Guilford Young College was named in honour of Archbishop Sir Guilford Young DD KBE (1916 – 1988). He was appointed the eighth Archbishop of Hobart on 20 September 1955, a position he held until his death on 16 March 1988.
Archbishop Young was a man who was proud and passionate about his faith, dedicated to serving others and one who saw education as a gift and an opportunity. He loved young people and recognised them as the future of the country and the Church. He urged them to establish a vision and to live it with purpose and dedication. As one of the Council Fathers (participant in the Second Vatican Council, Rome) he was imbued with a vision and an enthusiasm for the Church in the modern world and this was highlighted in his concern for social justice. He was particularly vigilant and outspoken on issues of educational justice for Catholic schools.
Guilford Clyde Young was born at Sandgate, near Brisbane, on 10 November 1916, the son of a shearer, Arthur Young and Mary Ellen (nee McKean). Guilford’s father, who was not a Catholic, raised the family at Longreach, Queensland. The young Guilford won a bursary to be educated by the Christian Brothers at St Joseph’s College, Rockhampton. In 1933, he began priestly studies for the Rockhampton Diocese at St Columba’s College, Springwood, NSW, before being sent to Rome in 1934 to complete his studies at the Pontifical Urban University of Propaganda Fide (Propaganda College). He was ordained as a priest on 3 June 1939, in the Lateran Basilica, Rome.
After appointments in Rockhampton, at the Apostolic Delegation in North Sydney and at Banyo Seminary in Brisbane, he was consecrated a bishop in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, on 8 September 1948 and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop McGuire of Canberra and Goulburn and parish priest at Yass. He was then aged 31 and the youngest Catholic bishop in the world. He was Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese for three months and in November 1953 became auxiliary bishop to Archbishop Eris O’Brien. While at Yass, he gave considerable thought and ministerial attention to the local Aborigines. Yass also was often the focus for large gatherings of laity and youth under his leadership. And it was at a school opening in Canberra that he spoke passionately about school funding and the importance of a Christian education – topics he would pursue with vigour throughout his life.
In November 1954 Bishop Young was made coadjutor archbishop to Dr E. V. Tweedy, Archbishop of Hobart. He began his life in Tasmania based in Launceston. Within 10 months of his arrival, on the resignation of Dr Tweedy, he was appointed Archbishop of Hobart.
A vigorous thinker and gifted with intellect, oratory, will and character, he was a forceful persuader. In a Church of diverse needs, he is remembered most significantly for his involvement in education’s funding and freedom of choice debates, liturgy, lay involvement, social welfare, ecumenism and imbuing clergy, religious and the laity with the spirit and teachings of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).
He was awarded the Order of the British Empire – Knights Commander on 3 June 1978 for Services to the Church.
Archbishop Young died in Melbourne on 16 March 1988. His funeral was held in St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, and he was buried in its grounds. On 9 November 2016, the eve of the 100th anniversary of Archbishop Young’s birth, his earthly remains were re-interred in the new crypt at St Mary’s Cathedral. He and Archbishops Ernest Tweedy and Eric D’Arcy were the first bishops to be buried in the crypt which is part of the Cathedral Centre.
The 100th anniversary of the birth of Guilford Clyde Young was on Thursday 10 November 2016. A film, Guilford Young – a Beacon of Light, was launched by Archbishop Emeritus Adrian Doyle AO, in GYC’s Don Bosco Creative Arts Centre on Friday 11 November. Earlier that week, the spirituality and the legacy of Archbishop Young were used as the focus for a prayer reflection during the Guilford Young College Graduation Ceremony for 2016. As mentioned above, his remains were re-interred in the new crypt at St Mary’s Cathedral. About the same time, GYC Principal, Mrs Bobby Court, penned “Archbishop’s legacy thrives” for 2016 Lux Nostra, in which she writes about how his core beliefs and values are still being given life by today’s GYC community.
Guilford Young – a Beacon of Light can be accessed through the Archdiocese of Hobart Archives.
full text of “Archbishop’s legacy thrives“