Sadly we remember Maria Bernice O’Sullivan who died suddenly on Sunday 25 June, 2017 aged 89.
Bernice joined the staff of Braddon Catholic Girls’ High School (the original name of the College) in 1961 as an Art, History and Literature teacher. She retired at the end of 1992.
Bernice contributed in so many ways to the Merici College community that it is difficult to sum up her achievements. She was first and foremost an outstanding teacher and administrator. She served the College in many capacities, as History Coordinator, English Coordinator, Careers Adviser, Year 12 Mistress and as Assistant Principal (Staff) and Assistant Principal (Students). At the beginning of 1991 Bernice resigned as Assistant Principal (Students) to enjoy her greatest love; teaching. She developed a very effective pastoral care structure in the school. In her very thorough style she researched existing models and practices and established a system that has contributed to the success of the Pastoral Care program at Merici. In the same manner, Bernice refined the methods of discipline in line with the Glasser Model, ensuring that students and staff understood their common goals and accepted responsibilities.
"As an English and History teacher, her formidable intelligence, wide reading, superb general knowledge and great love of literature, has enriched the lives of many students. We will remember her as an outstanding teacher, colleague and a valued friend."
As an Assistant Principal, her calm, serene wisdom and humanity made her a most effective administrator. She was always a very approachable person, able to keep the big picture in mind. She has been described by close colleagues as a person who was ahead of her time in the management of students and an inspiration to all staff. Bernice has also been described as the “essence of Merici”. Students remember her with great affection.
As an English and History teacher, her formidable intelligence, wide reading, superb general knowledge and great love of literature, has enriched the lives of many students. We will remember her as an outstanding teacher, colleague and a valued friend. Extract: Merici College 1992 Yearbook
After retirement Bernice wrote and published the book entitled Three Decades at Braddon: Canberra Catholic Girls High School to Merici, 1959-1989 which provides a very detailed account of the College’s history. Again, another demonstration of Bernice’s dedication, energy and compassion that she held so dearly for Merici College.
In 2008 Merici College celebrated the re-opening of the refurbished Information Centre. As part of refurbishments, a senior study room was constructed and named the Bernice O’Sullivan Senior Study Room in recognition of the invaluable contribution, inspiration and commitment that Bernice had made to Merici College over many years.
The funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday 4 July at St Peter Chanel’s in Yarralumla commencing at 11.30am. The family welcomes past and present staff and students of Merici College to attend the funeral.
Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace. Amen.