Old Sydneians’ Newsletter - Volume 29

Sydney Grammar School

From the President of the OSU

Spring is now upon us and we’re moving rapidly towards the end of the year. Our two biggest events of 2022 took place in August – The Great Debate and the Annual Long Lunch. 

The Great Debate saw almost 600 people turn up to the Alastair Mackerras Theatre in what was a very entertaining evening. The OSU team of Dom Knight, Damian Timms and Mike Xu were victorious over the School's debaters, who fought valiantly. 

The Annual Long Lunch was also a great success – the format changing this year from a dinner and being held for the first time in three years. A hundred or so Old Sydneians gathered at the Royal Automobile Club of Australia for a long lunch that turned into dinner for some! It was so good to see such a spread of Old Boys in the room – 70 years in fact with John Edwards (1951) the most senior and Cian Bowes (2021) the youngest.

Coming up, we have the OSU Annual Golf Day on Wednesday 12 October at The Coast Golf Club, Little Bay. The invitation has been sent, please visit Trybooking to register, click here. Places are limited and we’re expecting a big turn up. 

Walter MacCallum

Sport at Grammar


Grammar's rugby season was characterised by resilience, determination, and persistence. The 14As won the Fathers’ Association Cup for the most successful team with an undefeated season. The Ian Clark Anderson Memorial Cup went to the Third XV for their contribution to the Grammar Rugby Club. Congratulations to Bo Baffsky and Freddie Toone on their selections to the GPS Blue team and to Freddie for further selection to Sydney U18s and NSW Opens. 

Highlights of the season for our senior players were the Seconds’ hard-fought victory against St Ignatius’ College Fourths, the First XV’s dominant display against The Armidale School in front of the First XV GPS winning team of 1961 and the First XV’s flawless display against Shore.


With 35 football teams and over 480 boys involved in the football program, there were highlights across the board, from 13s to the Opens, from the Fs to the As. The Second XI had another fantastic season, ending unbeaten and just shy of first place. 

Our First XI should be proud of their season in a challenging campaign. An excellent pre-season saw the First XI come third in the Plate competition. However, during the GPS season proper, wins were hard to come by, yet the season ended on a high note with a come-from-behind win at Shore followed by a resounding win against High in the final game at home.


The volleyball competition, played in full and with spectators back, returned to College Street. Our 17-team squad played over 150 matches throughout the season yielding positive results. 13A and B, 14A, 15A and B, and Thirds all placed second in their respective divisions. 

Firsts and Seconds demonstrated an exceptional standard of play but the volleyball powerhouse, that is Sydney Boys High, took both Championships. Sam Garvin (V), Finlay McDonald (V), and Alex Lawson (VI) made the GPS Representative team, who were victorious in defeating CAS in a thrilling five-set match, winning 3 sets to 2.

Attendants helping at the Form VI Barbecue on 14 September 


L-R: Anish Sharma (OS 2011), Leon Ortega (OS 2019), Wendy Scotter (Alumni Secretary), Akira McPhee (OS 2019), Luc Jeffriess (OS 2021)

Edgecliff Preparatory School History Project

Year Six boys at Edgecliff Prep are about to embark on their individual project, researching the life and times of an Old Sydneian. The focus of each boy’s research assignment is ‘The College Street Years’. They are looking for volunteers to provide an insight into the experiences they enjoyed and the key historical events that took place at College Street. Willing participants would provide answers to a few research questions via email, and there
may also be the opportunity for an exhibition evening in late November.

If you would like to be involved, please reply:

  • ‘YES’ with your name and year of Form VI if you would like to answer the questions and are available to attend the exhibition evening.

Please email G6historyproject@sydgram.nsw.edu.au with your response to the above, using the subject heading Year 6 History Project.

