Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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RANKIN, Edwin ‘Teddy’ (1872-1944)

Edwin 'Teddy' Rankin.

Edwin 'Teddy' Rankin.

RANKIN, Edwin ‘Teddy’ (1872-1944)

'Teddy' Rankin was head groundsman from about 1905 to 1941, and the Principal’s gardener from 1941 until his retirement in 1944, and was an important part of the College for masters and boys, seven hundred of whom subscribed to a memorial gateway in 1941. Known as the Edwin ‘Teddy’ Rankin Memorial Gates, these gates are now at the main entrance of the Senior School campus in Talbot Street.

In his earlier years, ‘Teddy’, was a brilliant footballer with the Geelong Football Club commencing in 1897, missing 1898 due to typhoid and then playing from 1899 to 1910 in a career in which he played 180 games for Geelong. It is believed that ‘Teddy’ introduced the tactic of touching the ball on the ground rather than bouncing in slippery conditions.

He coached the College 1st Team from 1905 for sixteen years until 1921. His two sons, Bert and Cliff also became VFL players with Geelong Football Club.

The Argus newspaper in 1944 published a brief obituary:
'The death occurred at Geelong yesterday of Mr Edwin (Ted) Rankin, at the age of 72. He was well known for his association with sporting. He was curator at Geelong College for 40 years, and was curator of Corio oval for eight years. Mr Rankin had been an outstanding League footballer, and represented Geelong club in many interstate and carnival games. He was a playing member of Geelong club for 21 years. Three of his sons, Bert, Cliff, and Doug, have gained football fame. He coached Geelong College football and cricket teams. Mr Rankin was a trustee and steward of the Newtown Methodist Church and Sunday School, and a foundation member of Geelong Soldiers' Fathers' Association. For 51 years he was financial secretary of the Geelong Order of the Sons of Temperance. He has left a widow and seven children. The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon at Highton Cemetery.'

Sources: Pegasus December 1941 p7; Pegasus December 1944 pp 4,9; The Argus (Melb) 1 August 1944 p5; Pegasus December 1953 pp 31, 44.
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