St Patrick's College Strathfield

Crichton House

Crichton Shield

The Rising Sun and Candle
: symbolises the light of the Rising Sun and the ANZAC spirit, this is illuminated by the flame of a candle signifying the light of Christ.

The Rope: a symbol of united strength, demonstrates the power of community. As a single strand we may be frail but when entwined with others, we are fortified.

The Bugle: which Digger Crichton famously used to entertain the troops, reminds us to be stoic in the face of adversity, to be leaders and not bystanders, and to stand up for our beliefs.

The Hammer: not only represents Br Crichton’s years as a dedicated teacher of woodwork, but also embodies the notion that even with the most basic tools, we have the power to build something great.

Silver Ferns: form the foundation of the shield and provide a symbol of Br Crichton’s early life and heritage in New Zealand. This connection to ancestry is strong within us all.


Crichton House is named after Br John Rewi Crichton, who, for many years, was a devoted and much loved teacher at St Patrick’s College.

br-crichtonJohn Crichton was born in New Zealand and following the death of his father, was brought up in an orphanage run by a French order of nuns known as the Sisters of Compassion. In 1908, at the tender age of 16, John Crichton left New Zealand in order to seek work in Sydney.

With the onset of World War I in 1915, John Crichton enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force which took him to places such as South Africa, Great Britain and France. During this time he was thrown into some of the heaviest fighting Anzac troops were engaged in and was decorated with seven medals of valour. During his time as a dispatch rider he famously witnessed the shooting down of the most celebrated German air ace, the Red Baron.

It wasn’t until after the war when John was working as a panel beater and cabinet maker in Melbourne, that a chance meeting with Br Hickey changed the course of his life. At the age of 30, the World War I veteran decided to pack up his tools and join the Christian Brothers in Strathfield. On the day the doors to the College opened in 1928, Br Crichton was one of only three Christian Brothers present and he remained here for the next 57 years teaching wood work, technical drawing and religion.

During his lifetime he had saluted King George V, met Pope John Paul II and received an M.B.E from Queen Elizabeth II. Upon his death, Br Crichton was the only Christian Brother to have been buried with an Australian flag draped over his coffin.

crichton house