Maitland Catholic schools honour 100 year anniversary of Les Darcy's death

On Wednesday, 24 May, 400 Catholic primary school students from across the Maitland region gathered for a special sporting gala day at Maitland Park to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the death of boxing legend, Les Darcy.

To honour his legend, and in the spirit of Catholic community, Year 5 and 6 students from St Aloysius Primary Catholic School, Chisholm; St John the Baptist Primary School, Maitland; St Joseph's Primary School, East Maitland and Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Tarro participated in four sporting sessions run by specialists from the NRL, Soccer, Rugby Union and Hockey.

Sporting specialists included former Hockeyroo and dual Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, Kate Jenner; Matt Sharman of NRL Development and George Gargoulakis, Development Officer of NSW Rugby Union.

The Les Darcy Memorial Sporting Gala Day, the first event of its kind, was the idea of St Aloysius Primary School, Chisholm principal, Suzanne Fern and was organised by the Sports Coordinators of the local Catholic primary schools.

The idea for the celebration stemmed from the interest of a family whose children attended St Aloysius in 2016. "The Webb family were very interested in the local history of Maitland when they were with us, and upon reading the story of Les Darcy, were adamant that his story be remembered and celebrated," Ms Fern said.

"Last year for the 99th anniversary of Les Darcy's death, the Webb family invited school families to commemorate with a gathering at his grave after school. This year, although the Webb's are now back in America, we felt it important to continue to honour Les Darcy and ensure this important anniversary was appropriately celebrated."

All students had been engaged in activities at their school prior to Wednesday's Gala Day to ensure they knew the story of Les Darcy and significance of what was being celebrated.

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Alyssa Faith Image
Alyssa Faith

Alyssa Faith was the Communications Manager for the Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle from 2016 - 2017 and a regular contributor to Aurora and