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As the Covid 19 restrictions are being gradually eased, work at the College is picking up steam. There are many little things being done at the moment, most of them a continuation of previously begun civil works and the finishing off of internal bits and pieces before painting can begin.

An important and visually significant section of the building, that is the tower which graces the front edifice is about to be clad with stone. The tower was designed by renowned Belgrade architect Ljubica Bosnjak, and whilst much of the detail is not evident in the attached animation, the structure will be very true to the style of the famous 14th century Serbian Morava School of architecture. Many of Serbia’s most famous monastery churches such as Kalenic, Ljubostinja, Ravanica and the Lazarica Church in Krusevac are examples of the unique, “Moravska Skola.”

Locally quarried white sandstone, which will be offset with carved white marble rosettes and ornamental features has been chosen for the College. The most reputable quarry in the country is Gosford Quarries, just 70kms north of Sydney. Earlier this week, His Grace Bishop Siluan and entourage visited Sarkis family operated business, to inspect the sandstone which will be used to clad the College Tower. It was a valuable experience.

Whilst it is an integrated element of the main building, the tower in all of its traditional medieval grace, will very much stand apart from the very contemporary building with its expanses of glass and deep verandahs. It is a very deliberate juxtaposition of old and new, of Serbia and Australia, but a juxtaposition of seamless complementarity nonetheless.

In a very welcome gesture of support for this most worthwhile project of our Metropolitanate, the St George Cathedral Parish in Cabramatta has very graciously offered to cover the cost of supply and installation of the sandstone. With the carving of marble decorative features to be applied to the tower late next year, it will become the College’s defining feature.

The first delivery of quarried and dressed stone, and the start of installation is expected in the first weeks of July. Completion of the cladding is expected sometime in September.

The exceptional hospitality and welcome of Sid and Charlie Sarkis and their demonstrated dedication to their work and attention to detail, was very encouraging. Take a moment to view the attached footage of our visit to Gosford Quarries.