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1st XV vs St. Pat's Silverstream & Town

Mr. Mark Ealey —

Pre-season fixtures on 20 and 23 April

St Bede’s College 1st XV v St Patrick’s College Town 1st XV At 1pm on Tuesday 20th April at Kilburnie, Wellington
St Bede’s College 1st XV v St Patrick’s College Silverstream 1stXV At 12pm Friday 23rd April at Silverstream, Upper Hutt. Annual Traditional Matches  

St Patrick’s College, Town:
• Founded in 1885• Motto: Sectare Fidem; (Hold Fast to your Faith)• Roll: 720 

St Patrick’s College, Silverstream:• Established 1931, when St Patrick’s College “Town” (founded in 1885) was intended to be moved to a larger site more suited to being a boarding school. Instead, the boarding hostel moved to St Patrick’s Silverstream and St Patrick’s Town became the school for ‘day boys’ and there after both schools continued as separate colleges.

• Motto: Sectare Fidem; (Hold Fast to your Faith)

• Roll: 710 

St Bede’s College:• Founded 1911

• Motto: Fide et Opere; (By Faith and By Works)

• Roll: 800 

Points of interest:• St Bede’s College and St Patick’s College were established by the Society of Mary (Marists). A Catholic Religious order, for the Society of Mary, is made up of lay, brothers, sisters and priests are often known as Marists. The first Marists came to the South Pacific, and were based in New Zealand. Arriving with Bishop Pompallier in 1838 they were also present at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi; gaining religious freedom for all in New Zealand and also helping to establish the Catholic Church in New Zealand. From the first days of the Society of Mary, Marists have been involved in ministries with young people. They set up and established schools – including amongst them both St Patrick’s College and St Bede’s College. Today, the Society of Mary remains the proprietor of both colleges, whist being state integrated schools. 

• At stake will be the “Holley Shield”. The shield was named after the former provincial of the Marist Order, Fr Dean Holley, SM.It was first competed for in 1921 between the first XVs of St Patrick’s College (Town) and St Bede’s College. From 1921 to 1930 St. Bede's managed to win it only on three occasions.In 1931, the annual competition between the two colleges changed to become a triangular tournament with the establishment and inclusion of St Patrick’s Silverstream. In the era up to 1943, Silverstream won the Shield 10 times, St Patrick’s town won it 3 times and St Bede's failed to win it at all.In 1943, “the contest for the Holley Shield was with regret abandoned under the stress of [wartime] circumstances” and St Patrick’s College, Silverstream (the holders as of that date), retained the shield. The triangular tournament then fell into abeyance. The shield then mysteriously disappeared.Between 1949 and 1973, St Patrick’s Town and St. Bede's reinstituted an annual fixture, which then fell away until in 2014 when they resumed playing annually.And in 1991, St Bede’s and St Patrick’s Silverstream also reinstituted their annual fixture, playing their first game since 1942. The following year, in 1992, St Bede’s recorded their first ever win against Silverstream winning 35-3. St Bede’s achieved three in a row with victories in 1993 and 1994. After which Silverstream again took control of the fixture, until 2003 when St Bede’s won again. Then from 2006, St Bede's established its only sustained era of dominance over Silverstream winning six of the next seven contests.But throughout these years the Shield was missing. Fr Mark Walls, SM, had happened across it (strangely) located at St Bede’s College. It was in a dilapidated state and suggested that it should be restored. By 2013, talk emerged of reinstituting it as the pre-eminent trophy to be contested between the three Marist colleges. Gordon Noble-Campbell initiated the project to restore the shield. Made of mahogany and embossed in sterling silver, the wood was badly damaged, with many silver shields missing, as well as one of the three silver clover leafs. Chris England, a member of the St Bede’s Rugby Committee, then spent hours restoring the damaged mahogany to its former glory. St Bede’s also engaged a silversmith to replace the missing silver work. The restoration work was financially supported by the St Patrick’s College Old Boys’ Association.The result was the shield restored to its former glory. This time as a Shield to be won and lost on a challenge basis, whenever the holder plays either of the other two Marist schools.• In 2015 St Bede’s won the Holley Shield from Silverstream (as incumbent holder) when the trophy returned.

• St Patrick’s College Silverstream then beat St Bede’s from 2016 in the annual fixture until 2019. And during this period, they were the dominant team in the revived three-way rivalry for the Holley Shield beating Town also. Notably, Silverstream defeated Town 29-22 in the 2018 Final of the Wellington Premier 1st XV Championship making them back to back 1stXV Champions of Wellington and extending their unbeaten streak to 22 games in that competition. 

• In 2019 St Bede’s defeated both St Patrick’s Colleges in away matches. Bede’s won 24-12 against Town and then in their match up with Stream they overcame a 0-17 deficit early to get back and run out winners 24-17, becoming the new holders of the Holly Shield. 

• Stream and Town played each other twice last year in the Wellington competition with Stream winners 24-14 and 26-17. But at the start of 2021, St Bede’s remain the holders of the Shield with the plague preventing challenge matches in 2020. All to play for next week..