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Con Barris to retire as rowing master

Rowing badge

After 25 years in the job
High Rowing Master in Charge
Con Barris
is hanging up his megaphone.

extends an invitation to everyone involved in High Rowing from seasons 1984/85 to 2008/09
to celebrate this milestone by joining Con for drinks and canapés
on the evening of the Head of the River
Saturday 28 March 2009
6.00pm – 9.00pm
Function Room at the Outterside Centre, Teviot Avenue, Abbotsford
Cost: $25 per person (includes all beverages and canapés)

To make this a memorable night for Con please come and relive
memories with past crew mates, coaches and parents.

RSVP with payment (at $25 pp) by Friday 20 March 2009

Please email names and years at SHS Rowing to Geoff Andrews at

Electronic payment: Account Name: Sydney Boys High School Rowing Club BSB: 012-243 Account No: 225129729
Cheque payment: Sydney Boys High School Rowing Club
Enquiries: Please contact Julie Blomberg on

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High Rugby Update

SHS Badge

There was a reference in the media today (Sydney Morning Herald, 25 February 2009), to changes that have occurred to Sydney Boys High and Sydney Grammar Schools’ participation in the GPS rugby competition.

As the School announced last year, High and Grammar will share rugby fixtures this year, with Grammar competing in First XV and A-team fixtures and High in Third XV and B-team fixtures.

The High v Grammar first grade match will take place as usual in the last round of the 2009 competition and it is possible that High may play some other GPS First XV teams in other rounds of the competition.

These changes have been temporarily introduced as part of our planned process of building the participation rates, skills, strength and success of rugby at High, from the junior school up.

All other sports at High will be unaffected by this temporary arrangement and there is no impact upon High’s status as a GPS school.

There has been a resurgence of rugby in High’s junior years. In 2008 we fielded four 13s teams for the first time in at least 10 years. Last year’s 16As defeated Newington to record High’s first win in an
A v A match for many years.

We are planning to field 16 rugby teams this year compared with
13 teams last season. A coordinated, three-sessions-a-week coaching program for all junior rugby teams commenced last year and we now have about 15 old boys regularly coaching our teams.

The skills and resistance training regime that has been introduced progressively throughout the School, is being well attended by rugby players. Their attendance is logged and individually tracked to assist players in fulfilling their preparation requirements for the rugby season. We are on the path!

We are extremely proud and supportive of all our boys’ sporting efforts and achievements. As any long term follower of school boy sports will have observed, there are often cycles in popularity of the different sports offered at school.

Just as a couple of examples, Sydney Boys High currently fields 18 cricket teams, unmatched by any other school in the GPS competition, 28 football teams and 32 basketball teams. Our basketball teams throughout many age groups are earning successes in the GPS competition, culminating in our basketball Firsts and Seconds posting historic wins over Riverview, the strongest basketball school in the GPS competition.

Over 85% of our students participated in GPS Saturday sport last year. Their participation is voluntary not mandatory.

Whatever the score, our philosophy at High is safe, enjoyable and successful participation for all and any boy who plays his chosen sport.

The OBU and the High Club are among those who have offered support for the School’s rugby revival. If you would like to help in any way, please contact the MIC Rugby, Mr Stein via the School, or the President of the Rugby Committee, Geoff Andrews. Progress with the rugby program will be communicated to the High community throughout the year.

Sydney Boys High Rugby Committee
24 February 2009

Parents or members of our Alumni community can also contact
Geoff Andrews, President High Rugby Committee, if they would like to discuss any aspect of the High rugby program.

Geoff Andrews
9386 9957

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Chinese New Year Dinner

With a sell-out hall of about 250 people at last year’s CNY Dinner, the P&C have organised this year’s CNY dinner again with more exciting and spectacular food and entertainment.

When: 6.30 pm Saturday 21 February 2009
Where: Great Hall, Sydney Boys High School
Cost: $35 per adult/high school student; $20 per primary school student
Food: Delicious Asian food by gourmet caterers

Entertainment: Competition lion dance performance, Chinese poem recitations, and music performances, Chinese New Year artwork display by Sydney High students, trivia, games, Lucky door prizes, raffles and auction prizes.

Details and booking form

All payments should be sent to Sydney Boys’ High School, Moore Park, Surry Hills NSW 2010 by 9 February 2009.

The P&C is looking for donations to help fundraise for the school at the CNY dinner.

Do you have an interesting job? Where a young person could spend a few hours with you as work experience?
Eg: Chef/Restaurant, TV Production, Ferry Pilot, Professional Fisherman, Engineering Project, Public Relations – launch a product, Design, anything that people could bid for?

Could you provide a service? Eg: Consultation on a Will, Consultation on Immigration Law, Beautician, Hand Made Shoes

Do you have a holiday house or flat that is let commercially? Could you donate a weekend? Or a week?

If you do then contact CHARLES OVADIA at

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SBHS: The Foundation Years, 1883-1891

SBHS The Foundation Years

Sydney Boys’ High School has had three homes in its 125-year history.

This new publication celebrates the 125th anniversary of Sydney Boys’ High School by revisiting the years spent in the School’s original home in Castlereagh Street – the site of the foundation of State secondary education in New South Wales.

