Old Sydneians’ Newsletter - Volume 30

Sydney Grammar School

From the President of the OSU

As 2022 draws to a close, it is opportune to reflect on the highs and lows. Without a doubt, the biggest high of 2022 for Old Sydneians was the ability to get out and meet again after two years of ‘COVID-19’. The Great Debate saw record numbers of attendees and the Annual Long Lunch was a great success. The lows, unfortunately, were what seemed a larger than usual number of Old Sydneians passing away, and my thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those Old Boys.

But on to 2023, and, with great optimism, I can say that next year promises to be even busier – more events and special celebrations for the 130th birthday of OSU. Thankfully, we have a great Committee for next year. Following the AGM on Tuesday 29 November, we now have bolstered the ranks to 14. I welcome and congratulate our new committee members:- Dom Knight (OS 1994), Andre Bressan (OS 2000), Thomas O’Neill (OS 2009), Cian Bowes (OS 2021) and David Zhang (OS 2021). The future looks bright.

I also want to congratulate this year’s OSU Scholar, Will Jones, who stood out from an exceptional group of interviewees. Well done Will!

Finally, I want to thank the Committee for all their efforts this year, Wendy Scotter, Steve Gonski and the Alumni team for their support and assistance, and of course all the Old Sydneians who participate and get involved. If you want to get more involved, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a Committee member or me. We are also looking for Old Sydneians who may be interested in addressing the boys in Assembly, describing the path(s) that they have travelled since leaving school.

On behalf of the Committee, I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season and look forward to catching up with as many Old Sydneians as I can next year.

Walter MacCallum

Sport at Grammar


The Sydney Grammar School Athletics Championships was cancelled this year due to poor weather. However, there was a full GPS athletics season for the first time since 2019 culminating in the AAGPS Championships.

The senior team performed admirably, with Milo Abrahams (V) breaking the SGS 17’s Long Jump record jumping 6.75m. Our intermediate team also performed strongly, with Jackson Dyne (III) winning the 16’s High Jump and Julian Wylie (III) the 15’s 1500m.


The Grammar basketball programme has been in full cry this current season. The Firsts are sitting fifth on the table, having won three of the first six games with strong wins over St Ignatius’, St Joseph’s College and a courageous win in double overtime against Sydney Boys High School. The Seconds are also three wins out of the six played, having won their last three straight. In the Junior groups, the U14s have won 70% of their games and this suggests a bright future for the sport in the years to come.    


With a new 14-round season consisting entirely of 50-over one day matches, the First XI has won five of their first seven matches. The team has operated impressively as a unit but there have been several notable individual performances; Will Powell’s batting (103 not out v Newington and 84 not out v High), Reuben Kapoor’s batting (82 not out v Shore and 60 v Riverview) and Zack Winslow’s leg spin bowling (5/38 v Shore and 5/34 v High and 57 not out v Riverview). The team’s challenge now is to maintain the momentum into the Tri-Grammar Series in January, and the second half of the season in Term I next year. 


It has been a great start to the 2022/23 season. Our First Year Ten VIII won the first race of the season at SIRC and have followed it up with subsequent second and third placings in their other races. The Senior IVs and VIIIs are building nicely, with the First VIII within touching distance of the pack, finishing most of their races in fifth or sixth place so far. The Juniors have consolidated their fitness and technique with a lot of training so far.


Grammar has recorded 90 wins, seven draws and only 17 losses in 114 matches (a 79%win rate). The Seconds are top of the table with six wins from six.

1962 60th Reunion Lunch on 7 October at Weigall Pavilion

1960-61 (Delayed) 60th Reunion Lunch on 20 October at the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel

The Annual John Duffy Rugby Lunch on 11 November at Doyle’s Restaurant in Watsons Bay

From the front left going around: David Ross, Bill Grose, Jeremy Warren (WA), Rex Chadwick, Steve Cooney, David Raffan (Qld), John Liddell, Phil Holmes, Wal Taylor, Stuart Murray, Michael Soulos, Peter Gibby, Peter Gilder, Tony deSaxe, Tony Wehby, Vic Keller 

All attendees at the John Duffy Rugby Lunch played in his First XV teams, which he coached from 1964. John attended the first lunch in 2014, which was a 55-year reunion of the 1964 First XV. Sadly, he passed away in 2016.

