06 Sep 2017

ONU Happenings

Ian George McLean 1929-2017

It is with sadness that we write of the passing of Mr Ian (Masher) McLean.  Newington’s former Sportsmaster, Mathematics Teacher and Honorary ONU Life Member, Ian’s life was celebrated on the College grounds on Thursday 3 August 2017. A full obiturary will appear in the Spring edition of NEWS Magazine and the next edition of ONU E News.

Class of 1953 – Luncheon 28 July 2017

As a start to a busy ONU and Newington weekend, 24 members of the Class of 1953 gathered on Friday 28 July, at the historic Castlereagh Boutique Hotel (formerly the NSW Masonic Club) for a reunion lunch.

Organised by Lt Col (Ret) John Moore AM (ON 1953), those that attended enjoyed a wonderful three hours of catching up and reminiscing of their times at Newington some 64 years ago. The College’s Director of Community and Development Rod Bosman (ON 1978) was invited to give an update on the College. Rod was very pleased to be there as it was one of the rare occasions these days when he is the youngest in the room.

The Class of 1953 are very strong supporters of the College as evidenced by the names around the table that would be familiar to many. Apart from John Moore, who generously provides his expert commentary at our annual Anzac Day Service, the year also boasts former Council Chairman Hon. Angus Talbot, current 70 Club Chairman Gilbert Morgan and Treasurer Warren Green, to name a few.

Others to attend included Barry Clinton, John Sainsbury, Peter Cook, John Everett AM, Brian Jessep, Rev David Manton OAM and Professor John Turtle AO, again, just to name a few.

One who could not make it on the day was Jim Box from Orange, however, he recently supplied to the College Archives a number of photos, copies of which were circulated amongst the lunch attendees to much interest and amusement.

As one would appreciate, a number of the year have passed on and those present honoured their missing mates from Brian McMillan who died in December 1953 through to the most recent passing, being John Field in July 2017.

Many of the year backed up on Saturday for Back to Newington Day and they are always welcome to the College at any time. (see above photo)


The College looks forward to welcoming back the Class of 1967 for the 50 Year Reunion on Saturday 28 October 2017. A tour of the College will commence at 4:45pm, drinks served at 5:30pm and dinner at 6pm.

A Save the Date for the Class of 1972 has been sent for their 45 Year Reunion on Saturday 11 November 2017 at 6pm.  Further details will be with you shortly.

We have started to plan our International Reunions calendar for 2018 with the following proposed and to be confirmed:

Singapore Reunion – 26 March 2018

Hong Kong Reunion – 25 September 2018

San Francisco Reunion – 29 September 2018

New York Reunion – 6 October 2018

Dr David Mulford will be attending the Singapore reunion and is hoping to attend the San Francisco and New York reunions.

A Letter From The Headmaster

Dear Members of the Newington community,

I have decided to retire from being Headmaster of Newington College at the end of 2018. It will mark ten years of service at Newington, twenty-seven years as a Headmaster and forty-four years as a school master.

Whilst I feel very sad about my decision I also feel the timing is right for both the College and myself. Sad because I love the core ethos of Newington and its community of boys, staff, parents and Old Boys. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving such a vibrant learning community with its proud heritage, a community that is actively engaged with social justice and character development.

I wish to continue to work and make a contribution to society beyond 2018 but it will not be as a Headmaster. At this point the next stage is unclear apart from having some time to be a grandfather, sail my small yacht and recoup a golf handicap.

I have been blessed with the support of key community members. Firstly, I acknowledge my wonderful team of senior staff and the quality teachers and non-teachers of Newington who all have a strong sense of vocation. Secondly, I have been blessed with a highly supportive and innovative College Council and two outstanding Chairmen in Mr Tony McDonald (ON 1976) and The Hon Angus Talbot (ON 1953). Thirdly, I have served a wider community of parents and Old Boys providing practical and greatly appreciated support and encouragement. Fourthly, I pay tribute to Judy, my superb wife, who has supported me to be an educator and educational leader. Forty one years of being very happily married helps nurture one’s morale and capacity to give back.

Lastly, and most importantly, I salute the boys, who impress with their respect for diversity, talents, contributions and strength of character. They have been boys actively working to discover what’s possible. The transition of boys of promise to men of substance continues to be inspirational.

The current in-depth survey results from parents, staff, Old Boys and boys will help the new Headmaster to formulate what must not change, what may or needs to change, and the timing and priority of any change.

I am comfortable in the knowledge that I leave Newington in a very healthy state in all core aspects of the College. Yet the restlessness to improve will be maintained as a feature of the Newington way.

Kind Regards,

Dr David Mulford


2017 ONU Annual Dinner

On Friday 28 July 2017, some 120 Old Boys gathered at Doltone House in Sydney to share their love of Newington.

