Our Lady Of The Way Primary School


Address: 19 Green Ave, Kingsbury Vic 3083

Phone: (03) 9460 6684

Parish Priest Story

In January 1968 the Servite Community came to reside in the parish of Kingsbury. Appointed as Parish Priest was Fr Patrick (Paddy) Boyle. Two priests were appointed as chaplains to the newly opened Latrobe University. They were Fr Patrick McNamara and Fr Vincent Harkins. Next Tuesday, 30 August, marks the 30th annivesary of the death of Fr Harkins. Many will remember him with great fondness while others may not know of him at all. Fr Harkins was Scottish born and educated in England, hence his English accent. During his chaplaincy at Latrobe University he dealt with numberous students especially around exam time when many suddently realized they had not applied themselves enough during the year and turned to divine tintervention for help.

Fr Harkins was a smoker who always gave up the smokes for lent then as soon as lent was over he continued on smoking. It was in 1981 while on sabbatical in the United States that he became aware he had lung cancer. Becasue his love for Kingsbury (and his beloved Richmond Football Club) he returned to spend his final days among us. Despite his weakened condition he offered Mass for the parish on a number of occasions. He taught us all a lesson in patience by his uncomplaining acceptance of his illness.

Just as he had shared so much himself with the parish over the years, he shared with us his final days. He died on 30 August 1981 aged 48. His rosary and funeral (which was held at Holy Name Parish as our church was seen as being too small for the funeral) brought together the wide variety of people whose lives had been touched by Fr Harkins during his years in Kingsbury. He was sadly mourned by the Servite Community and all the parishioners at Our Lady of the Way.

The Original Stations of the Cross in our church were purchased and delicated in remembrance of Fr Vicent Harkins, OSM.

Tony Vandenberg, a former parishioner, made the wooden crosses that surround the pewter discs.

Compiled by Nellina Sebastian, Archivist and Parish Photographer.