Bruce’s commitment to, and love for, Scotch College was lifelong and unconditional.
I first met Bruce Lithgow approximately 45 years ago in matters relating to Scotch, he being the then secretary of the Old Scotch Collegians’ Association. I was immediately struck by his energy, drive and commitment to the school; traits that continued to be evidenced throughout his life. He was the close friend, and became leader of, a small group of committed Old Boys, including John Richards (’50), Brian Randall (’52) and Ralph Morris (’52).
They all worked tirelessly to ensure Scotch continued to prosper and solve issues that could have prejudiced the wellbeing of the school. Throughout all these times Norma was quietly at his side; supportive, welcoming and never complaining about the significant time commitment involved.
Bruce’s commitment to, and love for, Scotch College was lifelong and unconditional. No one has done more for the school in our time. Not only did he lead the School Council with great wisdom and dexterity from 1981 to 1990, he created a succession plan of Council leadership that would give the school the stability it so desperately needed, after many years of uncertainty and division.
The fundamental role of the Council is to enable the school to do the things it needs to do. One of its most critical roles is the appointment of the school Principal, who is then charged with the responsibility of working with Council in developing the school’s strategic direction, as well as overseeing its day-to-day operations.
Council’s selection of Dr Gordon Donaldson as the eighth Principal of Scotch in 1983 was to be vital. Gordon, with the support of Bruce and the Council, was responsible for stabilising and revitalising the students and staff of the school over a 25-year period. This commitment has provided a sound platform for the school to set its sights on its future. The current Principal, Mr Tom Batty, has recently announced the latest stage in the strategic direction for Scotch – a very student-focused ambition that should resonate positively with all members of the Scotch Family.
The Council is also responsible for providing the resources required to allow the school to achieve its objectives. To this end, Bruce – together with the Council, staff and the support of the Scotch community – set the scene for a building programme unparalleled in both scope and impact. The programme started with the construction of the Glenn Centre in 1983 and included the Junior School redevelopment in 1990, stages one and two of the Lithgow Centre in 1993 and 1997 (fittingly named to honour Bruce’s outstanding contribution to Scotch), the Cardinal Pavilion in 1994 and the Language and Culture Centre in 1995.
Bruce was always mindful that buildings on their own were meaningless, but when combined with inspirational teaching and enthusiastic learning, they could create the forum where anything was possible educationally.
Bruce Lithgow led from the front and his legacy will be enduring. I thank him for his lifelong connection to Scotch, and extend sincere condolences to Norma and the Lithgow family.
Mr David Crawford AO Chairman
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)