Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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ROGERS, Alan John AM (1926-2013)

Alan Rogers (Prefect, 1946).

Alan Rogers (Prefect, 1946).

ROGERS, Allan John AM (1928-2013)

Allan Rogers, businessman, worked assiduously on behalf of the community in several areas. His dedication was recognized in the Queen's Birthday Awards of 2004 when he became a Member of the Order of Australia 'for service to the community, particularly through the provision of rehabilitation services for people affected by drug, alcohol and gambling addictions, and to the environment.' For many years, he was a Director of the Odyssey House McGrath Foundation and also served as its Chairman.

Born on 27 November, 1928 he attended Malvern Grammar School before continuing his education as a boarder at Geelong College from 4 June, 1942 until December, 1946. In his final year, he was conspicuous on the sporting field participating in the 1st Cricket XI and the 1st Football XVIII. That year, he was also a School Prefect, Calvert House vice-captain, member of the House of Guilds Council and a College Cadet Corps member.

Alan Rogers (Ad Astra, 1999)

Alan Rogers (Ad Astra, 1999)

One of his great memories of School was his participation in the climbing support party led by Antarctic adventurer, John Bechervaise, which first scaled Tasmania's Federation Peak in 1947. Alan revisited the peak twice, once by climbing and the last time by helicopter. He helped organise and finance the 50th anniversary return College expedition to Federation Peak in 1999.

‘On leaving school Allan commenced a successful commercial career, firstly with British Tobacco and later with Mobil. Whilst in New York for training with Mobil he met and later married Pamela Higgins. They settled in NSW and later added two boys and two girls to the family. Pam's family controlled a company Lillis & Co which manufactured and sold ‘Big Sister’ plum puddings and Christmas cakes.
Allan joined the company and later became its managing director. There followed a series of moves and appointments in the food industry which finally led to his appointment as Managing Director of ‘Sara Lee’ for Australia and later for Asia. He established a factory at Gosford, NSW and the family lived nearby in Avondale.

His interest in sport continued and for many years, he played cricket for the Mosman Veterans a club side in the main district competition. He also became a fanatical golfer at Elanora Golf Club of which he became Captain and in this capacity managed a re-design of the course’.

‘He retained his interest in the College and was a regular attendant at College reunions in Sydney and on occasions in Geelong, such as the Gilbert & Sullivan re-union in 2002.’
He was also a benefactor of many organisations including the Scout Association of Australia. He died at home on 15 December, 2013 a few days short of his 85th birthday.

His father, Col. John Rogers (1895-1978), OGC 1913, and brother, 'Bill' Rogers, OGC 1939, also attended College.

Sources: ‘Bill’ Rogers; Sydney Morning Herald 17 December 2013; Ad Astra July 2014 p46. OGC 1942.
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