by NZ CATHOLIC staff
Catholic educator and author Brendan Warwick Schollum was laid to rest on September 24 at the Puhoi cemetery — although family and friends knew him as someone so full of life, they can hardly see him as resting.
Longtime friend Pat Spillane hoped heaven is a noisy, gregarious place with Sky Sport, because, “If it’s all about resting in peace and taking it easy, you’ll hate it”.
“RIP is not for you. I hope you are in a noisy, gregarious place and you are in the heart of it organising the heavenly choir and doing your weird magic tricks, welcoming unsuspecting
newcomers,” he said.
Mr Schollum’s family — brother Stephen, and children, Matthew, Celia and Jono — also described him as the loving workaholic who was always on the go.
“Not for him our Dad’s cautionary construction adage — measure twice, cut once. Brendan cut once quickly and then worked out what to do next,” said Stephen.
“He knew where he was going. He didn’t need to look in the mirror for reassurance. He was determined and convinced. Not a half glass full person. Whatever was in his glass that life has given to him, he accepted. It was right, enough, and something to be shared,” Stephen
Mr Schollum died on September 19 of viral encephalitis that caused a swelling in his brain. He was 67.
He was the fourth son of Pat and Joan Schollum of Puhoi. He was the first lay principal of Sacred Heart College and was the foundation principal of Aquinas College. He was acting principal of Marcellin College before he died. He was also a principal at De La Salle College.
He briefly headed the Auckland diocese’s Catholic Caring Foundation and raised funds for Bishop
Patrick Dunn’s charities.
His children recalled his love for sports and music. “He started this tradition of singing at family weddings — which no one encouraged,” his daughter Celia related with a smile.
Matthew, who followed in his footsteps and is now an educator himself, said, “He didn’t bombard me with his expectations and he would only help when asked”.
Jono talked about his father’s plan to write another book. “It was along the lines of three things you can do to improve the world. He was an idealist, and he wanted to do something to
leave a mark on the world,” he said.
Bishop Dunn said Mr Schollum was always upbeat. Hearing of Mr Schollum’s death left Bishop
Dunn feeling down.
He said he was looking at the daily scriptural reading on the day of Mr Schollum’s death, and it was St Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians.
“Paul reminds us of the great truth, the great memory that gives life to the Church. So as we celebrate this requiem Mass, this is what we are celebrating. Christ is risen. Brendan dearly
believed that. That’s who we are. That’s why we’re here,” said Bishop Dunn.
“We remember Brendan. We do so as people who definitely have a future with God, enjoying the fullness of life. Our confidence and our faith and our prayer is that Brendan is living it up to the full, and so we commend him to God’s loving care.”
Mr Schollum’s children said that it was just about impossible to talk about their Dad without talking about their Mum, Jane — who died last year — as they did just about