A great night was had by all.  A special thank you to Peter Kuburlis (ON 1990) for organising the event and also to Alex Baykitch AM (ON 1982) – ONU President and Rod Bosman (ON 1978) – Director of Community and Development.

It was wonderful to be joined by past staff members Mr Clive Woosnam OAM, who had just completed a month of cancer treatment and John Turnbull (ON 1963).

The night highlighted the launch of the ONU Brochure, which was given to all attendees to on the night.  You can find a copy of the Brochure here.

A special thank you to all of you who attended and made the night a terrific success.  We look forward to seeing you all again in 2018.

Click here for images from the night.

Two boys from Fiji

When we think of the boys who have come to Newington from the islands of the Pacific over our long history, we tend to think of students native to those countries. But members of expatriate European families have also been part of this history. The story of two such boys from the 1880s came to light as the result of an enquiry I received last month from a descendant.

Horace and John Francis (‘Frank’) Hill entered Newington College at the beginning of 1880, Horace being thirteen and a half and Frank a year younger. Their father, Captain John Hill, had emigrated from Northern Ireland to New South Wales around 1860. In 1870, he had purchased the island of Rabi, also known as Rambi, in Fiji, from King George Tupou I of Tonga, and had established a coconut and sugar plantation. His young family moved there from Sydney in 1873.

Our admission register reveals that the boys had been in the charge of a governess on Rabi, but the Head Master, Joseph Coates, appears to have been unimpressed with the results, rating both boys’ knowledge of subjects variously as ‘poor’, ‘none’ and ‘very bad’. They were among the seventy students who made the move from Newington House at Silverwater to the new school at Stanmore in July 1880. They stayed at Newington until June 1882, when they returned to Rabi.

Frank subsequently had a successful career in the Fijian coconut and sugar industries, managing plantations for the Colonial Sugar Refining Company and other firms. Horace’s life, however, was tragically cut short. In September 1885, The Newingtonian reported that he had been out hunting on Rabi when he suddenly fell, his gun discharging into his leg. Medical help was days away and he died after three days’ suffering, aged just eighteen.

Mr David Roberts
College Archivist

Congratulations to Dr Roger Davidson OAM (ON 1940)

On Friday 18 August 2017, College staff gathered to celebrate Roger Davidson’s 94th birthday.  All are continually inspired by Dr Davidson and his energy and commitment to the College.  Dr Davidson volunteers in the College’s Archive four days per week and has been instrumental in the establishment of the Positions and Achievements database.  Wishing Dr Davidson a very happy 94th year.

Please see below the article written by the College’s Archivist about Dr Davidson’s being awarded a 2017 Order of Australia Medal.

Readers will be delighted to learn that one of the most loved and respected members of the Newington community, Dr Roger Davidson (ON 1940), was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Roger was honoured ‘For service to medicine, to education, and to the community.’

Roger has been a part of Newington life since he entered the College aged nine in 1932. At school he was a fine scholar, a keen cricketer and an active participant in the College’s musical life, Cadets and production of The Newingtonian, and served as a Probationer Prefect. His son Timothy attended the College from 1963 to 1972.

Roger’s Newington connections in adult life have been characterised by selfless service in many forms. A GP with a local practice, he served for more than thirty years as the College’s honorary medical officer, treating both Boarders and Day Boys when needed and establishing and operating the Saturday Sport Clinic. He served as a member of the College Council for twenty-five years and as its Honorary Secretary and Executive member for over twenty. He has served at different times as President of the Old Newingtonians’ Union, chairman of the 70 Club and office holder in Lodge Wyvern. Most recently he has led the team of volunteers working with the College’s archives, contributing a huge amount of time and effort to the task. Among other things he has entered over 119 000 entries in our past student positions and achievements database! Thinking of Newington’s future as well as its past, he became a founding member of the Founders Society, the College’s bequest group, in 2010.

Roger’s experience and meticulous records in the Saturday Sports Clinic provided the basis for a pioneering study of schoolboy rugby injuries, published in a series of articles in medical journals. The results led to important changes at the national level which improved the management of such injuries, resulting in undoubted health benefits for thousands of young players. His service to medicine in the broader community during his long medical career included honorary surgeon/medical officer and other roles at Marrickville District Hospital, Eversleigh Hospital, Royal Hospital for Women, Braeside Private Hospital (now a part of the Wyvern House campus), and the Salvation Army and its Bethesda Maternity Hospital.

For many years, Roger has put his musical talents (he is an accomplished cellist and pianist) to good use in community service by playing the piano and leading singing for patients in the dementia ward at the Concord Community Hostel aged care facility. This is more than just ‘helping out’: it reflects his understanding, as a former general practitioner, of the importance of regular activity and mental stimulus for elderly people in declining health. His service to the community has included service on the Council of the Family Life Movement of Australia and as a member of the Newtown Rotary Club.

