BAYLY, William Reynolds BA BSc(1867-1937)

Modified on Sat, 14 Jul 2018 18:33 by Con — Categorized as: Biography - All, Biography - Staff, Geelong College

BAYLY, William Reynolds Ba BSc (1867-1937)

See Also BAYLY, William Reynolds (Centenary History Text, 1961)

William Reynolds Bayly was the third Principal of the Geelong College from 1910 to 1914. Born in Port Adelaide, South Australia and the son of a dairyman, he was educated at the then Methodist, Prince Alfred College and the University of Adelaide obtaining a B.A. in 1896 with first class honours in classics and a B.Sc. in 1898. During his period at University he stroked the University Crew for 3 years. He was also a keen lacrosse player, expert with Indian clubs and a renowned orator. After graduation he joined the teaching staff of Prince Alfred College becoming senior resident master and acting Head. He also became for five years the President of the Prince Alfred Old Collegians’ Association.

W R Bayly, Principal, circa 1910.

W R Bayly, Principal, circa 1910.

Appointed to the Geelong College in 1909 he commenced in February 1910 at a time of uncertain transition for the School as it struggled to move on from the old personal system of the Morrisons. Known initially as ‘Masher Bill’ he came to be known simply as ‘Bill’. It was under Bayly’s leadership that the College successfully and jubilantly celebrated its first 50 years of operation in 1911. Norman Morrison Memorial Hall was also opened in 1912, for the first time providing the School with an indoor venue for assemblies and other activities. Bayly was a strong supporter of rowing, the cadets, the debating society, drama in School concerts and is believed to have introduced the School Record Book concept into the School to improve academic performance. In 1913 Bayly embarked on a six month overseas tour from which he returned towards the end of the year. During that absence his popularity as Head appears to have declined in favour of the Assistant Head and acting Principal W T Price. A few short months later he announced that he had been appointed to the headmastership of his former school Prince Alfred College, the position which he took up at the start of 1915. William Bayly retired from the Prince Alfred School in 1929.

The authors of the College’s Centenary History present Bayly’s period at the School as an unfulfilled and unpopular one. A H Harry (Vice-Principal 1918-1922) however, wrote quite warmly of Bayly as ‘a fine man and a good headmaster. Somewhat self-centred in the style of R G Menzies, but able to take his place amongst the best. Had a hard row to hoe in following C N Morrison.’ . The Prince Alfred School History of 1951 described him in laudatory terms of his ‘sincerity and his all-consuming energy…There was never a time from his early days as a Junior Master in the 1880’s when he did not give of his best to the school; and when he retired in 1929 there was for him to look back upon a record of devoted service and achievement of which any man would be proud.’

Sources: Ward, J. F. ‘Prince Alfred College: the story of the first eighty years 1867-1948’. Adelaide; Gillingham & Co. 1951 p 169; Harry, A. H. ‘William Reynolds Bayly’ (GC Archives); Obituary-Pegasus December 1937 p 60.