Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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EVERIST, Percy Neil OAM (1929-2016)

EVERIST, Percy Neil OAM (1929-2016)

Architect and Old Collegian, Neil Everist was instrumental in the creation of many of the buildings at Geelong College and endeavoured to integrate his building designs into an overall style for the College to provide integrity and continuity.

Neil Everist, circa 2011.

Neil Everist, circa 2011.

Neil was inducted into the OGCA Gallery of Notable Collegians in 2016. He was decribed by the OGCA as:
'the iconic leader at the heart of Australian mid-century modernist architecture. A true influencer of generations whose works and deeds remain an inspiration to all. The College has many beautiful buildings due to Neil's vision and skill.'

He commenced at the College on 12 February 1936 as a five year old. At the Preparatory School he demonstrated his sporting prowess as a cricketer, footballer, swimmer and athlete becoming the Captain of the Under 14 Football Team in 1943 and Under 15 boys’ swimming champion in 1944. In his final year 1946, he became a sergeant of the College Cadet Corps, rowed in the 2nd VIII and was a School Prefect. After leaving College he furthered his education with a scholarship to the Gordon Institute before attending Melbourne University to complete an architecture degree. At University, he continued rowing stroke as a member of the University Boat Club and for two years in 1952 and 1953 as a member of the winning King’s Cup Crew.

Not long after graduating in 1953, he co-founded the firm McGlashan Everist, Architects – a productive and successful partnership that was to continue until his retirement from the business at the end of 1997. McGlashan Everist became architects to the Geelong College in the early 1960s and over a period of forty years Neil designed many of the buildings of the current College. These have included: the expansion of Norman Morrison Memorial Hall, the George Morrison Library, Science Block, Rolland Centre, Davey House, the Chapel conversion, Principal’s House, Garnet Fielding Wing at the Senior School and the Art Centre, Robertson Hall and the Music Centre at the Middle School. His final commission for the Geelong College was the third stage of the Rolland Centre development which included the swimming and diving pool.

Over the years, Neil Everist and the firm McGlashan Everist Architects Pty Ltd have received many awards including the Victorian Architecture Medal on two occasions. One of these, in the 1960s, for ‘ best building erected in Victoria’ , was for ‘Heide’, the home of John and Sunday Reed at Eltham – now a Museum of Modern Art. In 1997, the firm of McGlashan Everist was the recipient of the 'John George Knight Award for Conservation' for design of the Deakin University Woolstores Campus. In 1999, Neil received a rare ‘Victorian Citation for Service' award, presented by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects ‘for his contribution to the conduct of the profession and to the status, stature and standing of architects and architecture’ . In January 2002, he received a Medal of the Order of Australia for his ‘service to the architecture profession, and to the community through the Geelong Art Gallery and Lifeline’ . He was President of Lifeline from 1991 to 1998 and President of the Geelong Art Gallery from 1996 to 2005. In recognition of his service to architecture Neil was made a Life Member of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA). Neil also served on the Faculty Board at the Gordon Institute and was a member of the Public Galleries Advisory Board. Deakin University honoured Neil with an honorary doctorate.

His service to the College has been extensive and has included the coaching of rowing in the 1940s and 1950s, membership of the College Council from 1960 to 1979, committee membership of the OGCA and Life Membership of the Albert Bell Club. For many years he was a dedicated and committed member and President of the College Boat Club.

Neil was the son of P G Everist. His brother, Ian Charles Everist OAM (1928-2012), and Neil's four children, were also educated at College.

Sources: Neil Everist, 2011; Geelong Advertiser 15 January 2016; Ad Astra July 2016 p44. OGC 1942.
Neil Everist (Prefect, 1946).

Neil Everist (Prefect, 1946).

Neil Everist (left) with Albert Bell (right) at the Barwon.

Neil Everist (left) with Albert Bell (right)
at the Barwon.

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