Roger has received a number of awards over the years for his specific services for the Salvation Army, for sports medicine and for volunteer leadership. In 2008 he received Newington’s highest honour for its alumni, the Newington Medal, recognising the full range of his contributions to the Newington community and in the broader community over so many years. Now he is rightly recognised through the Medal of the Order of Australia. If you see him about the College, please feel free to congratulate him.

Mr David Roberts – College Archivist


After three decades in the sport of triathlon, Greg Bennett (ON 1989) has announced his retirement.

Greg’s professional career has led him to be the longest serving and highest ever pro earner on the circuit.  Greg’s story of success has inspired many. His career highlights are as follows:

  • Olympic Games 2004, Athens, 4th
  • The Triathlon ‘Grand Slam’ – 2007
  • International Triathlon Union World Series Champion 2006, 2007, 2008
  • Largest ever prize winning earner with the super bonus pay out for all 5 wins

We wish Greg all the best in retirement and future success to both Greg and wife, Laura, with their business Bennett Endurance – www.bennettendurance.com

Click Here to read more about Greg’s inspirational story.

The Future is New

Newington College Endowment Fund

Our Vision

The Newington College Endowment Fund has been specifically established so that by 2040 we are able to fully fund the equivalent of 100 full fee paying student positions at the College at any one time. These will be bursaries for boys with promise and proven socio-economic need. Providing a Newington education to these deserving boys is aligned to our theme of empowering young men to “Discover what’s Possible” and is central to our Community values of diversity and inclusiveness, as well as to our social justice program.                                                                                                                   
Bursaries already exist at Newington – be they Tongan boys from Tupou College, Sudanese boys garnered from our links with the Sudanese refugee community, Indigenous boys including the Chris Wild (ON 1991) Bursaries, or boys from any, and all, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. The Endowment Fund represents a carefully constructed way of making bursaries a centre piece of our social justice program, and of Newington more generally.

Newington was founded on the guiding principles of education for boys of all faiths and backgrounds. The Endowment Fund enshrines, and is true to, our Founders’ ideals.

Our Goals

In support of our Vision, our Goal is to build a fund sufficient to provide 100 full fee Bursaries on an ongoing basis. Over the decades and centuries ahead, this will mean changing the lives of thousands of deserving boys by providing them with a Newington education.

The goal is large but we are well on the way, with some 30 bursaries currently in place and through the generosity of individual Old Boys and Parents, others coming on line.

This journey will be a long one but one worth undertaking. The Council Chairman has set our Community its next goal and that is to raise $1.5 million by end of 2018. This date coincides with the retirement of our Headmaster Dr David Mulford and opportunities will be available throughout 2018 for you to recognise David’s enduring legacy through a contribution to the Endowment Fund.

The Endowment Fund has been seed funded by both the College Council and generous individual benefactors. Many of our Founders Society Members, those who have included Newington in their will, have identified the Endowment Fund as the beneficiary of their legacy. Indeed, we will receive in excess of $500,000 from Estates of recently departed members this year and their generosity will live on forever.

The College Council and our Founders Society will continue to support the Endowment Fund as they are able to do so. However, it is the generous donations of individuals now that will see us reach our goal. Without your generous support now, we will not reach our goal and many deserving boys will miss out. If we only reach 50% of our goal, over an average lifetime this would mean a startling 640 boys will miss the opportunity to ‘Discover what’s Possible” at Newington. More importantly, our society would be poorer for they missing such opportunity.

We must reach our goal and we can….but only with your generous help and support and with it starting now.

The Endowment Fund is ambitious but essential, if we are to keep Newington available for all boys, of all backgrounds. Will you help us meet this goal? To find out more, click on this link to visit our Foundation Website.

They say that one can only see so far because we stand on the shoulders of giants that have come before. Will you join us in being the giants for the next Newington generation?

Tax Deductible Donations.

The Australian Independent Schools (AIS) USA Foundation was incorporated in the United States in 2006 and has been granted tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) status by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Gifts to the Foundation are tax deductible for US taxpayers and may be of benefit to Canadians with US tax liability.

To donate online via AIS USA Foundation


Follow this link to download a donation form now. 


Stay In Touch

The stories and achievements of our Old Boys and Past Parents are a constant source of inspiration for our current students and to all our Newington community. Help us keep abreast of your achievements by sharing your stories with us and also make sure you keep your contact details up to date with Newington.

To share your news with us email: alumni@newington.nsw.edu.au

Reconnect with fellow Old Newingtonians via the ONU Online Community

You can also keep connected by following our ONU Facebook page