Old Sydneians’ Newsletter - Volume 28

Sydney Grammar School

From the President of the OSU

With winter upon us, I’m pleased to let everyone know that there is a swathe of events in the calendar for the next six months. Overseas, it’s also great to hear of solid turnouts at the recent gatherings in New York on 21 June and in London on 27 June, with the Headmaster attending in person.    

First up, on Wednesday 17 August is the long-awaited return of The Great Debate, which we are planning to hold, in person, in the Alastair Mackerras Theatre (AMT). Please stay tuned for more information. 

Next, is the Annual Old Sydneians Long Lunch to be held at the Royal Automobile Club of Australia on Thursday 25 August. Places are limited and we expect a sell-out so don’t delay! Ticketing will be open in the second week of July and further information will be circulated to all Old Sydneians prior to that time. Stay tuned.

Then, it is with great personal delight that I can inform those from 1987 and 1988 years that the GPS Gold Challenge is back after a two-year delay due to COVID-19. It will be held over two days on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October (October Long Weekend), this time at The King’s School. More information will be sent out shortly. However, if you are interested in participating, please contact your respective year convenors via the emails below:

  • wmaccallum@rk.com.au (Walter MacCallum 1987)
  • Andrew.Simons@charterhall.com.au (Andrew Simons 1987)
  • glesnie@smartline.com.au (Gavin Lesnie 1988)
  • sandybasten@live.com.au (Sandy Basten 1988)

Last but not least, the Annual Golf Day will be held in October – date to be confirmed, at the beautiful and ‘sometimes treacherous’ Coast Golf Club. More details will be circulated in the next Newsletter about this event.

Mr Walter MacCallum (OS 1987)

Sport at Grammar


The trial period saw teams playing St Pius X College, St Aloysius’ College, St Stanislaus’ College and Kinross Wolaroi School, which proved to be a really good mix of opposition to challenge all the age groups. The top teams had a mixed bag of results but grew in strength and confidence with each game. 

After three rounds of the GPS season, the First XV have won two games v The Scots College and The Armidale School, and lost a tight one against King’s after a last-minute intercept try. 

Congratulations to the coach, Mr TL Smith, who has been announced as one of the AAGPS First XV coaches for 2022. Frederick Toone (VI) and Bo Baffsky (V) were selected for GPS Whites XV in the Opens and George Gregor (IV) and Cooper Coe (IV) were selected in the GPS U16s Presidents XV team.


Three rounds into the GPS Season reveals a very close competition for the First and Second XI. With two wins, two losses and two draws, there is much to play for next term, and two home fixtures (Saturday 30 July and ‘Back to Weigall Day’ on Saturday 13 August) will create the perfect support network for positive results. 

Overall, it has been a very promising start to the season. Seven Grammar boys made GPS/CIS and the Captain of Football Matthew Wahby (VI) was selected in the NSW State team.


2022 marks the twenty-fourth season of volleyball at Grammar. It is an increasingly popular winter sport and this year we have over 175 boys involved, creating 17 teams, competing against both CAS and GPS schools. Grammar's achievements over the years have resulted in co-premierships (2013, 2014), a premiership (2017) and many second placings. Continued success at representative level is seen annually with athletes selected for the GPS team, NSW CIS team, State teams and Nationals teams. This year, we also have Sam Garvin (V), a NSW U17s Gold medallist and an Australian U17s Bronze medallist in beach volleyball, and Finlay McDonald (V) selected for the U18 Australian indoor team. 

Of the five matches played this season, we have lost only one. The final round on Saturday 13 August is a big match against the reigning premiers, Sydney Boys High School, at the College Street Gymnasium around 10:00am.

The Old Sydneians’ Cricket Club, established in 1953, is looking for players. There are around six games each year at Weigall on Sundays (35 overs per side). 

If you are interested in signing up for a game or two, please contact Alex Beale on 0434 181 006 or alexander.beale@minterellison.com.