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

Wednesday 12 October– OSU Golf Day at the Coast Golf Club (Convenor: Nick Manettas)

Saturday 15 October – 1976 Delayed 45th Reunion Drinks, location has changed from Pyrmont Bridge Hotel to The Terrace in North Sydney (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, The Lord Dudley Hotel (Convenor: Jason Chami)

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

Saturday 12 November – 2010 Delayed 10th Reunion, Shelbourne Hotel (Convenor: Angus Hannam)

Saturday 12 November – 2012 10th Reunion, The Keg and Brew Hotel, Surry Hills from 4pm (Convenors: Jim Hansen, Sajeev Mahendran, Francis Potter, Hamish Stening, Anthony Penklis, George Fermanis and Jayden Rathsam Hua)

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, The Bellevue Hotel, Paddington (Convenors: Sam Watson, Max Jones, Alexander Klimt and Charles Mazzochi)

Sydney Grammar School on top in Annual Old Boys’ Bowls Competition  

Grammar are the current holders of the 68-year-old Warne Trophy: the coveted annual award for the winning school. A round-robin style series of matches are played on Sunday afternoons between all GPS schools. However, Grammar needs more club bowlers as the Old Boys are struggling to find six players each month (May to November). They play at Mosman Club. 

If interested, please contact Chris Wood (OS 1963) on 0418-227-811 or chris@wood.id.au.

OSU Annual Long Lunch on Thursday 25 August at the Royal Automobile Club of Australia

OS 1992 30-year Reunion in Big School on Saturday 10 September (organised by Angus Boyd and Phil Freeman)

School Tour for OS 1992 Year Group

Mark Ward (Master at College Street 1983-2019)

After 37 years of service to Sydney Grammar School, Mark retired recently at the end of Term III 2019. He is now assisting in the School’s Archives, most notably in the photographic area, and spending ‘quality time’ with his wife Tania.

Mark completed a Bachelor of Science with a Diploma of Education (Honours) at the University of New South Wales before starting his teaching career at College Street. From 1983 to 1989 he worked as an Assistant Master, and he also started a PhD at UNSW. He was appointed Second Master in Physics in 1990, Second Master in Junior Science in 2000 and the Assistant Director of Science from 2006-2019. Mark also actively participated in several co-curricular activities, including different sport and chess. He was known for his organisational skills and attention to detail and, not surprisingly, for many years he was the coordinator of examinations across the School. 

Mark’s farewell speech was very interesting. He described himself initially as ‘an inexperienced young teacher full of enthusiasm’ who had joined a ‘teaching staff that was predominantly in their late 50’s.…single males wearing academic gowns and speaking with English accents.’ He remembered that one of his first classes, 2M Science, had a few disruptive boys. However, when he handed them the standard written imposition that was meant to take one hour, he noticed that they finished it straight away. The boys were so well prepared for this punishment that they already had the rules written out before class started. Consequently, Mark had to be innovative and specify writing the rules in the reverse order, or with different coloured pens or only the even lines and not the odd ones. 

Overall, Mark loved Grammar, describing the work environment in 2019 as ‘a happy and harmonious place…busy but rewarding…with a remarkably diverse yet entirely tolerant community.’ He felt that the boys were ‘appreciative pupils’ and, if he had his time over again, he would not change anything.

Gary Audas (Class Teacher at St Ives Preparatory School 1988-2022)

Gary recently retired from St Ives Preparatory School. After teaching at St Augustine’s College Brookvale 1979-87, Gary was employed by the St Ives Headmaster John Maffey. Apart from a year at Edgecliff Preparatory School in 1995, he worked continuously at St Ives as a class teacher. For many years, he coached the Firsts basketball and rugby teams, and he also helped on several musical tours. Gary particularly enjoyed teaching mathematics, but he relished coordinating debating and Spoken English competitions. In his retirement, Gary hopes to do a little bit of casual teaching in between spending time with his wife, sons and their families.

