Stories from the Archives

Umpire's Call: Point to the Cartoon!

 

It is an unusual tribute: the efforts of a group of fathers was recognised with a cartoon. What did the fathers do and how was it that their work was acknowledged with a cartoon?

 

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The popularity of tennis in the early 1950s led to the need for further tennis courts to be built at the College. In 1953 funds were raised for two new tennis courts, to be constructed between the Stables and Young Street (today occupied by the Senior Staff Common Room and the Young Street carpark).

 

A group of fathers, led by Ted Lambert, father of student Diana Jane Wilson (née Lambert), banded together to transform 'the old drying lawns'  into tennis courts. It was fairly arduous and exacting work but tackled with determination and camaraderie. There were regular working bees throughout 1954.

 

The courts were officially opened on 22 April 1955 and featured exhibition tennis from Lew Hoad, Geoff Brown, Beth Jones and Margaret Hellyer, all well-known tennis players in the 1950s representing Australia in the Davis Cup and at Wimbledon. 

 
The cartoon was drawn by Tony Rafty, a family friend of the Lamberts, and is dated 1954. Tony Rafty (1915-2015) was best known for his caricatures of politicians, sportspeople and entertainers. He was a war artist and journalist for the Australian Army in World War II and sketched sportsmen and women at every Olympic Games from 1948 to 1996. In 1991 Rafty was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to the media. 

Looking at the cartoon we can easily see who the working fathers were (although their surnames are omitted): Ted )”The Slave Driver”/”The Master”), Herb, Charles, Sid, Jim, Bill, Dick, Tom, Nev, Noel, David, Hilton, Dr John, Jack, Gordon, The Major and Bruce. The trim lady in the light grey suit in the lower left-hand corner with the speech balloon that reads 'Tea Boys' is clearly Miss Macindoe, the Principal from 1946 to 1956. Mr Evans, drawn on the right-hand side just above the notice 'Do not pick the flowers', was the Head Gardener from 1916 until 1959.
 
1. The opening of the tennis courts, 22 April 1955: 
Tennis stars Geoff Brown, Beth Jones, Margaret Hellyer, Lew Hoad
Photo donated by Glen Trezise, student 1948-1958

2. Donated by Diana Jane Wilson (née Lambert), student 1948-1958. Series 15, Map Cabinet Drawer 6.

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