Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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BETTS, Geoffrey James AM MBE (1920-2015

BETTS, Geoffrey James AM MBE (1920-2015).

Geoff Betts, who passed away on 27 February 2015, had a remarkable affiliation with The Geelong College for more than 63 years. This commenced with the enrolment of his eldest son Richard (OGC 1960), who was later joined by Peter (OGC 1964) and Michael (OGC 1965). He also had six grandchildren who were educated at the College.

Geoff Betts, circa 1962.

Geoff Betts, circa 1962.

Geoff Betts.

Geoff Betts.

His direct service to the College commenced in 1954 as Secretary for the appeal to raise funds for the new Preparatory School on Aberdeen Street. This was followed by service on the College Council through the 1960s and 1970s, before re-joining the Council on his appointment as the inaugural President of The Geelong College Foundation in 1987. He was Chairman of the Council’s Finance Committee from 1960 to 1975. In the early 1970s, he and Fred Herd led the very successful Project Pegasus Appeal.

In 1977, Geoff was elected a Fellow of the Old Geelong Collegians’ Association – the first Fellow not to have been either an Old Collegian or a member of staff. In December 2003, he was elected a Life Governor of the College.

Ad Astra in March 1976 described his service:
'Geoff Betts, an Honorary Life Member of the OGCA, has been a member of the College Council since 1958. These have been difficult years financially for independent schools and Geoff's background of business experience as managing director of Target Australia Pty. Ltd. and group director of the Myer Emporium Ltd. has been of inestimable value to the College. He recently retired from his business managerial posts and also from his position as Chairman of the Finance Committee but he will retain his seat as a member of the College Council’.

Sources: Mr M Betts; Ad Astra March, 1976; Ad Astra July 2015 p52.
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