Old Sydneians’ Newsletter - Volume 21

Sydney Grammar School

‘Old’ Teacher Profile

In response to interest from Old Boys, we are introducing a new section profiling some well-known SGS Masters from yesteryear.

Herbert Alexander (‘Bill’, ‘Herb’) Ritchie - Teacher at Sydney Grammar School (1916-1960)

Bill was born in NSW country and, with a State Bursary, attended Sydney Grammar from 1903-9. He won the Senior Knox Prize (Dux of the School in Science and Maths) and was a prefect, and a member of the First XV and Second XI. He then attended Sydney University before embarking on a teaching career at Barker College, Toowoomba Grammar School and The Armidale School.

In 1916 he returned to Grammar and, despite his interest in the classics, he quickly made his mark as a brilliant and lucid mathematics teacher. Bill was also enthusiastic about rugby and coached many teams including the First XV in 1941. From 1946-54, while still teaching Maths to Sixth Form, he became the Master of the Lower School. In this position, he was responsible for the organisation and discipline of all the younger boys and, by reason of his office, Senior Master. In 1955, at his own request because of advancing years, he gave up control of the Lower School and became officially Senior Master. He also acted as Headmaster in 1959 during Mr Healey’s leave of absence.

As the Headmaster Mr Colin Healey stated in his address at Bill’s funeral:
‘He thus served with five Headmasters ….(with) kindness, patience and unswerving support and friendship.
(As a teacher) he was clear and thorough, he made no attempt to conceal from his pupils that there is no escape from necessary drudgery; yet it could be no drudgery to learn from him and to do the work he set, secure in the knowledge …that the written work…would be promptly collected, corrected, marked and courteously returned the next day without fail.
……He came to be a confidant of all his colleagues, young and old: he heard their troubles and he gave his advice which - even when it was unpalatable - was as gentle as it was firm.
….He, who sought no praise, no honours, earned the respect of everyone. In himself he had little confidence; in the rightness of his standards he had abounding confidence.
Over the years, Bill had many teaching slogans, including:
‘Speed plus accuracy equals “A”.’
‘If we say we have no homework, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.’
‘If you want to get anywhere you can’t dodge the drudgery.’

After a life-time of faithful and devoted service to the School, Mr HA Ritchie died suddenly on 23 April 1964.

Old Boy Profile - Ronald Crawfurd Hutcheson MacKellar (OS 1939)

Congratulations to Ron who just turned 100 on 1 June this year.

After leaving Sydney Grammar School, Ron studied accountancy before this was interrupted by the start of World War II. He joined the RAAF and was posted to Canada to train in anti-submarine warfare. After completing training, Ron was sent to Britain to join the RAAF 461 Squadron, flying the famous Sunderland Flying Boat over the Bay of Biscay hunting U-Boats. When he was based in Oban Scotland, he met his future wife Isabella and later moved to Australia. Ron resumed his studies in accountancy at night whilst working during the day to support his family, and, after topping the state in some subjects, he practised as a Chartered Accountant.

Ron is cherished by a very large family with three children, 13 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren. Sadly, Ron lost his much loved and devoted wife of 75 years earlier this year.


Old Boy Profile - Stephen Lloyd (OS 1974)

Stephen had two loves at School – playing the flute and tennis. Although he was once on the international tennis circuit, music won out in the end. Today he lives in Italy and is the music director of South Tyrol’s only professional German speaking theatre. He spends time composing, arranging and conducting music.

During the recent Covid-19 pandemic, Stephen participated in the making of a video with the original cast of the 2011 production of the musical ‘HAIR’ in Bolzano. It involved performers from more than ten countries including Italy, Belgium and the US, and it represented a sign of solidarity for Musical Theatre which is at the moment on standby and threatening the livelihood of many gifted artists.

Here is the link to the virtual ‘Let the Sun Shine’ which was sung in kitchens and played in bathrooms.


Old Boy Profile: Garry Browne AM (OS 1975)

A highly respected business and industry leader, Garry is renowned for his passionate, energetic and dynamic approach to his own personal brand and the many others he has mentored. On 28 May he launched his debut book Brand New Brand You. It discusses the essential dynamics of personal branding, with tips and tools for those feeling lost, stuck, lacking self-esteem, and for those seeking to craft a more powerful position for themselves in their careers and personal life.

Garry has extensive CEO and Chair experience across business, the not-for-profit, and education sectors. He was CEO and Managing Director of Stuart Alexander & Co (SACO), a $300 million business, for over 20 years and in January 2018 was appointed Chairman. As one of Australia’s largest privately-owned companies, SACO imports, markets and distributes premium consumer goods in Australia and New Zealand. Garry also holds several non-executive roles, collaborating with senior leaders and board members across a range of organisations by providing support, influence and leadership. He mentors CEOs and younger up and coming leaders, and is a committed philanthropist and advocate of the For-Purpose sector. His services to the community were recognised in 2014 with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).


