Students and teachers gathered at an assembly to farewell Mr Atherton and thank him for sharing his knowledge of technology, wood and metal work with over 20,000 students in his time with the school.
Mr Atherton will be remembered for forming the very first social group at St Pius, introducing the hall of fame and probably the least favourite student activity, detention.
Having started at the once all-boys school in 1977, Mr Atherton shared with the assembly fond memories of the introduction of the co-educational program in 1983 which brought a calming influence to a previously “rough” playground.
When asked what he will miss most about the school, Mr Atherton shared an emotional, “the students and watching them develop their knowledge and strength of character”.
Mr Atherton concluded his address with the inspirational message to all the students.
“This is your time to prepare yourselves for life, the years you spend here will form who you become in your career and where you end up in the future,” said Mr Atherton, to a continuous applause from the audience.
After 38 swimming and athletics carnivals, it is time to farewell a great teacher and wish him a very happy retirement!