1982 40th Reunion on 12 November at College Street

1950-52 Annual Lunch on 16 November at College Street

Maurice Smith and Ian Boyd

Inside the Alastair Mackerras Theatre Foyer

1991 (Delayed) 30th Reunion on 26 November at College Street

1991 (Delayed) Reunion Group on 25 November in Hong Kong

From the front left going around: Owen Gee, Freddie Chung, Conway Hui, Victor Kwok, Marco Wong

Rodney Brender (OS 1979)

In 1970, after spending some formative years in the USA, Rodney joined the Edgecliff Preparatory School in Third Class, Jessie Wong’s final year. He was then taught by several excellent teachers, including John Morris and Peter Harwin, who instilled a love of Winnie the Pooh, trivia and reading generally. His son Eden (OS 2012) followed him to Grammar. 

At College Street, Rodney was most influenced by charismatic History masters like Kevin McCaskill, Gordon Cooper and Alf Pickard, ultimately topping the state in Modern History. 

He went on to do commerce law at the University of New South Wales, a Masters of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, and then worked for Sir William Deane at the High Court. For many years, he was a commercial barrister before he was appointed a Local Court Magistrate in 1997.  

Rodney was posted to Albury for two years and can now usually be found at the Downing Centre. He enjoys the challenge of the criminal jurisdiction and the colourful characters that pass through the Local Court every day. He considers the analytical skills required in English and History subjects, and debating, to be closely related to those required to succeed in the study and practice of law, including writing opinions at the Bar, written and oral submissions in court and formulating reasons for decisions when judging.  

Any present pupils or Old Boys at Grammar contemplating a career in law are welcome to get in touch. A day observing cases in the Local Court is the best free show in town.  

Jason Zhu He (OS 2020)

During his time at Grammar, Jason was a keen videographer and photographer, producing many sport videos for various teams, as well as a Form VI tribute compilation for his year. He has harnessed those skills to establish a streaming service called Ikigai Network. 

Ikigai (a Japanese word that means ‘reason to get up in the morning’) produces short video interviews with people from a wide range of careers, providing pupils from high schools and universities with an insight into those careers, so they can make better-informed choices.

Jason is also currently doing a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) at the University of Sydney, where he is heavily involved in the mooting (mock court) programme. He also coaches rowing at Grammar.

In his spare time, he likes to ‘bike’, sing (he used to sing in the Grammarphones) and take photos.

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 for the 2022 The Sydneian edition.

James (Jim) Carroll (OS 1941) died 10 June 2022 

Jim was born in Chatswood in 1925 and won a scholarship to Sydney Grammar School. He spoke of being quite lonely initially and struggling with the expectations of a ‘Scholarship boy’ but he remembered his teachers as kind and caring. He participated in rugby, cricket, athletics and Cadets. 

From a working-class family, university was not an option so after completing school on 7 December 1941 he headed to the Bank of NSW; the very same day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour. Keen to serve, he joined the Air Training Corps, which provided basic training and, on turning 18, he was accepted into the Airforce. After just seven hours on Tiger Moths, he was flying solo and on his way to England. Jim received his commission in the RAF and then joined the Australian 466 squadron. He was just 19 years old when first in command of a bomber flying 18 missions on Wellingtons and Halifaxes, targeting cities including Lubeck and Hamburg.  

When the war in Europe ended, Jim headed home, arriving in Sydney three days before his 21st birthday. He went back to the Bank of NSW, but accountancy wasn’t his passion and he responded to a Qantas newspaper advertisement seeking pilots. Jim started in early 1946 and four weeks later, having just turned 22, was at the controls of a flying boat to Singapore. Across a remarkable 37-year career he moved on to Constellations, then the Boeing 707 and finally the Jumbo. 

In 1948 Jim met a cabin crew member, one of the first batch of ‘hostesses’, Margaret McLachlan. They married two years later, an enduring partnership for 72 years, that produced three children.  

There were some scares with fires and multiple engine failures. There were firsts as well, as he piloted the inaugural Qantas flights to Johannesburg, Bombay (Mumbai) and Bermuda. There was also the escape from the revolutionary regime after the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, Captain Carroll manoeuvring safely out of their airspace despite the pursuing fighter jets. 

There were interesting encounters with famous passengers, including Elizabeth Taylor, Prince (now King) Charles, Paul McCartney, Robert Redford, Billy Graham and more politicians than he cared to remember.  

He also transported thousands of immigrants from post war Europe, flew into Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) for Operation Babylift as South Vietnam fell, carried the Olympic team to Montreal and even monkeys to the US for the development of the polio vaccine. 

In 1964, he headed to London with his family for his initial overseas posting and in the early 1970s he gained some public attention fronting Qantas’ ‘Your Kind of People’ advertising campaign celebrating the airline’s 50th birthday.  

He was honoured as a Master Air Pilot by the International Guild of Air Pilots and granted the Freedom of the City of London. On retirement in 1983, Captain Carroll had flown 24 thousand hours and more than 20 million kilometres. 