Old Boy Profile: Linton Meagher (OS 1993)

Linton has two different careers. He studied art at the Julian Ashton School and the University of Sydney, completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Fine Arts. He also obtained a medical degree, with honours, from the University of Sydney and completed his psychiatry training at the Royal North Shore Hospital, obtaining Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP).

His semi-sculptural works use resin to cast objects in clear Perspex, thereby creating the effect that they are floating in space. His work has explored a number of themes, such as consumerism, beauty, death and the impermanence of time, and he recently exhibited at the Maunsell Wickes Gallery, Sydney.

Old Boy Profile: Grant Kynaston (OS 2014)

Grant, who was Dux of Sydney Grammar School in 2014, is one of only four Australians to receive a second Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge. The Scholarship was launched in 2000 with a $210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with 77 postgraduate scholarships awarded this year. Since the first cohort of Gates Cambridge Scholars in 2001, more than 1,700 scholars have been selected from more than 100 countries.

Grant graduated from Charles Sturt University in 2019 with a Master of Islamic Studies and was later awarded his first Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study a Master of Philosophy in Classics, which he commenced in October last year. He will start a three-year PhD in Classics in October this year, and said he was honoured to be a member of the Gates Cambridge class of 2020.

In addition to the Charles Sturt University Masters (with medal), Grant has a BA Hons majoring in Classics at the University of Sydney (with medal). He has also studied law at the University of Sydney and is completing his Classics Masters at Cambridge before starting his PhD.

From the OSU President

I trust that most of you are now awakening from the hibernation that has been COVID-19 and are starting to resume your normal business, social and other activities.

Unfortunately, many of the events that we had planned for the next few months will need to be postponed. In particular, the Great Debate which was intended to take place on Friday 24 July, has been postponed to a date later this year. Please look out for further notices about this very popular event.

It was with great pleasure that I was able to finally meet the ‘2019 Old Sydneian of the Year’ and present him with his award. His name is John Edwards and he left Grammar in 1951. All three of his sons attended the School and achieved great success in the areas of sport, music and academia. John has been a dedicated and loyal contributor to the OSU and the greater School community for many years. He was President of the OSU between 1984 and 1986 and has since then, sat on the committee at various different times. He was a cricket umpire for many years, umpiring Grammar games and also AAGPS games at senior’s level. He has served his community for many years through Rotary. More recently, John has become the OSU photographer attending numerous events and taking photographs of different aspects of OSU and school life.

Please join me in congratulating John Edwards (OS 1951).

Is there an Old Sydneian you want to nominate? If so, you can lodge your nomination via the OSU website. Nominations for 2020 open on 1 July and close on 15 August.

Mr Walter MacCallum (OS 1987) 

Sydney Grammar School: Anzac Assembly 2020

You can view this year's Anzac Assembly below.

From the Sportsmaster

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s sports calendar had to change. However, at the moment, it is likely that the GPS Athletics will be staged in full on Saturday 1 August at Homebush, and the GPS football (seven-week season) and rugby (five-week season) will start on Saturday 8 August.

Sports training started in early June after several weeks of online preparation, and the boys have been working towards full contact in rugby from Wednesday 1 July. There will be training in all Grammar sports right throughout the holidays.

From the Prefects

The Prefects have been raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association of NSW (MND-NSW) since Term IV last year through the regular initiatives: barbecues, mufti days and competitions and were very well supported by the boys prior to the move online. Tickets are now available for purchase for their latest initiative, the Prefect Raffle 2020. They are hoping to involve the extended School community in supporting MND-NSW and have some amazing prizes; a boat trip on Sydney Harbour, a week in Avalon, dinners at well-known Sydney restaurants, a designer showroom Zip Tap, numerous vouchers, wine, sporting and music memorabilia. Tickets can be purchased via the Prefects website or directly by clicking here

If you are able to assist by donating a prize, please email prefects@sydgram.nsw.edu.au. The raffle will be drawn early next term. We thank you for your continued support for and generosity to this truly excellent cause.

2020 Confirmed Reunion Dates

Saturday 17 October

1990 30-year Reunion Drinks, The Phoenix Hotel, Woollahra from 5:00pm

Saturday 24 October

1975 45-year Reunion Drinks, The Phoenix Hotel, Woollahra from 5:00pm

Thursday 29 October

1960 and 1961 60-year Reunion Lunch, Cellos Grand Dining Room, Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, Sydney at 12:00pm for 12:30pm

Saturday 14 November

1980 40-year Reunion Lunch, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Rushcutters Bay from 12:30pm

Wednesday 18 November

1950-1951-1952 Annual Lunch (including partners), Alastair Mackerras Theatre Foyer, Stanley Street, from 12:15pm

Saturday 21 November

1970 50-year Reunion Lunch, I’m Angus Steakhouse, The Promenade, King St Wharf, from 12:30pm

Wednesday 2 December

1948 and 1949 Annual Lunch, The Greenwood Hotel, Greenwood Plaza, North Sydney from 12:00pm

For further details and reservations, please contact Wendy Scotter wes@sydgram.nsw.edu.au

We apologise for not printing the following photos of the 1969, 1971 and 1984 Reunions in the last OS Newsletter.

