The Old Boys Union is a volunteer organisation that relies on memberships and donations to provide a high level of support to the school and to its members.
Donations to the OBU assist us in providing support for reunions, running events for past and present students, awarding prizes to high achievers at the school and improving our communication with old boys through our publications and website.
Activities and events we run include:
High Achievers – an opportunity for successful old boys to talk about their careers with students in Years 10, 11 and 12
Spilling the Beans – an opportunity for a high profile Old Boy to talk about how Sydney Boys High School shaped their future and reflect on their time at the school
Mentorship programs connecting old boys with students to assist them with their career planning
Reunion services for old boys with advice on venues, catering, contacting classmates, school tours and promotion.
We also provide a monthly newsletter to subscribers.
To make a donation to the SHSOBU please click here.
Prizes awarded by the SHSOBU include:
Old Boys’ Prize
The Hon J Inglis, Minister for Public Instruction, visited the School in 1887, and, whilst addressing the boys, offered to present a book, on the vote of the entire School then assembled before him, to “the boy who was not necessarily first in sport, not necessarily first in scholarship, but certainly first in the hearts of his fellows”.
Later in 1902, when the Old Boys’ Union wished to found a prize, the conditions of the award were made similar to those required by the Minister. It has been awarded annually since 1902.
John Waterhouse Prize
The prize is awarded in honour of Mr John Waterhouse, MA, Headmaster of Sydney High School 1896-1915 and was paid from a trust fund originally subscribed by 103 Old Boys.The Old Boys’ Union has awarded the prize annually since 1916 to the Prefect who is judged to have the most “character”.
John Skyring Cross Memorial Prize
To perpetuate the memory of her son John Skyring Cross an old boy who gave his life in World War I, Mrs Cross founded the prize to be awarded to the boy who has displayed outstanding sportsmanship throughout the year, particularly in GPS sports.
JW Gibbes Junior Prize and Senior Prize
Given by a group of Old Boys, known as the “Mary Ann” group, led by Arch Harvey (1919) to honour J W Gibbes, a former Classics and Sports Master at the School.
The Senior Prize is awarded to a Year 12 student for proficiency in Latin, qualities of leadership and devotion to duty in relation to GPS sport.
The Junior Prize is awarded to a Year 10 student for proficiency in the Humanities – Classics, English and History – soundness of character and interest in GPS sport.
James Brunton Gibb Prize
Honours Old Boy James Brunton Gibb, a noted public speaker, and toastmaster at the Old Boys’ Union and Lodge Sydney High School dinners for many years. It is awarded to a Year 12 student who excels in the art of public speaking.
Colonel D J Duffy Sword of Honour
Presented to the School in 1963 by Arch Ferguson to be presented annually as an award to the outstanding Cadet of the Year. The Sword of Honour is a tribute to a past president of the Old Boys’ Union and the High Club, Colonel Desmond Jack Duffy, MC, a distinguished soldier and one who gave great service to the School in many spheres over a long period.
Arch Ferguson Prizes (years 8-12)
Founded in 1965 by a fund subscribed by members of the OBU, the High Club and the School as a tribute to Old Boy, Arch Ferguson, in recognition of his service to the School. The prizes are awarded to the sons, grandsons and brothers of old boys in Years 8-12 who are most distinguished in academic study and service to the School.
Keith C Cameron Memorial Prize
Given in honour of Keith Colin Cameron, it is awarded to the dux of Year 11.
Sir Frederick Jordan Memorial Prize
Given by the Old Boys’ Union in honour of Sir Frederick Jordan, Chief Justice and Lieutenant Governor of NSW, a distinguished old boy. It is awarded to the dux of Year 10.
Gordon Barr Memorial Prize
Given by the Old Boys’ Union Ladies’ Auxiliary in 1955 to honour former Headmaster and Old Boy, Gordon Barr. It is awarded to the dux of Year 7.
G C Saxby Prize
In memory of George Saxby (1887), a mathematics teacher (1893-1911) and former Headmaster of the School (1925-1933) is awarded for Mathematics Extension 2 (Year 12).
Given in memory of Sir Charles McDonald, Chancellor of Sydney University, 1964-1970. It is awarded for Year 12 Classical Greek.
Dr Charles Winston Prize for Geography
Given by the Old Boys’ Union to honour a distinguished Old Boy surgeon; member of the Old Boys’ Union Council for 32 years; and a Vice-President of the Old Boys’ Union for 18 years. It is awarded to the first in Geography in Year 12.
Norman Save Memorial Prize
is awarded for History Performance in the HSC.
SHOBs Rugby Club Prize for Chemistry
is awarded to the first in Year 11 Chemistry.
A H Pelham Prize
is awarded for Year 10 Classical Greek.