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STURZAKER, June Aileen (1931-2017)

STURZAKER, June Aileen (1931-2017)

June Sturzaker, 1990.

June Sturzaker, 1990.

June Sturzaker, staff member, born on 10 June 1931, joined the domestic staff aged 13 years and 11 months in May 1945 when Francis W Rolland was still Principal and at a time when the Refectory Block was fairly buzzing with resident domestic staff. In the quarters in the upper section of the south wing; up to forty staff were accommodated and their duties extended to all catering requirements plus much of the cleaning and domestic activities in the boarding houses. June started as a waitress in the Dining Room then became a cleaner. She was not permitted to clean in the Boarding Houses as she was considered too young. In 1949, after four years, June left the College to help manage a cafeteria owned by her family in Peterborough. She came back to the College for one year in the 1950s, then eventually returned permanently on 1 April 1957. She initially ran the servery then graduated to running the kitchen. She studied at the Gordon at nights and qualified with certificates in catering and cooking.

In reminiscing about those early days June said that 'the work was constant and that she had only each Tuesday evening and every second Sunday off, - one of the highlights of the days off for the staff was a tram ride along Aphrasia Street into town and on to Eastern Beach! When she first started serving in the Junior Dining Room, she recalled that speaking to the boys was an offence for which one was fired!'

Her main responsibilities in those days involved cooking under the direction of both Mrs Armstrong and Mrs Cloke who were housekeepers of no mean order. Following the retirement of Mrs Cloke and two short lived male Catering Managers, June was appointed to the position in 1974. During later years June also managed the cleaning operation. In the earlier days the catering operation was directed to the provision of meals for boarders plus the inevitable morning and afternoon teas for the common room. This situation changed significantly in the early 1980's when the catering staff became increasingly involved in catering for a multitude of functions associated with the wider College community. Many students, staff and parents will have stories of the kindness shown by June while preparing food and co-ordinating functions over the years. Her excellent organisation, good humour and the equanimity with which she handled unexpected requests, reflected not only her love of the College but a tribute to her personal qualities.

June died on 28 February 2017, aged 85 years.

Sources: Includes adapted excerpts from farewells by Paul Sheahan and Bruce Jamieson in Pegasus 1994 p156; Principal’s Newsletter Term IV 1994 p5; Ad Astra 1990 p8; p5; Sources: Geelong Advertiser 3 March 2017; Ad Astra June 2017 p58.

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