A Patron's Passion - Bill Huffam

When Bill Huffam (OGC 1944) thinks of his days at The Geelong College, his thoughts inevitably come back to the people he met at school.

Bill attended College from the age of eight in 1940 and graduated in 1948. Coming from a rural school with only one teacher across eight grades, Bill was active in College life in academic, sporting and co-curricular pursuits. His
brother, Digby, also attended College.

He remembers Ian Watson, his first Master at the Preparatory School, who joined the Royal Australian Air Force before returning to the College as the Head of the Preparatory School. Other names that come to mind were Bill’s first Master at Senior School, the “legendary J H Campbell”; Science Master Thomas Henderson; John Bechervaise and Bert Keith, who led Exploration Society expeditions; and Music Master George Logie-Smith, “who contributed enormously to the school”.

“You’ve got the grounds and all that sort of thing and the boatshed, but the school is really the people in it,” he said.

After College, Bill went to Ormond College and the University of Melbourne, eventually becoming a surgeon. Later, he and his wife Anne also sent their daughter Sarah (OGC 1981) to study at The Geelong College.

His passion is to enable more “good people, whether they can afford it or not” to attend College by donating to the Foundation Scholarship Fund. He cites Nobel Prize recipient Sir Macfarlane Burnet (OGC 1912) as just one of the notable figures in history whose careers were launched by scholarships.

“I believe that the scholarship program is extremely important. Scholarships benefit both the scholarship holder and the school by attracting students who have the potential to contribute to the College, not only during their school days but also afterwards to both the general community and the school,” he said.

Bill is a Patron of the College Foundation’s Morrison Society, having left a bequest to the school in his will. “Nearly everybody owns a house by that age, which is worth a lot of money, but there aren’t many people who could talk about giving that sort of money to the school while they’re still alive,” he said.

See the latest edition of the Ad Astra community magazine for the full story about Bill Huffam.

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