Key Dates

Saturday 10 September – 1992 30th Reunion, Big School Cocktail Party (Convenors: Angus Boyd and Phil Freeman)

Friday 23 September – GPS Inaugural Brisbane Lunch, The Brisbane Cricket Ground “The Gabba”

Friday 7 October – 1962 60th Reunion Lunch, Weigall Pavilion (Convenors: James Barkell, Ross Hindmarsh and David Hunt)

Saturday 15 October – 1976 Delayed 45th Reunion Drinks, Pyrmont Bridge Hotel (Convenor: Paul Kotala)

Thursday 20 October – 1960 and 1961 Delayed 60th Reunion Lunch, Cellos Grand Dining Room, Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, 169 Castlereagh Street, Sydney (Convenors: Bruce Marich, George Conomos and Jim Cattlin)

Saturday 29 October – 1972 50th Reunion Dinner, The Australian Club, 165 Macquarie Street, Sydney (Convenors: Craig Moran and Peter Kindred)

Saturday 29 October – 2016 Delayed 5th Reunion Drinks, The Lord Dudley Hotel, Woollahra (Convenor: Jason Chami)

Saturday 12 November – 1982 40th Reunion, Big School Cocktail Party (Convenor: Michael Sharp)

Wednesday 16 November – 1950-51-52 Lunch, Alastair Mackerras Theatre Foyer, College Street (includes partners)

Friday 25 November – 2002 20th Reunion Drinks, The Bellevue Hotel, Paddington (Convenor: Chris Glenn)

Saturday 26 November – 1991 Delayed 30th Reunion, Big School Cocktail Party (Convenor: Neomal Silva)

Saturday 3 December – 2011 Delayed 10th Reunion Drinks, The Bellevue Hotel, Paddington (Convenors: Sam Watson, Max Jones, Alexander Klimt and Charles Mazzochi)

To be confirmed: 

1967 55th Reunion (Convenor: Richard Allsop)

2012 10th Reunion (Convenors: Sajeev Mahendran, Francis Potter, Jayden Hua, Hamish Stening and George Fermanis)

2015 Delayed 5th Reunion (Convenor: Moffatt Maloney)

1971 First XV Reunion

The 1971 First XV Reunion in April at the Australian Club


1967 Old Boys Reunion

Some OS 1967 Boys at a Lunch on Friday 22 April 2022 at Ripples in Mosman

1981 40th Reunion

The 1981 40th Reunion (delayed) on 7 May 2022 at the Tattersalls Club

1961 First XV Reunion

The 1961 Boys at the First XV Rugby Reunion at Weigall on Saturday 4 June

In the 1961 GPS Rugby Competition, The King’s School and Newington College were Joint Premiers, St Joseph’s College were third and Sydney Grammar School fourth. Grammar lost to the Joint Premiers. However, in round 5, in a game in which the lead had changed seven times, we “....upset previously undefeated St Joseph's College in a rugby match GPS followers rated the best since the war.” (The Sydney Morning Herald 23 July 1961). That game created a special bond and camaraderie among the Grammar team. When we chose to have our 60-year reunion at Weigall (postponed from last year due to the pandemic) the team was kindly invited to present the black jerseys to the current team at the Weigall Pavilion. That was the start of what was to be a memorable day. We then had the opportunity to meet with the coaches and to watch the early game before the Firsts XV ran out against The Scots College at noon and played entertaining rugby, resulting in a well-earned victory. In the Weigall Pavilion afterwards, mixing with the boys who were still in their rugby gear, and meeting with their parents and friends, was most enjoyable and a great end to the day. The 1961 team gave an impromptu singing of its team song “The Eyes of Grammar are upon You” and the current team responded with an “Alligator”. Of the nineteen boys who played in the First XV in 1961, thirteen attended the 60-year reunion, and hope to be invited to present the black jerseys to the 2026 team at our 65th reunion.

Congratulations to the following Old Sydneians on their recent Queen’s Birthday Awards:

Office (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

Professor Guy Barrington Marks AO (OS 1974)

For distinguished service to respiratory medicine and research, and to tertiary education.

Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

Mr Philip Stuart Garling AM (OS 1971)

For significant service to the energy, construction and infrastructure sectors.

Mr David McCredie AM OBE (OS 1996)

For significant service to Australia-United Kingdom business and trade relations.

Member (OAM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

The Late Dr Richard John Dunstan OAM (OS 1970) who died on 18/1/22.  

For service to medicine as a paediatrician.

Rodney Joseph Coady (Sydney Grammar School Master 1966–1997) died May 2022

After teaching in England and at Liverpool Boys High School, Rod started as an English master at College Street in 1966. He was appointed Second English master in 1969 and continued in this role for twenty years. His precision with language made him an ideal Editor of the Sydneian from 1994 until 1997 and he was the popular tutor of Form I for 21 years. Rod demonstrated his capacity and flexibility by adapting successfully to the role of Master-In-Charge of the Audio-Visual Department, a post he filled from 1994 until 1997. He was also Chairman of the Common Room in the early 1980s. As Tony Miller wrote in his Sydneian Valette, Rod was known for his ‘high intelligence, humanity and compassion.’

Rod was also a gifted rugby player, representing Sydney. His teams included Eastern Suburbs, Drummoyne and Leicester (England), and he showed patience and common sense when coaching the School’s First XV.

His brother Michael was also a very respected English master at College Street from 1980-1995, and Rod’s son Brendan and grandsons Lachlan and Joshua are Old Sydneians.

On retiring, Rod and his wife Pauline moved to their farm near Braidwood. After a short battle with cancer, he passed away aged 80.

Barry Joseph (OS 1960)

Barry recently received the Woollahra 2020 Citizen of the Year Award for his wonderful long-term contribution as a volunteer. He has been a strong member of Rose Bay Rotary for more than 30 years, and he was Federal Executive Director of the Australian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for 15 years prior to becoming the Honorary President of the NSW Division. Having a special interest in the elderly, Barry has also been a Board Member for 18 years of the Montefiore Retirement Homes, sitting on the investment committee and co-chairing the admissions committee.  

Barry says that these are all meaningful causes and ones which have given him great pleasure. But how did it all start and how did he develop such a passion for helping others? 

Barry left Sydney Grammar School in 1960 after spending eight wonderful years. He loved sport, most notably swimming, boxing and rugby, and developed an early interest in sailing. When he was about ten years old, he embarked on his first charitable work, selling legacy badges at bus stops, and knocking on neighbours’ doors.   

After school, Barry worked with a stockbroker for five years before entering the clothing industry and subsequently running his own business successfully for 28 years. On retiring, he felt that it was ‘necessary in today’s world’ to give back to the community and he could not understand how people, who have the time and ability, do not help. 

Stuart Pearson (OS 1985)

Stuart’s interest in learning, knowledge and sharing started at school, whilst preparing a Cadet Training Manual and contributing to the Corps, including promotion courses. He has subsequently worked in high schools, universities, communities of practice and government. In government, his contribution was in public good agricultural and natural resource research and development, and now in Defence. The consistent thread is in sharing knowledge and skills to make a difference in the lives of others and the environment.

After being inspired by Chinese History (Ken Saxby) and Geography masters (Sue McKenzie and others) at school, Stuart completed an arts degree, and a doctorate in applied science. He extracted a record of pollen and ancient DNA from plants and animals, that had accumulated over the last 10000 years in stick-nest rat middens found throughout Australian arid environments.

Now Stuart’s research and published work comes predominantly from collaborations for improving environmental management, most recently at the UNSW Canberra at ADFA. He just published Australian Contributions to Australian Strategic and Military Geography, and he currently works with authors and experts in the development of Australia’s military doctrine, that is the agreed guidance to military professionals.

Stuart’s father (Joe OS 1945), uncle (Bill OS 1940), brother-in-law (Tim Moore OS 1970), brothers (Doug OS 1973/4 and David OS 1979) and godson (James Arnall OS 2018) all attended Sydney Grammar School.


