Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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WISHART, William ‘Bill’ (1913-1992)

WISHART, William ‘Bill’ (1913-1992)

Born in Rainbow, Victoria, the son of James Llewellyn Wishart and Rebecca nee Wiese Bill Wishart was educated at Geelong College from 1921 to 1922 and 1927 to 1931, where he became known as an outstanding tennis player and cricketer.

He had a gift for friendship, and his love for all who met him was reciprocated. At the end of his schooling he studied Pharmacy, and joined the old established firm of Bull and Owen in Geelong. On the outbreak of World War II, he joined the 2/9 Field Ambulance Company, but was taken prisoner after the fall of Singapore. According to those who were with him in the Changi Prison, his skill as a pharmacist enabled him to help those with skin diseases, and his ever present wit cheered up countless prisoners during their most trying times. Several drawings including one signed by former Collegians’ who were Changi prisoners at the time were donated to the College by Bill Wishart.

At the end of the war he returned to Bull and Owen and continued to serve the Geelong community in the same way as he had done in Malaya. He included service to the College in his activities, and became President of The Old Geelong Collegians Association in 1970. An enthusiastic member of the Fundraising Committee he carried out his work with the College Foundation, and in 1992 was still active in his efforts to assist the school.

He was one of the first of the second war servicemen to be invited to join Geelong Legacy, and gave almost fifty years of excellent service to this organisation, including a period as President in the early 1950s. He didn't lose his interest in tennis, and helped to organise tournaments in Geelong and Torquay for many years. Besides taking an active part in his business, he found time to be President of the Pharmacy Board of Victoria, a school Councillor of the Hermitage, and a Director of the Returned Soldiers' Mill. He was always an active member of the POW. Association.

Sources: Ad Astra April 1993 p14; James Affleck, Geelong Collegians at World War II p548-551.
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