Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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JAMES, Lynette Rosemary McDonald (1936-2017)

JAMES, Lynette Rosemary McDonald (1936-2017)

Lyn first joined Geelong College as a teacher in January 1954 and left in December 1964, teaching in Preparatory grades and up to Forms 1 and 2. She left College when she married Alan James in 1964. Lyn returned to the College in 1980 finally retiring in December 1989. She was born on 27 June 1936 and gained her Diploma of Primary Education at Mercer House on 3 March 1956.

At her second ‘retirement’ in 1989, Lyn wrote of her time at College: ‘It was in 1954, at the age of seventeen, that I commenced my teaching career as a student teacher at the old Prep School and commuted to Mercer House, the then teachers’ college for Independent Schools. After the two-year course was completed, Mr L J Campbell appointed me to the staff to teach Grade 3 or Lower IVB as it was then called. (I think the Lover IV and Upper IV titles were designed to confuse the parents – children could be promoted horizontally!). When we moved to the present Prep site, I taught Grade VI and then Grade V before I ‘retired’ at the end of 1964 (Long Service and Maternity Leave were not even contemplated in those days!). During my ‘retirement’ I studied and obtained a library diploma (1976), then assumed part-time and later, full-time work at East Tech (1976) and St John’s Lutheran School (1972-1976). When the College required a librarian to work at Campbell House and the Senior School I was delighted to be appointed to that position. Now in 1989, I have completed ten years’ service in the Senior School.

During my total of twenty-one years at the school I have had the privilege of knowing many old College identities such as the two Mr Campbells, Tammy Henderson (from whom I learnt some Chemistry – Hermitage girls chose to study Chemistry in order to view the cadets from the lab. windows), Mr Keith, Mr McLean and not so old present identities such as Fred Elliott, Michael Keary and Max Simmonds. Indeed, I have worked for four principals, three Prep Headmasters and the three librarians who have been in charge of the George Morrison Library. My career has been quite ‘low key’ but it has been enriched by my contact with these and many other College personalities be they staff members, parents, students, and ex-Collegians.’

Lyn died at Mercy Place Rice Village, Marshall on 13 July 2017.

Sources: Geelong Advertiser 19 July 2017.
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