Vale Clare Payne (Class Teacher 1986 – 2020)

Clare passed away on 23 March 2022 after a brave battle with cancer. She was part of the Sydney Grammar School community for over thirty years, working at College Street, St Ives and Edgecliff Preparatory Schools. Clare made an outstanding contribution as a teacher, mentor, colleague and friend, playing a significant role in shaping music in all three campuses. She introduced the fagottino or mini bassoon at Grammar and ran Double Reed conferences and learning days in Sydney, which were open to teachers and pupils all over New South Wales.

Murray Cook (OS 1975)

Murray Cook is a Maroubra-based marine biologist/musician, who is now coordinator of Community Restorative Centre’s Songbirds: Prison Songwriting/Art and Theatre Program.  

He formerly worked as a research biologist for NSW State Fisheries and was instrumental in saving the Towra Bay wetlands in Botany Bay. Subsequently, he performed, recorded and toured internationally with bands like Midnight Oil, Warumpi Band and Mental as Anything. Murray also wrote soundtracks for TV and film productions and worked as a music teacher at Long Bay Gaol for 21 years. He composed and implemented the Songbirds’ songwriting workshop programs across the state, releasing three acclaimed CDs of prison songs. He was also a speaker at the International Conference for Arts and Mental Health in 2019, and the Addi Road Writer’s Festival in 2021. https://songbirds.bandcamp.com/music 

Murray praised the excellent Science teaching and facilities but, in his opinion, the best thing about Grammar was the Music Department with amazing, inspirational teachers like Peter Seymour, Todd Piekos and Jeff Bailey. As a clarinet/saxophonist, he loved the Swing Band, Military Marching Band and Orchestra and, in a time when rock music was seen as ‘rebellious’, his band Manus Machina (surely the only nerds with a Latin band name!) was allowed to rehearse in the seedy flats behind the School; and there was even a rock concert in the Science Auditorium featuring bands that later became Midnight Oil!


David Lewis (OS 1975)

David has led and continues to lead a much-varied professional life. He qualified as a lawyer and worked for Freehills for a number of years and taught as a Visiting Fellow at UNSW in Technology Law. It didn’t take long though for the lure of the IT world to take hold and he took up a role creating the basis of the online legal systems that are still in use today.

David created his own IT consulting company in the early 1990s and spent time living and working in San Francisco, Hong Kong and more recently London. He is currently Chairman of Omnis Software, a UK based company.  

Aside from climbing many of the world’s active volcanoes, David’s other passion is football. He was the co-founder of football at Grammar in 1974 and has progressed these days to be a Level 2 Referee. He officiated in charity matches for his beloved West Ham at Upton Park in 2010, as well as Chelsea and Tottenham, and has officiated in Cambodia and of course Australia. He also serves as Chair of the FNSW Disciplinary Tribunal.

The 1975 alumni remain an inspiration to David, especially for their camaraderie and kindness that continues to this day. 

Steve Paridis (OS 1982)

After leaving Sydney Grammar School, Steve studied economics law at the University of Sydney before starting work for JP Morgan in 1988. 

During a road trip across America in 1991, Steve realised that New York was the place where he wanted to live and work. He moved there in 1993 for a two to three year stint with his then girlfriend, Sally, now his wife. They and their three children are still in New York almost thirty years later.

After 20 years of various senior roles at JPMorgan, Steve was one of the founding partners at a hedge fund called Manikay Partners that launched in 2008. Having navigated the global financial crisis, Steve oversaw the growth of the Firm from an initial $0.35bn launch to $2.0 billion in 2018.

Steve has loved working in a variety of roles in the financial industry in New York. He believes Grammar prepared him well in dealing in a competitive environment with people from diverse backgrounds. He also believes Australians are trained well, used to hard work, and don’t get caught up in their own importance. This makes them great employees the world over.

Tim Hollo (OS 1993)

Tim has written a book called Living Democracy: an ecological manifesto for the end of the world as we know it. It was published by UNSW Press, and has been in bookshops since August.

