Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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BELL, Barry Malcolm OAM (1933-2010)

Barry Bell (Football, 1949)

Barry Bell (Football, 1949)

BELL, Barry Malcolm OAM (1933-2010), builder of Newtown, died 27 January 2010. Barry was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2002 for his community work with Rotary International in which he led the collection of donated goods and money for developing countries. It also recognised Barry's outstanding work in leading aid effort into Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga, PNG and East Timor where he built and repaired homes, water tanks, schools, a hospital and an orphanage. Barry had the unenviable distinction of demolishing Knowle House, the former home of The Geelong College in Skene Street from 1861 to 1870. Later, his firm, Bell Constructions, was to build Davey House on the College grounds as the Principal's Residence.

Peter Drysdale wrote of Barry: 'Barry was affectionately known to the people of Koroipita as 'Berry' Bell. He inspired many volunteers to come to Fiji to serve on the project at Koroipita where the Rotary Club is building a whole town to resettle homeless families. The first team built a town hall and kindergarten and later teams built homes and a shop and a bakery building which was converted to a computer school. 'Berry' was tireless in his efforts to raise funds and solicit for donated goods for Fiji ... Building materials, sinks, anything the project called for - just tell 'Berry' and it would arrive. There are mementoes everywhere of this great philanthropist.'

He attended The Geelong College as a day student from 1945 to 1949 having previously been a pupil at the Tate Street State School. At the College, he won the U14 Athletics Championship (E R Sparrow Cup), was a member of the 1948 Relay Team and the 1st Football XVIII of 1949 and received House Colours in athletics, cricket, football and tennis.

Sources: Geelong Advertiser, 6 Feb 2010; Ad Astra June 2010 p40.
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