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News > College Life > College embraces its newest Fresher

College embraces its newest Fresher

There was movement at the College, for the word had passed around, that on the evening of 15 August, a baby was abound…..

At approximately 6pm on Tuesday 15 August, the Rector received a call from the hospital saying that his wife Sarah had ruptured her waters and that he had to immediately make his way to Royal North Shore Hospital for the delivery of their fourth child. 

Despite his obstetric experience and his undeserved reputation for remaining calm in emergency situations, the Rector suddenly scrambled downstairs, hastily seeking help from anyone in the corridors of the Hintze building for he needed someone who could look after their three young children.  

In true St John’s College style, the 2023 Students' Club Secretary, Indigo Murphy, eagerly stepped up to the crease as 1st Babysitter when the Rector received the urgent call. Leaving the children in Indigo’s capable hands, the Rector requested her assistance in assembling a dream team of St John’s Babysitters to hold down the fort together. 

It wasn’t long before a text message popped up on the Rector’s phone explaining that Isabella Price had answered the call of duty to take on the role of 2nd Babysitter. 

Emergency babysitters (L-R) Indigo Murphy, Flynn Thompsett, Oscar Crowe, Nick Zanatta, Issie Price, Abi Schembri and William Schembri

It is only at a place like St John’s College that a group of compassionate and responsible young adults can be found so swiftly and without hesitation – a testament to the calibre of students we have here. The Rector is profoundly thankful to all those who answered the call and came to his family's aid during this exciting time!

The Rector is delighted to announce to the St John’s Community that Sophia Schembri made her entrance into the world at 7:35pm on August 15th, coinciding with the Feast of the Assumption.

According to College Historian Dr. Peter Cunich, this marks the first time that an incumbent Rector has had a child born during their tenure.  

Proud big sisters

That is likely because, for 135 years, the position of Rector could only be held by an ordained minister of the Catholic Church. However, this changed in 1994. For those who may have missed this update (and to avoid any potential scandal!), it's worth noting that Rectors of St John’s may now include laypersons who have children. 

The Rector is very grateful for the way in which the students of St John’s College have warmly embraced the Schembri children, all of whom are 10 years or younger, as if they were their own brothers and sisters. Having young children at College is a powerful reminder of life’s responsibilities and the strength of family, with our students being able to witness at College the beautiful bonds that children and parents create.  

While the Schembri children are very much a part of our daily life here at the College – sharing lunch in the Hall with our students and patrolling the corridors of the Hintze building in search of stray crockery – the Rector is mindful of the need for students to have their own time and space away from younger children: no duck-duck-goose in the College Bar!

A heartfelt thank you to all those who have extended their help and support to the Rector's family over the past week. There are too many to name individually. It's worth noting that despite any skepticism about why someone would choose to raise their children at a University College, we have once again witnessed the very best of our St John’s College community, and the Rector wouldn’t have it any other way!

Friday Staff morning tea in the Senior Common Room – Induction of the new Staff member.

Main photo: St John’s College students (L-R) Tom Bull (1st Year), Annabel Brown (3rd Year), and Darcy Fogarty (1st Year) with new College baby

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