he will tell you that it is the high standard of conduct which from the old cottage days to those of the. palatial present has been set before those who entered St. Ignatius' College.
We think we are correct in saying that since the inauguration of the Riverview “Old Boys' Union”, of which he has from the first been patron, and which in the spirit and letter of its constitution embodies the old master's ideals, the infirmities which accompany the advancing years of a strenuous life prevented Father Dalton's actual presence at any of the reunions of that body. But nobody who has had the privilege of attending them could doubt that his spirit was there. The toast of “Our Patron” on such occasions always evoked the heartiest of greetings, and when that laad been honoured with a reverence which had to be expressed in what the reporter. termed “musical honors”, Father Gartlan (hardly less loved as present Rector than the Founder) would read a letter in which the genial old gentleman would bless the gathering as if he were there; and then, entering into the spirit of that community which always joins the old master with his oid pupils, would plead infirmity of body while betraying youthfulness of heart, in such wise that the laughter of the “old boys” came near to tears. He was a brave, genial, old gentleman, who knew his hold upon the “boys” long after they had become “grave and reverend seignors” in the Church, the Law, the Forum, or the Hospital; and we think the highest memorial there is to him to-day is, not the mighty pile of stone which is called St Ignatius' College, Riverview, but that human institution. quivering still in its every member with a tenderness of affection in which the college and its Founder share, and which we know as St Ignatius' Ex-Students' Union. In the present generation we remernber no figure which in its declining years more resembles that of Fr Dalton in its embodiment of the spirit of the past and present than that of that other grand old man, Cardinal Newman, whose very physical feebleness recalled and enshrined the strength and goodness of other days. Requiescant in pace.
Father Dalton SJ
Lo! his life's work done, doth sleep
Set Peacefully the spotless priest,
Wrapped in endless slumber deep,
From this world's warfare released.
Honoured life and happy end :...
Heavenly bliss be thine, O friend!
We who 'neath his kindly sway
Lived-ah! many years ago -
Fervently, yet humbly, pray,
That no purgatorial woe
Shall afflict him; but on high
Unto God his pure soul fly.
Where the fadeless asphodel
Blossoms in God's garden fair,
Grant, O Lord, our friend may dwell!
Where comes never grief nor care,
Where Christ, Who on Calvary died,
Reigns o'er the beatified,
◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, Golden Jubilee 1880-1930
Death of Fr Joseph Dalton SJ - Founder of Riverview
On January 5th, 1905, Father Dalton passed from our midst to his eternal rest. He just lived to see about five days of the year 1905, in which the Silver Jubilee of the College he founded was celebrated. This Jubilee Book is itself the most lasting and most striking tribute we can offer to all the goodness, the charm, the strength and intellectual abiliy of Father Joseph Dalton. But we cannot forego placing in the book some of the testimonies as to the varied merits of the saintly founder of Riverview, which were given by others. The “Freeman's Journal” of January 4th, 1905, has the following:
The life that faded out at Riverview on Thursday, January 5th, was that of a Catholic educationalist whose work was singularly free from in completeness. The Very Rev Joseph Dalton, SJ, had the felicity to see the full fruition of his later life-work. There have been toilers in the vine yard who were called to their reward before their eyes had seen the glory of their harvest gleaned from the labour of their lives. Not so with Father Dalton. His long life flickered out amid the beautiful environment of the great educational establishment which he founded on one of the fairest eminences that smile down upon the waterways of Sydney. Five and twenty years ago he saw it a scrubby height, embastioned by forbidding rocks. Long before his eyes closed in death that surburan wilderness had vanished, leaving in its place a veritable fairyland that delights the eye of the traveller. In the beautiful grounds that slope down to the Lane Cove River are set the noble buildings of the college of St. Ignatius, where the sons of Australia drink deep of the springs of learning. Such a monu ment should alone suffice to engraft the name of Father Dalton upon the tablets of memory. Yet it was not his only monument of the kind. He had accomplished a life's work ere he came to Sydney. But it was at Riverview he chose to end his days. And he ended them as a light gently flickering out. For some days prior to death he suffered from a cold. Doubtless the heat wave tended to complicate the ills inseparable from old age, and for a days before death he was in a comatose condition. Yet, with all his infirmity, he had a good hold on life. Five days before his end, we are told, he was wheeled in
Name of creator
Born: 10 May 1826, Booterstown, County Dublin
Entered: 20 September 1850, Avignon, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed: 02 February 1867
Died: 11 January 1893, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia
by 1858 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying Philosophy
by 1859 at Vals France (TOLO) Studying Philosophy
by 1860 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying Theology
Early Australian Missioner 1866
◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He collected the greater part of the funds for the beautiful Church at Hawthorn, and superintended the construction of the edifice.
