Former Prep School Headmaster Mr Richard Bonello this week presented headmaster Mr Nollaig Mac An Bhaird and head of Junior School Ms Louise Mallia, with a watercolour study. The study was carried out for a sculptural piece, a statue of the Blessed Virgin, currently gracing the gardens around the Junior School.
‘Strict but fair’
Mr Bonello joined the staff at St Edward’s College in 1968 after returning from the UK where he had been in charge of boarders St Peter’s School in Bournemouth. In 1975 he was appointed as the first headmaster of the Prep School, nowadays known as the Junior School. Mr Bonello retired in 1998 after over 30 years of service to the college and its generations of students. The service Mr Bonello gave was complete to the extent that he lived on the college grounds. Teachers who are still employed at the college recall that Mr Bonello had a reputation among the students for being ‘strict but fair ’ and that his professional standards had always been very high.
On presenting the watercolour, Mr Bonello recalled that the current location of the statue is, in fact, its second home. Originally the statue had been placed on the verandah, a place which Mr Bonello said that the staff all felt was not entirely fitting. It was eventually moved to the garden.
Ms Blanche Caruana, one of the teachers who remember Mr Bonello well, said that “Inside this statue is a tube, containing the names of all the students and teachers who were at college in the Junior school at the time. The Statue and the watercolour are both by a famous Maltese sculptor in Malta. Victor Diacono. Victor Diacono is the brother of the bursar we used to have at college, Salvu Diacono”.
Headmaster Mr Nollaig Mac an Bhaird thanked Mr Bonello for his generosity. Recalling his appointment as the first headmaster of the Prep School, Mr Mac an Bhaird presented Mr Bonello with a framed original letter of his appointment to the historic post. The actual presentation was carried out by Mr Frank Baldacchino, a former pupil of Mr Bonello’s, who is now a teacher in the Junior School.