HUNTERS Hill’s Villa Maria Catholic School opened a new creative arts room last week which was named in honour of local parish priest Father Kevin Bates SM.

The new arts room and the associated performing arts space were officially opened by the Executive Director of Catholic Schools in Sydney, Dr Dan White on Tuesday alongside School Principal Kevin Turner.

Mr Turner said the new venue pays tribute to Father Kevin who is a wellknown musician who has released several albums of devotional music.

“Today I have a special announcement,” Mr Turner said.

“It is with great pleasure this new building will be named as the Father Kevin Bates Creative Arts Room.

“This building was worth the wait and will serve the community now and into the future.”

Dr White said he has spent many hours enjoying Fr Kevin’s music.

“Father Kevin and I have journeyed many miles together and I listen to your music as my prayer, in fact I’ve been listening to your music for thirty years of my life.

“Father Kevin has inspired us all for generations now.”

He said he hoped the creative arts would inspire students.

“The creative arts let us touch the mystery of God in our lives.”

Father Kevin said he was “surprised and humbled” to have the creative arts room named after him.

“Childre, we can teach others and thank God for the gift of one another,” he told students at the opening ceremony and blessing.

“Here we can grow together and sing Jesus’ beautiful song of love.”

School Captains Hwi Sharples and Katie Rose paid tribute to parents and friends who contributed to the building project.

The ceremony ended when the entire school community spontaneously serenaded Father Kevin with the song “Thank You For The Music”.

The event was attended by Lane Cove MP Anthony Roberts, representing the local community.

Villa Maria Catholic School Principal Kevin Turner and Father Kevin Bates SM pictured at the official opening and blessing of the school’s new creative arts room. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO