Old Sydneians’ Newsletter - Volume 31

Sydney Grammar School

From the President of the OSU

Dear Old Sydneians, 

This is my first message to the community this year and it’s already April. It is with great excitement that I write this message to you all, as this year marks the 130th anniversary of the Old Sydneians’ Union. It was on 22 September 130 years ago that the OSU, at the instigation of the great Albert Bythesea Weigall, was established. Thus, this year is a special year and we plan to stage a number of events to mark the occasion.  

First and foremost, please pencil into your diaries Friday 22 September as we intend to hold a gala event on the anniversary itself. Also, back by popular demand, will be The Great Debate, which will be all the more special this year now that Dom Knight is on the Committee. It will take place in July (date to be advised). In addition, we are planning to hold two golf days this year with a special 130th trophy for the winner. (Stay tuned for those dates as well). There will also be the usual plethora of reunions and the 1989 and 1990 years will be competing in The GPS Gold Challenge in October. If you are from those years and want to participate, please contact me (wmaccallum@rk.com.au) and I’ll direct you to your year captains. I can say personally, after attending my Gold Challenge last year, that it was and will remain one of the most enjoyable Grammar related events I have been involved in since leaving school. Beating both The Scots College and St Joseph’s College (both containing former Australian Schoolboys) in the touch football was a highlight. 

On a less joyous note, there has been the passing of quite a few Old Sydneians since last year. My condolences go out to their families, and I recommend that you all read the obituaries/memoriams at the end of this newsletter about some of these great Old Sydneians. 

Walter MacCallum

Old Sydneians v First XI

The OSU played the current First XI on Friday 13 January on Weigall 1. The weather was fine, the pitch was firm, and the grass was cut low. The Firsts won the toss and decided to bat, scoring 9/136 in 20 overs. The Old Sydneians replied with 5/172 in their allotted overs and therefore won bragging rights.

Grammar openers: William Powell (V) and Nirav Prasan (VI)

The OS team L-R: Max Glen, Akshay Prasan, Ben Calloway, Campbell Gilmore, Angus Gilmore, Oliver Ottosson, Robin Evans (c), Andrew Powell (father of William), Dan Baffsky, Sam Kertesz and Tom Bell Bird.

Australian Day Awards

Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Dr Philip Robert Holmes OAM (OS 1965-66)
For service to Australia’s livestock industry

Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia
The Hon. James Leslie Allsop AC (OS 70)
For eminent service to the judiciary and to the law, to organisational and technological reform, to legal education, and to insolvency law

Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM)
MAJ (AAC) Warren Cree AFSM OAM (OS 1987)
For contribution and commitment to the Royal Fire Service

More News about The Hon. James Allsop AC

On Friday 31 March, the Federal Court held a ceremonial sitting to mark the retirement of The Hon. James Allsop AC (Senior Prefect 1970). Legal and political luminaries, including Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, attended as did five of James’ schoolmates. 

L-R: Torquil Murray, Tim Haymet, Phil Clarke, Peter Straton and Eric Lucas

Vale Vladimir Khusid

Our dear teacher, jazz musician and friend Mr Vladimir Khusid sadly passed away after his long and terribly stoic battle with cancer. His portrait, painted by Mathew Lynn (OS 1981), was unveiled at the School on Friday 10 March. A musical tribute was performed honouring the life of Vlad.

Artist  Mr Mathew Lynn (OS 1981)

L-R: Mr Ishaan Vellani (OS 2020) on piano, Mr William Sutcliffe (OS 2010) on bass, Dr Luke Harley (OS 1997) on trombone and Dr Richard Malpass (OS 1994) on cornet



The 148th Sydney Grammar School Athletics Championships was held at Weigall on Wednesday 1 March. Standout performers included Age Champions Bastian Tsiamis (I) U13, Angus Windeyer (III) U14, Myles Kapoor (III) U15, Julian Wylie (IV) U16, Sam Davis (V) U17 and Daniel York (VI) Opens. A notable event was the U16 High Jump where Jackson Dyne (IV) had a huge crowd cheering him on when clearing 1.90m. 


The Grammar basketball programme had a most successful season. This was epitomised by the Seconds, who finished mid-table with six GPS wins. In addition, they won the Plate Final of the Yeend Shield in a tightly contested battle. The 14s, as an age group, were outstanding! They won 70% of their games with the 14Cs going undefeated and winning 14 games straight.


The First XI had a successful season filled with high-pressure situations most weeks. Composure, teamwork and a great team spirit helped the boys achieve a strong 3rd place in the overall standings. William Powell (554) and Reuben Kapoor (528) were the top run scorers and Nick Stanwell (33) the top wicket taker. The Under 15s group also performed strongly. The As won 10 out of their 14 matches (with two hat tricks) and the Bs won 9. 


The boys toured the North Island of New Zealand and attended rigorous training camps in Canberra and the Nepean. There was a tremendous performance from our Third VIII at the Head of the River where they recorded a memorable win. Our other crews all rowed impressive times, with many achieving a personal best at the ‘big dance’. At the Boatshed we are very much looking forward to the next season already!


The 2022/23 tennis season has been very successful. Throughout the age groups we have had a win ratio of over 78% and a further 10% draws, meaning we lost only 12% of all our matches. The Firsts finished in touch with all the powerhouses, recording five wins and very close to a few more. The Second tennis team capped off a magnificent season by winning their competition for the first time since 1976. 


2023 saw the volleyball squad expand to 180 boys. The Firsts finished third, whilst the Seconds finished second on the GPS ladder. Grammar again competed at the National Championships - the Australian Volleyball Schools Cup (Gold Coast) – where both the Year 12 Division 1 and the Year 11 Division 3 team won Bronze. 

Please note the following home GPS fixtures at Weigall:

Term II:

Saturday 27 May, Rugby and Football v St Joseph’s College 

Saturday 17 June, Rugby v The Armidale School and Football v The King’s School

Friday 28 April – 1967 Delayed 55th Lunch 60th, Kirribilli Yacht Squadron (Convenor: Richard Allsop)

Friday 4 August – 1993 30th Reunion Cocktail Party, Big School (Convenor: Costa Cominos)

Saturday 12 August – 1968 55th Reunion Lunch, Venue to be confirmed (Convenor: Kim Rudder)

Friday 8 September – 1973 50th Reunion Lunch, Union Hotel North Sydney, (Convenors: Tony Crawford, Jon Abbott, Geoff Stewart)

Friday 3 November – 1963 60th Reunion Lunch, Weigall (Convenors: Jim Barkell, Tim Ross)

Saturday 11 November – 2003 20th Reunion Cocktail Party, Big School (Convenor: to be confirmed

Wednesday 15 November – 1950-1954 Annual Lunch, Alastair Mackerras Theatre Foyer

To be confirmed: 

1983 40th Reunion (Convenor: Nigel Head)

2013 10th Reunion (We are looking for anyone interested to convene)


The 2012 10-year Reunion was held on Saturday 12 November at The Keg and Brew Hotel, Surry Hills

Jim Cattlin (OS 1961)

Like many boys his age, Jim started playing rugby and cricket in primary school and continued while attending North Sydney High School and then Sydney Grammar School. He joined Gordon District Cricket Club and Lindfield Rugby Club while at school and continued after leaving, reaching First Grade in cricket and sub district in rugby.

Joining Qantas Airways the day after leaving Grammar, he later spent four years posted in London where he played both cricket and rugby. Following marriage, he moved to San Francisco where he lived for 28 years continuing his passion for cricket by playing locally and always following international cricket and rugby while raising a family.

In 2005 after the passing of his wife he returned to Sydney and rejoined Gordon DCC on the Committee and reconnected with his school friends. Challenged by Tim Healey to write a book about the Sydney Grammar School versus Melbourne Grammar cricket matches, which commenced in 1876, he did so in 2015.

He has now embarked on writing the History of Grammar Rugby to show those boys who choose to play rugby that there is a rich history of the game at the School with numerous boys going on to play state and international rugby. Many managed to use the discipline they learned playing this challenging and demanding team sport to lead prominent and rewarding lives.

If a family member or members played for the First XV at school and you have a story, photos or memorabilia, please contact the Archives Office and we can pass it on to Jim for consideration.

Jim Cattlin (still able to fit into his 1961 School blazer) 

Jim with ‘the Bat’ at Melbourne Grammar in January 2023

The Rudder Boys

With a surname like Rudder, it is not surprising that all the boys were involved in rowing at School. Peter rowed in the First VIII for two years, and later coached from 1957-1961 and again from 1966-1976, achieving good results. His three sons also represented at a high level with Kim and Roy being in the First VIII and David in the First IV. The Rudders have also steered society in a well-balanced direction, working in architecture, education, electronics and wildlife management. 

Peter (OS 1943)

After leaving School, Peter enlisted in the Airforce and headed overseas for training in Canada, before becoming a Lancaster pilot with 460 Squadron at the end of the Second World War. Upon returning to Australia, he did an architecture degree, and was employed as a partner in Rudder, Littlemore & Rudder. Peter was integral in the design of many well-known buildings, including Qantas House and the Sydney Opera House. He retired to Tasmania, and, amongst other things, was the Rowing Australia Liaison Officer for the Russian team at the 1990 World Rowing Championships at Lake Barrington. He passed away in 2006, aged 81.

Kim (OS 1968)

After completing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Geology at UNSW, Kim taught Mathematics and coached sport at Cranbrook School. He was there for twenty-eight years on a full teaching load and was a rowing coordinator from 1974-1990. In 2002, he moved to St Joseph’s College with similar extra-curricular activities, retiring from classroom teaching at the end of 2013. There were five more years of coaching rowing and athletics at St Joseph’s College and two years coaching rowing at Newington College. Kim is now the Head Coach of the North Shore Rowing Club and, since 2016, he has been the coach of the NSW State Masters Women’s Eight on four occasions, and most recently was appointed coach for the 2023 crew. 

Roy (OS 1975)

After School, Roy studied electronics and worked in various jobs as a support technician. He then secured a technical sales support role with the Motion Picture and Recording Studio Division at Rank Electronics. In 1983, he set up a new business in Hobart, specialising in domestic and professional audio electronics and sound recording. Later in 1993 he moved to the Gold Coast to work in electronics installation and technical support for Australia’s first Pay TV start-up company, AUSTAR Entertainment and Communications (later to become Foxtel). He became the technical manager for their Commercial Division, overseeing 160 contractor groups nationwide for quality control and technical standards. In 2007, he moved in a different direction and studied financial planning. Today, in his semi-retirement, he trades foreign exchange and commodities. 

David (OS 1976)

After School, David studied architecture and practised for 30 years in Sydney, Hobart and Darwin, including 17 years in private practice before a career change led him back to university and a master's degree in wildlife management/ecology. Since 2009 he has managed a variety of biodiversity conservation projects with Taronga and NSW National Parks and Wildlife, including endangered species captive breeding facilities and the reintroduction of locally extinct species to NSW national parks. 


Kim Rudder (OS 1968) standing behind the Grammar car (1956-1957)

First Tub IV 1965

‘Old’ Teacher Obituary

Kevin Bryant McCaskill (History Teacher and Housemaster from 1970-2003)

Kevin McCaskill died on 30 January 2023. Kevin taught History and was for some years both a Tutor under Alastair Mackerras and subsequently a Housemaster under Ralph Townsend when the current House system was introduced at the beginning of the 1990s.

Kevin also coached cricket, was part of the library staff, was stage manager for a number of drama productions, including Neil Smith’s memorable production of The Alchemist, winner of the NSW School’s Drama Competition, and he founded the Gourmet Food Society. He also served as Secretary to the Common Room for many years. He retired at the end of 2003.

‘Old Boy’ Obituaries

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 Sydneian edition.

Ian Barry Mackay (OS 1950-1951) died on 4 December 2022

Ian grew up around Haberfield and went to Sydney Grammar School, excelling in cricket and rugby. After school, he attended Duntroon from 1952-1955 and his army career lasted twenty-six years. Selected as one of 17 founding members and an original Platoon Commander of the Australian SAS in 1957, he was stationed in Perth. 

Ian played rugby for the army, and he also played for Randwick First Grade as fullback for a number of seasons. He was picked for the Wallabies on the 1957 tour but had to withdraw as hepatitis had struck him down. He was offered to trial for the Wallabies for the 1958 tour to New Zealand but was not released from SAS duties. 

After marrying in 1961, he was posted in Malaya as an instructor at the British Jungle Warfare School in Jahore and undertook various covert tours to Vietnam on behalf of the British prior to the war. In 1967 Ian was involved in Operation Bribie, a major conflict against the North Vietcong with heavy casualties on both sides. Subsequently he wrote a book, Phantoms of Bribie, about his experiences in Vietnam and afterwards.

