Dennett, Charles, 1915-1993, Jesuit priest

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Dennett, Charles, 1915-1993, Jesuit priest

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04 July 1915-19 October 1993


Born: 04 July 1915, Shipley, Yorkshire, England
Entered: 12 February 1931, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 06 January 1945, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 15 August 1948
Died: 19 October 1993, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Athelstone, Adelaide, Australia- Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Brother of Frank - RIP 1992

At age four his family of two brothers and two sisters emigrated from England to Australia. His early education was at Footscray and Ascot Vale, and then at St Patrick’s College Melbourne, where his father was a music teacher. He was considered a very good scholar and was aged 15 and a half when he Entered the Society at Loyola Greenwich in 1931.

After First Vows he went to the University of Melbourne where he graduated BA in Applied Mathematics, with Latin, Greek and British History as part of his BA.
1939-1941 He was sent for a Regency to St Patrick’s College Melbourne, Prefecting, Editing the “Patrician” and caring for the tuck shop.
1945-1949 After Theology and Ordination he was sent to St Louis School in Perth as Prefect of Studies.
1949-1951 He was appointed Rector at St Patrick’s College. His term was cut short after he suffered a car accident which permanently affected him.
1951-1953 He was back teaching at St Louis School
1954 He was sent to the new school St Ignatius College Norwood, and went to Athelstone when that school was opened. During his early years at Norwood he worked hard. He taught Mathematics and Religion, and often had eight classes a day. He was also involve in co-curriculars as well as saying public Masses in the Parish, especially on Sundays. Only very occasionally could he enjoy trips to the beach or walks in the hills.

Those who knew him were amazed by his fascination with preserving tradition. He was meticulous in keeping records for the College. Each year the College magazine recorded marriages, birth of children and deaths of former students, as well as the deaths of their parents. he kept a record of every student who entered the school, and at the time of his death there were 4861 entries. Each student had a card on which essential details about his life were recorded. He had performed the same task at St Louis School. Each year he undertook the task of studying the telephone directory to not any change of address or telephone number of students and ex students. In addition, each day he collected the newspaper and systematically checked all notices for any information about students. He retired from teaching at the end of 1988 after a heart attack, and in 1900 he began his memoirs.

He was a most precise teacher and scrupulous in his presentation of material. Only the best was acceptable. He was also quite conservative theologically, and somewhat fearful of modern ideas in theology and education. So he found change difficult. However, e generally kept these ideas to himself unless provoked. At the same time, this contrasted with his ready acceptance of other changes, and he was one of the first to adopt less formal garb and his wearing of shorts often provided amusement.

He loved the Society and loved to hear anecdotes and stories about fellow Jesuits.

He was a shy man and somewhat reclusive. He loved music. He had once been an excellent pianist and in the early days had been the accompanist for the school choir and the operettas. In the evenings he like to list to his favourite classical pieces and play patience.

He was essentially an intellectual and yet he found work in the grounds very beneficial to his health. He attacked cape weed, Salvation Jane and Scotch thistle with his normal precise approach to anything he did.

His life was one of order and self-discipline, dedication, commitment and fidelity. He took great care of his health, especially when travelling and would not wear a seat belt in a car or plane because of his fears from his car accident. He always said a private Mass at the same time each morning. In his latter years he had withdrawn from pastoral involvement. He was happy in his devotion to duty, precision in everything and a desire for excellence in service/


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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830- (1830-)

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-


Dennett, Charles, 1915-1993, Jesuit priest

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Australian Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1931- (1931-)

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Australian Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1931-


Dennett, Charles, 1915-1993, Jesuit priest

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