Honorary archivist Zachariah Duke is a font of Holy Cross knowledge. And though the College is well known for its NRL success stories – about 10 current players including Wests Tigers’ Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses are past students, and the school’s 1981 Commonwealth Cup win produced first grade footballers including Benny Elias – Duke says many more humble ‘salt-of the earth’ students go on to be successful outside of the limelight and maintain a connection with the school.
Current Ryde deputy mayor Roy Maggio and former Botany Bay mayor Ben Keneally are also alumni. Research for the Anzac Centenary uncovered the many past students who lost their lives on the Western Front during the First World War.
The school welcomed its first lay staff members in the 1950’s and first lay principal Gary Williams in 2003. Current principal Adam Taylor took over the role in 2009. The College was a boarding school until 1971 and was an early adopter of technology.
“In a lot of cases we’ve been ahead of the game,” Dr Duke said. “We would have been one of the first schools in Australia to actually have a class of boys using a laptop as part of their learning. That was more than 20 years ago.”