1969 Old Boys

On Friday 15 November 2019 the 1969 old boys had a ‘Night Before the 50th Reunion Catch Up’ at The Royal Automobile Club.

From left: Ken James, Dave Cush, Wayne Broun, John Rigelsford, Lindsay Hunt, Andrew Ross, Doug Wood ( Convenor ), Jeremy Yates, Guy Lewington, Ian Plater (OSU President), Ian Murchison, Graeme Drake and Leo Demer. 

1984 Old Boys

On Saturday 26 October last year the 1984 old boys held their 35-year Reunion at The Green Moustache restaurant in North Sydney.

1971 Old Boys

On Saturday 14 March, 1971 old boys had a catch-up at The Phoenix Hotel in Woollahra.

From Left: Graeme Walker, John Goodare, Craig Moran, David Hooper, Phil Garling, Carey McMahon, John Richards, Bruce Kennedy.

Officer (AO) in the General Division

Mr William McFadyen Campbell (OS 1971)

For distinguished service to public administration, and to international legal practice, through senior counsel and advisory roles.

Member (AM) in the General Division

Emeritus Prof. Robert Charles Baxter (OS 1963)

For significant service to medical research, to endocrinology, and to tertiary education.

Mr Malcolm Stuart Boyd (OS 1965)

For significant service to civil engineering, to tertiary education, and as a role model.


A vast amount of hard copy magazines are 'returned to sender' each time the School sends a new edition out to subscribers through the post. If you are regularly on the move and would prefer to receive the SGS magazine online via email, or would no longer wish to receive a hard copy of the magazine via post, please kindly notify Alumni Officer Wendy Scotter on (02) 9332 5843 or wes@sydgram.nsw.edu.au.

Alternatively, you are able to view most editions of SGS and Foundations magazine anytime via the School's website

The School Archives now has a permanent display space to showcase our collection of archival photographs, artefacts and memorabilia spanning over 170 years of school-related history. The Archives Museum and Alumni Reception area is located on the Middle Playground level of the Science Building at College Street. The visiting hours are from 9:00am- 4:00pm Monday to Friday. Due to Covid-19 restrictions Old Sydneians and the public are unable to visit the Office until further notice.  


There is also a temporary exhibition of the School’s Archives in the foyer of the Alastair Mackerras Theatre.
Please note that the School Archives Museum is still open for enquiries via email to sgsarchives@sydgram.nsw.edu.au.

Archives on the Sydney Grammar School Website

A range of archival content has been digitised and recently uploaded to the Grammar website, aiming to make it easier for users to access the School Archives collection. Visit the School Archives to explore photographs via Flickr, enrolment registers, copies of The Sydneian and Speech Day booklets and lists of Old Sydneians involved in World War I and II among other resources that will continue to be added to this page. For further information please contact Bridget Minatel or Charlotte McColl at sgsarchives@sydgram.nsw.edu.au or phone 02 9332 5833.

To finish this newsletter, here is another poem from Dr Bob Strum (OS 1950) who has taken up poetry writing later in life.

Another Day in Isolation (Ruminations during the pandemic)

Today I want to rest my brain.
The rain came tumbling down all day.
The overflow has blocked my drain.
I looked up at the sky again.
The clouds were ominous and they
Resembled Vikings on a raid.
I look to God for help. I pray.
But no one rushes to my aid.

Perhaps if I just shut my eyes,
This cloudy sky would clear and I
Could once again enjoy blue skies.
I worry that my friends might die.
This morning I received the news,
An old school friend had passed away.
I checked my health. I looked for clues.
Perhaps I too would die today.

I think too much to no avail.
I know we live in dangerous times.
I know I must live like a snail,
Into its shell it slowly climbs.
I look for safety in my flat
I won’t let fear lead me astray
I am secure, my dog and cat
Will keep me safe in their own way.

Nature at war and full of rage.
The virus and the storm prevail.
I just want peace yet we must wage
A deadly war where we might fail.
Science advances yet it seems,
There’s little that Mankind can do.
Despite a host of research teams,
People have died and so might you.

I try to do the best I can.
I wash my hands and isolate.
I don’t look for a complex plan.
I hope this nightmare will abate.
I’m grateful for the life I’ve had.
At eighty-six I have been blessed.
I still am healthy. I am glad;
To be alive. And now I’ll rest.

Bob Strum, 18 May 2020