For several years he was Rector at Xavier College, Kew, and also worked at different intervals at St Patrick’s, Melbourne.
He was a Priest of great energy and zeal, and his death was regretted by a wide circle of friends. He died at Hawthorn 11 January 1893.
◆ Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn Australia, 150 Celebration : https://www.immaculateconceptionaust.com/150anniversary https://f695c25f-f64b-42f7-be8b-f86c240a0861.filesusr.com/ugd/347de3_60d458105476441d9043f3674789a4af.pdf
Fr Nolan SJ, Founder of the Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn
Edward Nolan was born in Dublin on 10th May 1826. At an early age he attended college in Dublin with the intention of studying for the priesthood. He made his novitiate at Angers (France), took his degrees of theology at Louvain (Belgium), and entered the Society of Jesus on September 20th 1850.
After long and active service in teaching at different colleges in Ireland, he arrived in Melbourne in 1866, where he was assigned to teach at St. Patrick’s College, East Melbourne. On weekends he ministered to the people of Hawthorn. Here he came in contact with the redoubtable Michael Lynch who was determined to have a proper church built in Hawthorn and he had friends with wealth. In Fr Nolan he found someone who would extract it from them. With the land already donated by Mr. Lynch, fundraising plans to build a church were swung into action. Subscriptions flowed in, not only from the enthusiastic and generous Hawthorn Catholics, estimated at only 60 households at the time, but from non Catholics and from those outside the area. On this basis, the farsighted Fr Nolan planned a church to seat 1200.
Fr Nolan had little taste for set sermons in big churches, but had the quiet knack of addressing small groups in any situation. He had considerable knowledge of botany and some ability at medicine. Of engaging address, he had the knack of accommodating himself to all classes, and was equally at home in the mia-mia of the fossicker and the mansion of the squatter. He rode a horse called “Tobin”, which carried him everywhere. “Tobin” had a peculiar amble, which was a well-known warning to Catholics who were not what they ought to be. Father Nolan was a good religious man but it was his zeal, gentle piety and simplicity that won over the people of Hawthorn.
In 1871-72 Fr Nolan was sent on a begging mission to raise money for the new Xavier College to be built in Kew. He toured eastern Australia and even New Zealand, raising substantial funds and persuading many families to commit their sons to the new college. After 6 years as the first Rector at Xavier, and a short time in Sydney, he returned to Hawthorn as Procurator. Strange to say, he was never Superior of the Hawthorn community.
Even when in his declining years, he collected enough money to purchase a peal of bells to ring out across Hawthorn. When he died on January 11th 1893, from a ‘disease of the heart’ the bluestone church of the Immaculate Conception was as fitting a memorial as anyone could wish. Fr Nolan is recognised as the founder of the church, with an inscription in Latin on the front of the altar.
◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edward Nolan entered the Society at Tullabeg, 20 September 1850, as a priest, where he also studied theology, was director of the Sodality of Our Lady and taught writing and bookkeeping. He was a founding father to Australia in 1866 with Joseph Dalton, taught at St Patrick’s College and performed pastoral work. During 1871-72 he toured Victoria
and New Zealand seeking funds.
He went to Xavier College, Kew, in 1878, teaching bookkeeping and being minister. He was appointed rector in 1880. and was also a consultor of the mission As rector, he was recognised as a financial manager and was experienced as a strict disciplinarian. He built the South Wing and developed the farm, hoping that the College would be self-sufficient. He shared his hobby of amateur pharmacy with the boys, and was responsible for making a clear separation of dayboys and boarders - neither group mixing except during class time.
