Like many success stories, it started small and grew into something none of the organisers had imagined.
The first Confraternity Carnival had six teams. There were originally 12 teams invited to play. Four withdrew early and another two pulled out in the last week. That left six teams to contest the so-called Canterbury Shield in Bundaberg:
- Our Lady Help of Christians CBC, Bundaberg (host school)
- St Edmund’s College, Ipswich
- Padua College, Kedron
- Blackheath/Thornburgh College, Charters Towers
- Aquinas College, Ashmore
- Marymount College, Gold Coast.
The history books show that Aquinas defeated Padua 9-3 in the first grand final, but that carnival was about so much more than a trophy.
The hallmarks of a larger competition were born – schools from north Queensland to Bundaberg, Ipswich, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
A reputation for spirited play with great sportsmanship.
A gathering of schools with faith-based education.
And the presence of very gifted players who would go on to represent their country.
This was the starting point for the Confraternity Shield.
In time, those six teams would double to 12 within two years.
By 1990, 21 teams were competing in Yeppoon and the first Confro graduates were playing State of Origin and Test match football.
The foundation had been laid and the competition was now on the path for longevity underpinned by a love of the game, a love of schools and a love of confraternity.