Sadly, many of our Old Sydneians have passed away in recent times, and the School sends condolences to friends and family. Here below are some prominent old boys, whose obituaries could not be included in time for the 2021 Sydneian edition.

Raymond John Chegwyn (OS 1948) died 17 April 2022

Ray Chegwyn grew up in Botany, with his brother Geoff (OS 1956) and sister Elaine. His father John ‘Jack’ (OS 1925) was a well-known cricketer, representing NSW and scoring over 10,000 runs for Randwick. Jack was a NSW State Cricket Selector for over 20 years and was awarded an MBE for his services to the game. Ray played rugby and cricket at Grammar and made many lifelong friends. He followed his passion for Rugby and played many years for The Briars Sporting Club and was part of the Briars Kentwell Cup Premiership team in 1952. His 1948 year group met up for annual reunions until only recently. 

On finishing school, Ray started work at the family tannery in Botany and then secured a position with the international insurance broking firm Harvey Trinder. Ray then met the love of his life, Leila, and shortly thereafter he opened up his own insurance broking business, RJ Chegwyn Pty Ltd, which became known as one of the prominent brokerages in the Sydney market. Ray retired in 1992 - five years after the sudden passing of his wife Leila. Ray remarried and he and Wendy had 30 years together living in Northbridge before his passing at the age of 90.

Ray’s character was dominated by his love of family, his many relationships, his respect of others, and his honesty and integrity. He had a successful career and a happy life. He was the much-loved father of Tony, Rosemary, Maryann, Alex, Russell, Amy, Bobbi, Claudia and the cherished grandfather of 19 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

John Anthony Ulm (OS 1938)

John Ulm was our oldest Old Sydneian but he passed away on 30 July 2022, aged 101. He was born into aviation, with his father CTP Ulm being Australia’s pioneer of the sky. John served as a Spitfire pilot in WWII and survived as a Prisoner of War before embarking on a career in journalism and as one of Qantas’s longest serving executives. He is survived by five children, ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

In his funeral eulogy, John’s oldest son Charles thanked Sydney Grammar School for making such a wonderful contribution to his father’s life. Charles and his son Alexander (OS 2020) both wore Grammar ties to acknowledge John’s association with the School.

Arthur Garthon OAM (OS 1947)

Arthur from Wagga Wagga passed away on 16 June 2022. He and his son Malcolm (OS 1978) have both been vintage car lovers and restorers. Arthur was awarded the OAM for service to the communities of Hurstville and St George through health care, service and motoring groups.

William (Bill) Economos (OS 1963)

William passed away peacefully on 10 August 2022 surrounded by his beloved family and friends after a prolonged fight with illness.

After College Street, William started studying dentistry at the University of Sydney, but he changed to accounting and later worked for Forge and Partners. After a few years he branched out and started Economos and Co in early 1978. 

There was only one thing bigger and better than the firm and it came in the form of the love of his life, his supportive wife Mary. Together they had three children and two grandchildren. 

As well as family, philanthropy was always important to William. His devotion to the Greek Orthodox Community, culture and clients had no limit as his desire to help people was great.

Malcolm Geoffrey Glasson (OS 1959)

Malcolm died at Yass on 11 July 2022, aged 80. Malcolm’s two brothers, three uncles and father also attended Sydney Grammar School. He was the coxswain in the VIIIs which came second in the 1957 Regatta, and he was also in the Firsts Rifle Team.  

The latest edition of SGS magazineEdition 14, Autumn 2022 is available in an 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 the Alumni Office on (02) 9332 5843 or alumni@sydgram.nsw.edu.au.

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

The School's Archives would appreciate some assistance from the Sydney Grammar School community as to who these Old Sydneians are and what basketball/rugby teams are represented here. We suspect that the first photo was taken around 1980 and that the coach is Mr Geoff Simmons. We believe that the rugby photo was from 1959 and the coach is Mr WMC Townley. 

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


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 Office 

Ms Wendy Scotter