After completing his term as rector in 1886, he spent three years at Riverview, as procurator and consultor, and he also had care of the garden and farm. From 1889-93, he was engaged in pastoral work within the parish of Hawthorn, Vic., where he was at various times, procurator, consultor, admonitor and finally, spiritual father.
He was acknowledged as a very zealous and hardworking priest, but over-absorbed in money matters. Superiors obviously made use of his financial expertise or interest, even though his accounts were not always left in the best condition. His fund raising techniques did not always please diocesan priests. One monument to him was the parish church at Hawthorn.
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925
St Patrick’s College, Melbourne has just celebrated its Diamond Jubilee as a Jesuit College. It is the mother house of the Australian Mission.
On September 21st 1865, Fathers Joseph Lentaigne and William Kelly, the pioneer Missioners of the Society in Victoria, landed in Melbourne and took over the College.
On September 17th, 1866 , the second contingent of Irish priests arrived - Fr. Joseph Dalton, Fr. Edmund Nolan, Fr. David McKiniry and two lay brothers - Br. Michael Scully and Br. Michael Goodwin.
◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1893
Father Edward Nolan
Our obituary list this year is, sad to say, fairly numerous. The first name we have to refer to is that of the late Father Edward Nolan SJ, formerly Rector of the College, who died a holy death in January last at Manresa, Hawthorn, the residence of the Jesuit Fathers who conduct that parish. As many of his old pupils will be looking out for some information regarding the life and death of Father Nolan, we subjoin a sketch of his meritorious career as a member of the Society of Jesus. He was born in Dublin, on May 10th, 1826, received his early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare, Ireland, and entered the Society of Jesus after having received a sound education, on Septeinber 20th, 1850. He made bis higher studies at various places on the Continent, spending a considerable time at the University of Louvain, in Belgium. After his ordination he was employed in several capacities previously to the year 1863, in which year he became Prefect of Dicipline in Tullabeg College. He continued in that position tili early in 1866, when, accompanied by Father's Dalton and McKinniry, the second batch of Jesuits sent to the “Antipodes”, he sailed for Melbourne. He took his place on the teaching staff of St Patrick's College, and at the same time attended to parish work in Richmond and Hawthorn. It may here be mentioned en passant, that the first child baptised by Father Nolan, in Hawthorn, was the Rev J Brennan SJ, late member of the College staff, and now continuing his studies in Europe). Very soon after his arrival Father Nolan was appointed by his superiors to superintend the building of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Hawthorn, and to raise funds for the same, This work, most uncongenial to the man who, a few years before, had renounced some thousands of pounds which he handed over to his superiors for the improvement of Tullabeg College, was uudertaken by him in the spirit of holy obedience. He set about the work with gigantic energy, and though always of weakly health, was untiring in his efforts to collect money. He travelled much in Australia and New Zealand, and though he was well satisfied with the result of his exertions, his superiors and his friends used to say that his health was sold cheap, and that if a penny was a pound in the eyes of any man, it ought to have been so in the eyes of poor Father Nolan. Doubtless our Blessed Lady will have given a loving reception to the worn out priest whose zeal raised up the beautiful memorial of her dearest privilege, which now stands at the intersection of Glenferrie and Burwood Roads. His attention, however, was not wholly concentrated on the church. He was occupied during most of his time as master in St. Patrick's College, besides which, the task of collecting for this college also devolved upon him. He had, in addition, to clear the grounds, then thickly wooded, and lay out and plant the gardens. The present avenue is almost as he laid it out, but has been somewhat spoiled since by the promiscuous scattering of seeds and cutting's as from a pepper caster. Continuing his labours, Father Nolan succeeded, after having had the foundiation stone of St Francis Xavier's College laid in 1872, in opening the College for boarders in 1878.