This 58-page work relies on first-hand accounts and original documents and images to provide a fascinating account of the School’s earliest pupils and masters and their activities at School and beyond.

Only AUS $30 (includes postage and handling within Australia) – Order form

Payment by: Cheque or Credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex)

Other OBU merchandise

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1st and 2nd grade Rugby at High

Musketeers of the mud, 1939
Musketeers of the mud, 1939

The Headmaster, Dr K A Jaggar, issued the following statement in the School’s publication, High Notes on 22 August 2008:

After receiving advice from the team doctor and after a briefing from the first XV coach and the strength and conditioning coach, I held a meeting with the senior rugby group. For reasons of duty of care and discipline, I told them that depending on their training and physical preparation we might have to forfeit the Riverview first XV game and that, thereafter I would decide at what level they would participate for the rest of the season. I stipulated that during the July holidays and in the first week of term 3, 18 adequately signed logbooks representing 3 weeks of appropriate preparation, needed to be produced for the team to face a Riverview 1st XV. Mr Scrivener’s records did not indicate that sufficient boys had done the training required by the first Wednesday of term 3. Consequently, I took the decision to withdraw High from the GPS competition in first and second grade and to seek more competitive fixtures. High played Riverview 4ths. Subsequently, the compliance with the training log regulation improved, but not enough to risk a higher level game. High played competitively against King’s 6ths, Shore 4ths and Newington 3rds. This week [23 August 2008], they will play Scots 4ths. I have indicated to Mr Scrivener that if the training regime is maintained SHS will play 1st XV against SGS in the last round.

The structural problem of mismatches at first grade level has not been solved. Dr Vallance (Head of SGS) and I, after a joint meeting with Masters-in-charge of Rugby and Heads of Sport, have agreed in principle on a solution to our rugby fixtures problem for 2009 only. Association Football will be unaffected by the arrangement. The details of the agreement were approved at a meeting of the AAGPS this week. SGS and SHS will merge rugby fixtures and follow the SGS draw for home and away fixtures. All schools except High and Grammar will have a rugby bye round. SHS v SGS will take place as usual in the last round of the competition. In the age groups 13-16, SGS will play at A-C-E level and SHS will play B-D-F teams against the four largest rugby schools (TKS, SIC, Shore, SJC). In the open grades, SGS takes 1st and 2nd grade, High will play 3rds against TKS, SIC, Shore and SJC. By agreement with the Sports Masters at SHS, TSC, NC and SGS, there will be flexibility in some fixtures for rounds 5, 6 and 7 so that, depending on the strength of our 1st XV, it may play more than one GPS fixture at first grade level next year. This can be achieved by SHS playing at 1st or 2nd XV level against the school that has the bye round in rugby when they are scheduled to play High.

The GPS Heads will have further discussions about the future structure of the GPS Rugby Competition.

This post is open for comment. All comments are subject to moderation. Opinions expressed on this website are not necessarily those of the Sydney High School Old Boys’ Union Inc or its individual officers.

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125th Anniversary Cabaret

Old Boys’ Night
Harold Holt visits the OBU’s Foundation Dinner, at the Doncaster Theatre Restaurant, 1967

Make it a memorable night!
The 125th Anniversary Cabaret gives Old Boys the opportunity to get together and celebrate 125 years of the unique institution that is Sydney High.

Our hosts will be Jack Singleton (1990) and Jessica Rowe and performers will include Little Pattie.

So why not organise a table and come along on 21 November 2008? The Shannon Room at the AJC Function Centre, Randwick Racecourse is the venue for what promises to be a memorable night.

Full details and booking form: Cabaret details

Please make use of the “Leave a comment” facility (below) to organise tables.

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Back-to-the-sheds day

Rowing Camp
A merry “sing-song” at the Rowing Camp, 1938

A Back-to-the-Sheds Day will be held at the Outterside Centre, Abbotsford on the morning of Saturday 25 October 2008.

The old boy crew that bought their seats at the Rowing Reunion Dinner earlier this year will race the School’s 1st and 2nd VIIIs. The Old Boy crew are:

1.. Simon McNamara (1990)
2.. Craig Avery (1984)
3.. Lawson Donald (1991)
4.. Justin Ingram (1989)
5.. John Croll (1981)
6.. Jack Singleton (1990)
7.. Sebastian Pearce (1989)
8.. Brett Jowett (1981)

.. with possibly Oliver Wilson (2001) as cox.

There will also be an unveiling of the “Commander Callaway” name plate that James Ritchie (1960) and John Croll (1981) donated to be hung at the Outterside Centre.

Full details: Back to the sheds day invitation.

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Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Sydney High School Old Boys’ Union Inc was held on Tuesday 27 May 2008 at 6:30 pm.

Accounts for 2007

President’s Report 2008

Election results:

President: Joseph Waugh (1987)

Vice Presidents: Dennis Briggs (1967); Mark Livingston (1969); John Pointing (1962), Viv Littlewood (1952); William Clegg (2005); Nathan Scudder (1993); Kenneth Clemens (1955)

Ordinary members: Colin Sherwood (1974); Graeme Anderson (1979); Tony Lewis (1969); Karl Kruszelnicki (2005); Sam Kremer (1992); James Solomons (1998); Barry Jakeman (1969); Aaron Govendir (1960)