After Qantas, he spent many happy days on his farm, reading and listening to classical music. There was also golf, bowls, Probus, church and travel with Margaret, both in Australia and overseas, and family time. 

Jim particularly enjoyed the Anzac Day lunches at Grammar in his later years and always maintained a strong connection to the School through the Old Sydneians. He was proud his sons Mark (1970) and Jim (1976) and grandsons Sam (2008) and Will (2012) followed him to Grammar. Jim is survived by Margaret, three children, nine grandchildren and a great grandson.

Charles Wade OAM (OS 1945) died 11 September 2022

Charles’s father, Frank, attended Grammar, as did his sons, Robert (OS 1976) and James (OS 1977). As a child, Charles lived in Woollahra and attended Edgecliff Preparatory School from Kindergarten. Sandy Phillips was his Headmaster at College Street where he played in the Third XV and was in the Army Cadets.

In 1947 Charles started as a junior Qantas traffic officer at the flying boat in Rose Bay and a year later he worked in New Guinea until 1954. He then travelled overseas occupying various managerial roles all over the world. 

When he left Qantas in 1978, he worked for some major corporate travel agencies, as a consultant, dealing with very large accounts at Tooheys, Channel 10 and News Corp. Later, he helped Robert run Wade’s Travel Agency in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.

After retiring, Charles spent time as a volunteer in policing from 2003-2015 and was a member of the Woollahra Council Community Safety Committee. Initially, he was involved in the exhibits and property section at the Paddington Police Station and subsequently he moved to the Rose Bay Station doing data entry, working in the gun cabinet or making follow-up calls to people who may have had a recent break-in. He was awarded the OAM medal on Australia Day 2017 for services to the community through a range of volunteer roles. 

Charles passed away at the age of 94 and he is survived by his two children and four grandchildren. 

Phillip Bushby (OS 1964-5) died 28 October 2022 

Phillip started at Edgecliff Preparatory School when it became part of Sydney Grammar School in 1956 and he later attended College Street in 1960. He was a Company Commander in the Sydney Grammar School Cadet Corps, the hooker of the Second XV team and Senior Prefect in 1965.    

After attaining an American Field Service Scholarship, Phillip left for the USA mid-1966. When he returned, he finished his law degree at the University of Sydney. On completion of his articles, he joined his father’s firm that had offices in town and the Eastern Suburbs. He had three children with his first wife, and the two boys Richard and Matthew both attended Grammar from Kindergarten to Form VI.   

Phillip became a partner in Lane and Lane and then set up as Phillip Bushby International. In this later portion of his professional career, he worked with a small group of Chinese, Singaporean and Australian lawyers specialising in international trade law. The firm acted on behalf of both Asian and Australian clients to advise on opportunities presented by Australia’s growing trade with Asia in the late 1980s and 1990s. After his second wife died from breast cancer, Phillip continued to practise but downscaled to a number of long-term clients. He devoted much of his time to his family and married Susie six years ago. He sold up in Sydney and moved to the Sunshine Coast, seeking extra time on the beach and the golf course.    

Phillip served as a director of the Sydney Club and was a member of Rotary. Throughout his life, he remained close friends with several schoolmates.  

Phillip is survived by his children, Richard, Matthew and Elizabeth, stepchildren, four grandchildren, sister Laraine, brother Geoff, and wife Susie. 

The latest edition of SGS magazineEdition 15, Spring 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. The first photo was taken in 1968 and the coach was Mr Rodney Knock. We believe that the second rugby photo was from the 1990s and Grammar was playing Sydney Boys High School.

Any information can be passed on via sgsarchives@sydgram.nsw.edu.au and please let us know whether you do not want your name to be acknowledged as a contributor in the next newsletter.

Thank you for all the assistance in identifying the following photos from the September issue. 


SGS Basketball Firsts 1980

Standing (left to right): P.J. Gage; F.C.S. Chen; M.C. Lloyd; A.C. Wakefield

Seated: H.E. Brissenden; D.G. Chadwick (captain); Mr G.G. Simmons (coach); G.S. Ridhalgh; J.F. Lane

SGS Rugby Fifth XV 1960

Standing (left to right): R. Bourke; P. Grice; K. Murchison; Mr W.M.C. Townley (coach); H. Lesnie; D. Hobbs; D. Weinstock; R. Tanner

Seated: B. Joseph; C. Begg; W. Carson; H. Herron (captain); J. Dellit; C. Cameron; G. Precians

In Front: A. Wilson; D. Townsend; D. Walker; J. Wood

Special thanks to K. Murchison and J. Cattlin for a complete list of names.

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.


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

Ms Charlotte McColl