Old scholar Angelo Primavera named new Blackfriars Board Chair

When Angelo Primavera was a student at Blackfriars in the mid-to-late 1970s and early ‘80s, the school was in the middle of a building revolution.

Under the guidance of then-Headmaster Fr John Neill OP, several new buildings were constructed across the campus, including the Maher Building and the gymnasium – the latter named in recognition of Fr Neill’s tireless work to ensure its development.

It was somewhat fitting, therefore, that today, with Mr Primavera (BPS’81) taking the reins as the new Chair of the Blackfriars Board, the school was in the midst of a similar building boom.

“It’s been good to see that transition,” said Mr Primavera, who spent many years on the school’s Finance Committee before joining the board.

“For me, it’s always about growth, making the school better and improving the experience for the students.”

Angelo Primavera, back row, second from left, during his final year at school.

Mr Primavera – who studied mechanical engineering and went on to run a national engineering firm with 330 employees – remembered his time as a student at Blackfriars and the lasting friendships he formed.

While he readily admitted he was not the best student – “I found study difficult, so I had my issues there” – he said Blackfriars gave him the skills and resilience to “tackle the challenges of post-school life”.

“I always felt a connection to the school,” Mr Primavera said of his decision to join the Finance Committee about eight years ago.

“I didn’t have any boys … but all of my nephews and my cousins’ kids came to Blackfriars. But I do have two lovely daughters, who went to Rosary and then St Dominic’s, which is as close as you can get.

“And I felt I had some unfinished business; to show that even a struggling scholar, like myself, could actually come back and provide value to the school. I have always wanted to give back wherever I can.”

Angelo Primavera (BPS’81) is the new Chair of the Blackfriars Board.

His connection to the local area also ran deep.

“I still live in the area. I have lived in this area all my life. My parents still live in Prospect and most of my family live in Prospect. I am a North Adelaide supporter. I am the vice-president of the Italian club (Casa D’Abruzzo Molise Club) on Churchill Rd … and we’re part of the local parish.”

Importantly, many of the friends he made during his own years at Blackfriars have remained friends for life.

“I have quite a few really good friends that I met at Blackfriars,” he said. “And I’m still part of that wider old scholars network, we still regularly catch up. It’s great seeing that network very strong.”

His vision for his time as Chair of the Board was simple: “I think a place like Blackfriars offers something different than other schools and we need to be able to maintain that. It’s a special school. It is unique.”

“There are still a lot of building projects to go … and that’s what I love; to be able to give back to the community in that way,” he said.

Mr Primavera succeeds fellow old scholar David O’Loughlin (BPS’82) as Chair of the Blackfriars Board.

Old scholars reopen North Adelaide's Archer Hotel

A pair of Blackfriars old scholars is working to breathe new life into a North Adelaide landmark.

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