October 11, 2019
This past June, members of the Fenwick boys’ team made another splash in Australia, where they studied and competed in cricket, footy and, of course, pool-polo!
The late Coach Dave Perry (the author's father) first took the Friars "Down Under" 27 years ago.
At a Dominican conference about 30 years ago, so the story goes, two Dominican priests — both presidents of their all-boys, Dominican-sponsored schools (the only all boys Dominican sponsored schools in their respective countries) — overheard each other bragging about the competitiveness of their water polo teams. Blackfriars Priory School, located in Prospect, a suburb of Adelaide, Australia, already had a “world tour” in the works with stops in China, France, England, New York, Los Angeles and Waikiki. Both presidents were determined to put a quick stop in Chicago on the itinerary. So, in 1992, the first group of Blackfriars boys and school representatives arrived at Fenwick as part of their world tour.
Since then, Blackfriars has visited Fenwick four times while Fenwick has visited Blackfriars three times. In addition to these water-polo exchanges, there have been two students from each school who participated in student exchanges, and two teachers participated in one six-month teacher exchange. There’s even a marriage in the exchange’s history; and in 2016, a Fenwick alumna and a Blackfriars old scholar welcomed their first child into the world!
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