Ian moved to Canberra where he took command of 7RAR Battalion. In 1973 he was appointed Military Assistant to the Chief of General Staff and in 1978 he left the army as a Full Colonel. Ian then worked as Managing Director of the Wormald Security Group before moving to Sydney in 1979 and finishing at Honeywell.

After retiring, he loved listening to music, talking about politics and exercising. He would attend Grammar events and was enthused by the spirit of the School. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Robin, his two children, Kristiane and Hamish (OS 1989), and five grandchildren.

David Zalmon Baffsky AO (OS 1958) died on 4 December 2022 

David grew up in Bondi and Watsons Bay, his parents being immigrants from Ukraine and Poland. He was educated at Sydney Grammar School (1954-1958), the first of three generations of boys, with son Daniel and grandsons Bo, Arky and Ziggy also attending. As a youngster, David participated in rugby, gymnastics, tennis, squash, drama, music and chess. 

After College Street, he obtained a law degree at the University of Sydney and became the founding partner of Simons and Baffsky, a Sydney legal firm specialising in commercial and fiscal law. From the 1990s, he was an entrepreneur across a diversity of sectors, including property development, agriculture, aviation and most notably in the Australian and Asia Pacific hotel industry, as the inaugural Executive Chairman of Accor Asia Pacific. 

David made a meaningful contribution to his community and his country. He was known for his generosity, particularly as a mentor, and he was deeply committed to creating opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. David understood the importance of philanthropy, supporting many causes, including medical research and Jewish welfare. He also dedicated himself to assisting the arts, music and sport. 

In 2001, he was made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia and in 2003 he received the Centenary Medal. The following year he was recognised as the Asia Pacific Hotelier of the Year and in 2012 he was awarded the Chevalier in the Order of National Légion d’Honneur of France.

David will be remembered as a dedicated family man and is survived by his wife Helen, two children and five grandchildren. 

Maxwell Scott Raine (OS 1949) died on 22 February 2023

Max was born in 1931 and attended Sydney Grammar School from 1945-1949. Max rowed and played rugby and was Cadet Lieutenant in his final year. In 1950 aged 18, he joined the family business Raine & Horne as the third generation of his family, initially as a messenger boy, switchboard operator and rent collector, rising to become Chairman in 1973 until his 2011 retirement.

Max was an influential advocate and innovator in the real estate industry, pioneering the growth of suburban real estate offices in the 1960s starting at Double Bay, introducing franchising in the 1970s, and launching into commercial real estate in the 1980s. Under his guidance, Raine & Horne became a leading brand across Australia and then internationally by the early 1990s. Today over 3,500 people globally are part of the Raine & Horne Group, which sold $10 billion worth of real estate and managed over 120,000 properties worldwide in 2022 alone.

Max is survived by his wife Susan, children Rebecca, Julia, Georgina, and Angus (the current Executive Chairman of Raine & Horne Group), 14 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Other prominent Old Sydneians who have passed away recently:

Tony Adams (OS 1941)

Gary Baxter (OS 1952)

Anthony Cox (OS 1953)

Malcom George Smeal (OS 1954-5)

Robert Withycombe (OS 1955-6)

Warren Hurt (OS 1956)

John Brennan Keats OAM (OS 1956-57)

Tom Gregory (OS 1965)

Geoffrey Pike (OS 1968)

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 magazines 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 1975 and the coach was Mr John Sheldon. The second cricket photo is older and unfortunately there are no accompanying dates or names.

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 photo from the December issue. 

The Photo of the 1968 Under 14Gs

Back row: Michael Ludowici, Kim Swan, Piers Laverty, Andrew Gibson, John Kellow, Tim Pearce
Middle row: Hugh McAlister, Peter Gilkes, David Ludowici, Kevin Leedow
Front Row: David Craig, Greg Cantor, Gordon Gillmore, Graeme Suthers, Jonathon Wurth
Teacher: Rodney Knock
Assistant Coach: David Goldstein 

(Special thanks to Michael Ludowici and his ‘mates’ for providing this information.)

Correction from the December Newsletter

In the listing of the SGS Rugby Fifth XV 1960, it said H. Leslie instead of H. Lesnie. We apologise to the Lesnie family, who have been closely associated with Sydney Grammar School for many years.

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.

Old Sydneians Newsletter


Mr Steve Gonski


Alumni Office 

Ms Wendy Scotter

Ms Charlotte McColl