Words: Mr Tim Shearer Editor: Great Scot
This edition of Great Scot celebrates Scotch’s 160th birthday. It’s true that compared with many overseas schools, 160 years may not count for much – for example, our current Principal’s former school, Eton College was founded in 1440 – but in Australian terms Scotch has been around for quite a while. Scotch predates federation by 50 years; it is 10 years older than the Melbourne Cup, and seven years older than Australian Football. Scotch can proudly say it is the longest continuing independent school in Victoria, and to my mind that is certainly something to celebrate.
Scotch’s history, set out in a six-page feature in this edition, is interesting and most colourful. Looking back to the twentieth century, we can be very proud of the contribution our Old Boys have made to maintaining the freedom we Australians cherish. Sadly, it came at the cost of the lives of more than 500 Old Boys in the two World Wars. The 2011 Remembrance Day Assembly provided an excellent opportunity to honour the memory of our war dead, and guest speaker, Roland Perry (’65) spoke eloquently about arguably our most illustrious Old Boy, Sir John Monash (Scotch 1881). Roland’s address to the assembly is included in a feature about Sir John in this issue.
Sir Winston Churchill once said: ‘Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it,’ and Scotch is acutely aware of what we can celebrate – and learn from – in our own 160 years. Our school’s history has been comprehensively documented at least three times, most recently by our now-retired Archivist, Dr Jim Mitchell. (Please see the tribute to Jim in this issue.)
We do not disregard the past, but we must look to the future. Scotch’s masterplan, now in preparation, does precisely that, in planning the physical infrastructure to create the profile of the Scotch College of 20, 50 or 100 years in the future. Of course, even with the best planning there are still many imponderables. How could the planners of the 1930s – or even the 1980s – have possibly envisaged the computer revolution of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries? No amount of historical research or expert prognostication would have revealed to them what was to come.
All we can do is to plan to the best of our ability to provide an environment where the boys of today and tomorrow have the finest educational opportunities available to them. Editorial
Scotch OLD BOYS–Please participate in the OSCA centenary survey
The Old Scotch Collegians’ Association has been part of Scotch College’s 160-year history since 1913.
In preparation for a year of centenary events in 2013, OSCA is examining several aspects of its structure and activities to make sure the next 100 years of OSCA life are effective and relevant.
OSCA services around 17,000 past students in all age groups up to and over 100 years of age. We’re keen to gain feedback from those we can reach to make sure that now, and in the future, we look after you well and provide services which are relevant and involving.
You will see that a centenary survey questionnaire is enclosed with this issue of Great Scot. OSCA encourages you to complete and mail the questionnaire to us. Alternatively, the survey is available for completion on-line at www.oscanet.com.au. If we have your email address, the link will also be sent to you automatically. All respondents will go into a draw to win a 16Mb Apple iPad.
Please complete this survey – even if your contact with your old school has been peripheral since leaving its gates for the last time.