Matthew Michael (OS 1996)

If you've watched TV in the last decade, chances are that you've seen an ad, on which Matt has worked. 

After studying at the University of New South Wales, he was at IBM for 12 years covering roles in corporate strategy and marketing, culminating in working across global growth markets, leading advertising and media. Following that, he joined an independent Australian advertising agency, The Monkeys, as a partner and Managing Director. Over the course of the past decade, he has worked on the strategic direction and advertising of some of the most well-known global and local organisations - Telstra, Qantas, Australian Lamb, NRMA, Australia Post, Blackmores, Amazon and Audi. In 2017, The Monkeys was bought by Accenture and Matt has been focused on expanding the impact that brand, purpose and experience can make in an organisation’s growth. 

He considers himself incredibly lucky to have spent all of his school years at Sydney Grammar School from Edgecliff Preparatory School through to College Street and looks back fondly at the close bonds and experiences he had. His role as a Prefect, his time spent in sports (especially swimming), the peer group and the critical thinking the School encouraged from an early age have all enabled him to succeed in a very competitive, strategic and yet highly creative field.

Sadly, below are a few of our Old Sydneians who have passed away this year, and the School sends condolences to friends and family. 

Tony Wood (OS 1957-1958) died 24 April 2022

Tony grew up in Harbord and moved to Balgowlah Heights. He travelled to Sydney Grammar, often on the Manly Ferry, and many of his closest friendships were developed from his time at School. In his final year in 1958, Tony was a prefect and a member of the First IV rowing crew and the First XV rugby team. He was selected in the GPS Firsts and he later represented Manly District and Warringah Rugby Club, retiring in his early thirties. He was also an avid collector and passionate historian from a very early age and was later recognised widely for his involvement in researching and collecting antiquities. He was a lifetime member of the Antique Arms Collectors Society of Australia and was also appointed a Fellow of the Australian Institute of History and Arts.

Tony met ‘the love of his life’ Carol at a rowing regatta and never looked back. They were married in 1964 and moved to Manly, Newport and later Mosman. During this time, Tony worked with his father and brother in the family business Woodson and then with his nephew, Simon. Sadly, after 60 years together, Carol died in 2020 and Tony was devastated.

Tony passed away on 24 April and he is survived by four children and eight grandchildren. He was a loyal friend, a loving and generous father and a great guy to all who met him. 


Michael (Mick) Dalrymple Gourlay (OS 1958-9) died 8 June 2022

Mick grew up with his parents and three brothers on Sydney’s North Shore, mainly in Chatswood. After primary school at Barker College, he went to Grammar for six years, where for some reason or other he was nicknamed ‘Gus’. His father John attended Grammar (OS 1928), as did his three brothers Jim (OS 1957), John (OS 1962) and David (OS 1965). His son Tony (OS 1984) also went to the School, and brother John began teaching there in 1989. Mick was an excellent sportsman, rowing in the VIII in 1958 and 1959, and was a member of the 1sts Rifle Team in 1957, 1958 and 1959, captaining the team in 1958 and 1959. He was a prefect, and sat for the Leaving Certificate in 1958 and 1959, in which year he was awarded First Class Honours in Ancient History, finishing in one of the top positions in NSW. He always maintained a keen interest in ancient Greece and Rome. He was an enthusiastic reader, with a particular interest in political theory and biography.

In later years and after some time in the fashion industry, Mick and the love of his life, Marie, started and ran their own label together until their retirement.

Mick was one of the great characters, intelligent, generous, gregarious and funny, despite a stutter, which he struggled bravely to overcome, refusing to let it hold him back. Some of his many friendships lasted decades, especially those from Grammar. Almost to the end, these Old Sydneians would have enjoyable and very long lunches. 

He is survived by his three children, two grandchildren and his three brothers.

Mick slipped away peacefully, surrounded by his family. He was a great father and a great mate, was much loved, and will always be remembered and missed.

