Rogers James Judge was born 13 November 1920 at Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia. Jim’s mother Ruby (nee Rogers B. 1895 – 1924) died in an accident when she was 29 years old and he was only five. Both Jim and his little brother Henry ‘Harry’ were sent to live with their grandparents Henry Francis Rogers (31.12.1859 – 19.8.1936) and Mary Ann (nee Healy 1863 – 1939) at Toobrack Station, Longreach Queensland. Their grandparents felt it was not appropriate for the young boys to be brought up or spend time in the hotel pub the Commercial in Longreach with their father.
Jim and his younger brother Harry Judge traveled alone by train to live at the boarding known as the at Sacred Heart College, also known as Marist Brothers Rosalie, (Architect – George Frederick Addison). This was a Catholic boys’ college located 58 Fernberg Road Rosalie Paddington, close to Ashgrove, an inner western suburb of Brisbane, Queensland Australia. Joseph Benedict Marcellin Champagnat (1789-1840 France), priest of the society of Mary, founded the Marist Brothers of the schools in Australia.
January 20 1929 – blessing and official opening of Monastery of the Marist Brothers at Rosalie by Archbishop J Duhig [Dean Lee, Br Osmund, Br Campion, Br Athanasius, Br Denis representing the Provincial in attendance].
On January 28 1929 the school opened with 220 students in an old wooden first Parish church [which had been moved to present site in 1918] – 135 students enrolled, (Grades 4 upwards). Staff consisted of Director Brothers Osmund Rice and Brothers Athanasius, Leopold & Arnold. The temperature was at the time 100 -110 degrees F – and there was apparently no blackboards, no protection from the elements on the verandah and no playground.
Both Jim and Harry would have attended this and possibly also see the then well known Archbishop James Duhig of Brisbane, who had instigated and brilliantly fundraised for the buildings, as part of a period of great expansion in the Catholic Church. The Archbishop oversaw the construction of more than four hundred major church buildings and his vision was made all the more impressive is due to the harsh economic times, of the Great Depression. Both the materials and construction were difficult to obtain and if you look on the Links on this website or look up the Ashgrove Old Boys Association website you will even find a photo of the student themselves, digging and building the road to the entrance at Ashgrove Marist College. Today on the hills across Brisbane there are numerous Catholic education buildings built on land purchased by the Archbishop during this time. There were many fundraisers, concerts, competitions and raffles to raise the funds. See raffle ticket here.
In 1931 there were only 7 boarders, including Harry and Jim in the Brothers’ House. Harry and Jim having arrived in 1930, aged eight and ten. (The Fees were ₤75 per year, ₤60 per year for weekly boarders).
The school colours are cerise and blue and their motto in Latin was “Age Quod Agis” meaning “Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly and well”. There are two symbols on the shield. On the left the Marist “M”, the international crest of the Marist Brothers order. On the right are an open book and a torch, the symbols of learning.
Their first 1st Boxing contest was held in a classroom.
In 1938 the first Old Boys Association was established (Formerly Old Boys’ Union) – President, Victor Glandfield – Joint Secretaries, Col Donaldson, John Hallam – Treasurer, Jim Cummerford. Jim Judge would have possibly graduated and commenced study to become a brother at this time.
In 1939, when Jim’s younger brother Harry was then 17 years old, there were 451 students, of which 400 were Primary and the remainder Secondary. In that same year the Marist Brothers purchased St Jude’s Seminary at Ashgrove and established what remains today as the Marist College Ashgrove with its expansive grounds and the original tower building which housed the original Boarding college. Jim’s brother Henry ‘Harry’ Judge was a founding student and can be seen at the back of an original outdoor assembly photo.
The college had been a high school for students in grades 8 to 12, but was closed on Sunday Nov. 30, 2008. In 2008, the old brick building of Rosalie was heritage-listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.
After graduating from Rosalie Marist Brothers, Jim was joined the Democratic Labor Party (DLP). This was an Australian political party founded in 1955 as the Australian Labor Party (ALP). It was renamed in 1957 as the Democratic Labor Party and continued on until 1978. It was formed as a result of a split in the ALP, between the party’s national leadership and the majority of the Victorian branch, which was dominated by a faction composed largely of ideologically driven anti-Communist Catholics.
Marist College Ashgrove began in 1940 with Brother Ignatius as its first Headmaster. The College is built on the site formerly used by Father Walter Cain and his proposed Missionary Order. The only permanent building was the Tower Block whose graceful architecture has made it the symbol of the College. Despite temporary evacuation and re-location during World War II, the College flourished and developed. There has been an almost continuous building program over the last 70 years, and the numbers of students have grown from the original 70 in 1940 to 1,600 today (including boarders).
Jim was a teacher at various secondary boys schools and also had trained to become a Marist Brother.
Jim lived most of his life in Queensland. During his life he was a teacher, a political activist, a teller of stories, a bushman, a painter, a wood carver, a lover of sport – especially the maroons, a strong swimmer and surfer, a dedicated fisherman and loving husband and father. He loved his country and his home state of Queensland. He enjoyed all things Irish, yet never visited Ireland. He was a republican and had 50 golden years of marriage. Above all Jim was a man of substance, a man of all seasons and all peoples, with a strong faith and love of learning.
Jim passed away at Terranora, New South Wales on the 5th March 2001 and is buried at Allambe Cemetery, site 1226 A1.