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Four of the Best

22 Feb 2023
Old Boy News
Churchie's Oldest Living Staff Members
Churchie's Oldest Living Staff Members

We reflect on the lives of Churchie’s four Oldest Living Staff Members, two of whom are Old Boys and past School Captains, and their enormous contributions to the fabric of Churchie and the Making of Men. We do acknowledge that Headmaster Bill Hayward is also enjoying life in his nineties and is our fifth oldest living staff member. We will be looking to publish an article about Bill in the coming weeks.

Ray Deed BEM – age 95
Staff 1977 - 1992

Ray Deed was born in Kingaroy on ANZAC Day, 25th April 1927. In 1946, as an 18-year-old, he enlisted in the Army and was posted to Japan where he acted in a supervisory role to a large Japanese labour force. For 292 days, from 28 September 1950 to 16 July 1951, he served in Korea. During this time he attained the rank of sergeant and was awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) for his service as a Sgt Platoon Commander during the Battle of Kapyong. He married Michiko in 1952 and together they had 6 children. In 1970 and 1971 Ray served in Vietnam as an advisor in South Vietnam's combat units. With a most distinguished military career, Ray retired from the regular army in 1977, and in July of that year took up duties as School Marshal at Churchie. He developed his role as one who exercises control and discipline with compassion and respect for every individual boy through the supervision and management of their movements and activities. Going beyond his daily duties, he was responsible over the years for the preparation of the ANZAC Day ceremonies by the School's three cadet units. He developed high standards in their drill, with precision and discipline shown by the complex manoeuvres undertaken by the cadets. In his earlier years he was involved with the Karate Club and has in recent years devoted much time and attention to Morris Hall and the Stage Crew's work. Ray became one of the most highly revered members of the school community. Many Old Boys speak about Ray with great fondness and tremendous respect, which is testament to his firm but fair approach to discipline. Ray is retired and living at Corinda.

Ken Archer AM (1945) – age 95
Staff 1947 -1953

In 1945 Ken Archer was School Captain, a Prefect and Captain of Magnus. He excelled in many sports, playing in the Cricket 1st XI for three years including as Captain in 1945, the Rugby 1st XV for two years and in Track and Field. Ken made his A Grade debut for the University of Queensland in 1943 and his Shield debut in 1946-47 playing a total of 55 matches for Queensland. In 1949-50 he toured South Africa with the Australian team, scoring 826 runs in 24 innings. Ken's test debut was in Melbourne in 1950-51 where he scored 26 and 46 in Australia's 28-run defeat of England. He played 5 Tests with a batting average of 26. An exceptional fielder, Ken was offered a contract to play professional baseball in the USA, which he declined. He taught science at Churchie from 1947 to 1953 before moving into broadcasting at 4BC. He went on to become CEO of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation. On 26 January 1980, Ken was named a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of services to the media. On 14 July 2000, he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his cricketing achievements. Ken’s younger brother and fellow Old Boy Ron Archer (1951) was also an Australian test cricketer. He too was named a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of services to the community, cricket and business. Ken is Australia's oldest living test cricket player and is now retired, living in Sydney.

Malcolm Ham (1946) – age 94
Staff 1952 – 1953, 1967 – 1980

Malcolm Ham, a small boy from Wondai entered the school as a boarder in 1942. In 1946 that small boy emerged as joint Captain of the school, a member of the Tennis and Athletics teams and Captain of the 2nd XV. Malcolm wished to become a teacher and went straight to The Southport School where he taught for two years, then to the University of Queensland to do a Bachelor of Science. In 1967 Malcolm returned to Churchie having previously taught there in 1952 and 1953. Having also taught at Lucton School, Herefordshire, the King's School Bruton, Geelong College and Shore, he brought with him experience and versatility. He taught English, History, Economics, Geography, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, and Christian Knowledge. At one stage or another, Malcolm took on almost every extra-curricular activity. He was tolerant, considerate and supportive of all his students and colleagues; he believed strongly in boys' personal involvement in the school's activities. He was Housemaster of Kingsley from 1967 to 1978 and in 1979 became a Year Group Master for two years. At the end of 1980 Malcolm left Churchie to take up a position at the Scot's College in Sydney, having served Churchie as both a student and teacher over seventeen years. Malcolm is now retired and still living in Sydney.

Tony Booth OAM – age 93
Staff 1956 - 1989

Tony Booth was on staff at Churchie from 1956 to 1989 and his contribution was by any standards, enormous. For many years he was Head of the Physical Education Department and steered many teams to G.P.S. Championships. Under his guidance Churchie teams were Track and Field champions from 1956 — 1965, and again in 1973—74; fourteen times Cross Country champions between 1971 and 1989; and Swimming champions from 1960-1965. He is widely reputed to be one of the finest coaches of schoolboy athletes of the generation. Many Old Boys remember fondly their time under his mentorship. Whilst a stern taskmaster in leading boys to realise their potential, he was caring and compassionate. To him every boy was special. Many have seen the paternal side of the Booth legend as he rejoiced with boys in their successes and shared their disappointments and frustrations when they failed. Tony Booth aways led by example and continues to do so. On 26 January 1994, Tony was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in recognition of service to track and field athletics. The offer he made when leaving the full-time staff still stands; join with him in running a lap of the Main Oval on his 100th birthday. We hope to do just that Tony. Tony is retired and living at Tarragindi.

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