Assumption Catholic Primary Year 3 students have created an anthem to celebrate and farewell Father Xavier, a central part of the school for the past five years.
Lead by teacher Aaron Doulton, who wrote the original song, the two classes came together to give the parish priest something he would remember.
“When Xavier goes back to the parish in India, he’ll only have the one suitcase, so we wanted to give him something that wasn’t like a great big plaque or something, but still something that came from the heart,” Mr Doulton said.
Mr Doulton, who is a musician in his own right, said he was approached by the school to create something unique.
“Father Xavier is just one of those people who is 100 per cent generous,” he said.
“He’s one of those people who care so much not just about the school, but the wider community in general.
“For a long time, it was him, just by himself, doing a huge job in running the parish.
“Now there’s three priests, and I remember Father Xavier joking that when he leaves, they need three more to take his place.”
Mr Doulton, who outside of school regularly plays locally in his own band, usually focuses on more folk and indie-oriented sounds.
But for the farewell song, he wanted to do something that would stand out.
“It’s really something I’ve never done before, so I wanted to make sure I approached it differently,” he said.
“Most of the stuff I usually write is personal, but I knew that wouldn’t work for this.
“For me, writing music is about writing lyrics – that’s the part I enjoy the most, so that’s the part I wanted to stand out.”
Mr Doulton, along with his students, managed to find a happy balance between the head and the heart.
“We knew we didn’t just want to talk about all the things he’s done, because as good as that is, it’s not the whole story,” he said.
“I’ve only been here for two years, so the students – even the Year 3 students – know him better than I do.
“So we ended up with something that talks a bit about what he’s done. It mentions the work he’s done, how much he gives, that sort of thing.
“But I think in the end it captures the personality of Father Xavier. He’s just a great bloke, really, that you can’t help but get along with. I think that’s what we really tried to go with.”
The song was performed for Father Xavier’s recent farewell mass, and is still online on the Assumption Catholic Primary webpage.