Ronald Crawfurd Hutcheson MacKellar (OS1939) died 10 June 2022

We featured Ron in our Term II 2020 edition when he turned 100. He was our oldest living Old Sydneian but sadly he passed away on 10 June. He was a wonderful gentleman!

The latest edition of SGS magazineEdition 14, Autumn 2022 is available in a new online electronic format here

A vast number 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.

You are able to view most editions of SGS and Foundations magazine anytime via the School's website.  

Can you help us?

Sydney Grammar School Archives would appreciate some assistance from the Grammar community as to who these Old Sydneians are (images below) and what cricket/rugby teams are represented here. We suspect that the first photo was taken around the late 1940s or early 1950s and that the coach is Mr Donald R Carr. We believe that the rugby photo was from 1972 and the coach is Mr N Smith. 

Any more information can be passed on via sgsarchives@sydgram.nsw.edu.au.

History master and Historian Dr Matthew Glozier has been busy and has a number of Sydney Grammar School-related books available for purchase via print-on-demand company Lulu Press.

‘75 Years Aloft: Royal Australian Air Force Air Training Corps: Australian Air Force Cadets, 1941-2016’

Dr Glozier’s book celebrates 75 years of Air Force cadet activity in Australia, 1941-2016. The organisation has had a tremendous impact upon the lives of tens-of-thousands of Australians over our 75-year history. Since 1982, it has enhanced the lives of young women as well as men. The book begins in WWII with the need to pre-train capable and committed ‘keen lads’. Over 30,000 Australian boys were air cadets 1941-1945 with almost 13,000 going on to active service in the war. Air Force cadets survived into peacetime to become an aviation focussed youth development organisation, providing flying training in a military atmosphere with the aim of inspiring cadets to join the RAAF. There are currently over 8,000 Air Force cadets and adult staff around Australia. Aviation centred youth development in a RAAF service environment remains our central focus.

‘Sydney Grammar School and the South African Boer War, 1899-1902’

Altogether, 150 Old Sydneians fought in the Boer War, 1899-1902 – an unusually high number of volunteers from one school. Among them are names famous in Australian military history, including Chauvel, Legge, Antill, ‘Mo’ Williams, and the designer of the Army’s rising sun badge. Another old boy was the famous bush poet, ‘Banjo’ Paterson, a Boer War correspondent. Thirteen Old Sydneians died fighting in South Africa. Eleven are honoured on a memorial board at Sydney Grammar School. The best known was Keith Kinnaird Mackellar, whose letters to his sister, Dorothea (the famous poet), show his youthful enthusiasm for the conflict. The Boer War had a powerful influence on the School, setting an example that inspired Grammar boys to volunteer to fight in WWI in the largest numbers of any school in Australia. The origins of the Gallipoli ‘baptism of fire’ beliefs of Charles Bean, the Australian WWI official historian, can also be linked to Grammar’s Boer War experience, given his strong connection to the School.

You can purchase these books directly from here in soft or hardcover.

In Gallant Company

Dr Philip Creagh’s (OS 1965-1966) book honouring the Old Sydneians who died in World War I is available, at a cost of $65 plus postage via the following link. No other school in Australia made such a contribution or suffered so many casualties in World War I as Sydney Grammar School. This book includes short biographies of each Old Sydneian who didn’t make it home, comprising details of their school career, the circumstances in which they found themselves during the war and events leading to their untimely demise.

A Continuing Tradition MGS v SGS

Jim Cattlin’s (OS 1961) book outlining the history of the Melbourne Grammar v Sydney Grammar cricket matches is available, at a cost of $50 plus postage via the following link. It celebrates the feats of players from both schools in the oldest continuing inter-colonial (interstate) cricket match in Australia starting in 1876.

AAGPS Games to Play out

Bob Grant’s (OS 1959) book on the origins and development of the AAGPS is available, at a cost of $40 plus postage via the following link. It is a celebration of a unique institution which emerged in the late nineteenth century, and which has had a significant impact on many lives.

Old Sydneians Newsletter


Mr Steve Gonski


Alumni Officer

Ms Wendy Scotter