Father Thomas Cahill SJ, now stationed at St Ignatius' Church, Richmond, was the first Rector of the College, and offered the Holy Sacrifice in the upper corridor of the present South wing, for the first time, on January 22nd, 1878. There were about 50 boarders during the birst year, and still more during the second. Father Nolan was a member of the Community during these two years, but at the end of 1879 he was appointed Rector of the College. He then rapidly improved all its departments, and the building now known as he South Wing, was completed in 1884. In that year there were over 100 boarders, and the College had already attained some very high distinctions at the University Examinations, while already some of its students began to exbibit their prowess as undergraduates. A glance at the list of old boys will show that the system which has developed that already famous band was not by any means in a raw state. No, there were then students as capable as our Wyselaskie scholarship winner of to-day. Many of the professional gentlemen, were guided oy the advice of Father Nolan in the choice of a profession, and the number of them who have attained prominence is a sufficient proof of his sagacity. All his old pupils remember his shrewdness; all remember his firmness, ind some have experienced his strictness; put in the inmost hearts of all there is a deeply-rooted reverence for the dead priest which will last for ever. All concur in saying hat if he was sometimes a little hard with them, he was always very hard with himself. In 1885 Father Nolan ceased to be Rector if Kew College, and as his health was on the decline, he was sent to Riverview College, Sydney. There he indulged his natural astes, and spent his time usefully between laying out the College grounds and giving himself up to profound study. He was a very cultured man, but the duties imposed on him by his superiors were such as to exhibit in him qualities of a totally different description. His knowledge of botany among other things ras very extensive. Once upon a time he fell in with the Curator of the Sydney Botanical Gardens and another gentleman, ho had been recently appointed as represenitives of NSW at a flower, fruit and botanical exhibition at Milan. The conversation turned on Australian Flora, and so minute and extensive did the knowledge of Father Nolan appear on the subject, that his two fellow travellers at once became pupils as it were, and the rest of the journey was occupied by Father Nolan in answering the numerous questions put him by the NSW Government experts. When he had spent about four years in Sydney, Father Nolan returned to Victoria, and was stationed at Hawthorn, where he remained till his death. He had been ailing for some years, his fatal complaint being disease of the heart, which he contracted as the result of frequent attacks of rheumatism which he necessarily suffered from in the course of his ceaseless travels. He had many warm friends, who constantly visited bim from the time when he returned from Sydney to Hawthorn, till his superiors decided that he could receive visitors no longer. He passed quietly away on January 12th, 1893, and was followed to the quiet little plot iu Kew Cemetery where his remains now lie, by a multitude of truly sorrowiul friends.
His works, however, remain as a testimony of his zeal and devotion, and his kind soul will, we trust, leap from them, eternal fruits. As a fitting finish to this sketch, all unworthy of the subject, we cannot do better than quote part of a letter written of him by a brother Jesuit : “Some of his early writtings in prose aud verse came before us a short time before his death. They appeared to furnish one more proof of how much endowment and culture is often unavoidably buried beneath the exigencies of duty, and how little the world dreams of the sacrifices of heart and intellect that are often submerged in the current of a life of common calls in external action. I am perfectly well aware that some features of his robust character meanwhile let me remember that his was a life of sickness and toil - were not agreeable to every temperauent, but I wish for my part to record that I always found him a sociable and genial gentleman. May his earnest life, his lively conversation and his pleasant witticisms, teach us all to be as good and brave to the end. Amen:. RIP
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A file of copy correspondence between Joseph Winter, owner of the Advocate (a Catholic publication) and Fr Nolan SJ concerning a paragraph about St Francis Xavier College in the paper. A note concerning the correspondence by Fr Joseph Dalton SJ remarks 'Fr Nolan's language is not only very uncharitable and unjustifiable it is also a "libel" - Winter appeals to me for redress. I intend requesting Fr Nolan to "withdraw" the expressions.' (nd, 1p).
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- Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1878- (Subject)
- Nolan, Edward, 1826-1893, Jesuit priest (Subject)
- Dalton, Joseph, 1817-1905, Jesuit priest (Subject)
- Winter, Joseph, 1844-1915, journalist (Subject)
- Watson, Michael J, 1845-1931, Jesuit priest (Subject)
- The Advocate, newspaper, 1868-1990 (Subject)
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