Alan Wilkie '42

Written on the 16 April 2018 by Old Collegians Association

Alan Wilkie - Old Scholar Reminiscences 

Excerpt from 1999 Rostrevor Magazine


L.A.C Alan Wilkie, R.A.A.F


Alan Wilkie is one of many Wllkies who have passed through Rostrevor with distinction. Alan attended Rostrevor from 1934 to 1942. In January this year (1999) Alan returned to the College with his friend Ray O'Donoghue to have a look around and to see the most recent developments at the College. Alan has maintained his relationship with the College over the years as the following extract from "The News" Feb. 29th, 1972 testifies. " Public Accountant Alan Wilkie, of Tusmore, ploughed through the water to win the 30 metre Fathers' Race at Rostrevor College on Sunday, in 18.3 seconds. Not a bad time for a bloke who is 47 says Mr. Wilkie. "and in 1976,"You're never too old to be in the swim of things. Take Alan Wilkie, of Tusmore, a Rostrevor student from 1934 to 1942, who swam again in 1he old scholars race at the school Carnival on Sunday. He added 10 recent wins over the 30 metre course with a deadheat for first a smart effort for an 'old-boy· of SO."

Swimming Champions 1941
Roche, K. Smith, J, Butler, A. Wilkie.

Alan is very proud of his association with the College and "Red and Black" asked him to jot down some of his memories and experiences of that era.
"Some of the Brothers I can remember from my time at Rostrevor were: Br. Gurr, Br. Bernsten, Br. Mogg, Br. Meiers.
Br. Mc Elligott, Br. Cusack, Br. Ridley and Br. Carroll. Mr. Page was the ground s man. He was well respected by all. His assistants were the 2 big draught horses used to pull the mowers when cutting the ovals." (Can anyone remember their names? Ed.) Alan recalls many amusing anecdotes from the era that speak as warmly of Rostrevor as they do of the people involved.

"ln 1937, after the Grade 7 (QCJ Exams, in the center classroom of the Northern Wing of the Mackey Building (Room 7 or 8. Ed.) we were sitting quietly reading when one of the lads dared me to land a piece of chalk on Br. Bernsten's head. With a delicate underarm throw, I released the chalk and to my amazement it landed square in the middle of Br. Bernsten's head. "Who did that?" I owned up and was called out the front and received the strap and was detained in the afternoon, when everyone else went swimming, to write lines.

As I remember Br. Bernsten was moved on at the end of the year and a lot of students were sorry to see him go, including me.

A good friend of mine was Bill McDougall. He was a boarder and his dorm was the old Bungalow.  Bill had two wooden legs. One morning Br. Mogg had done the rounds of waking everyone up and came back to find Bill still in bed. "Come on McDougall get out of bed!" demanded Br. Mogg. "I can't Brother. Someone has pinched my legs!" Br. Mogg could see the funny side of this and helped Bill find his legs.
(I reckon Bill was lucky. In another era of boarding, maybe the 60s. this sort of thing would have happened every week! Ed.) Bill passed away in July 1960.

I knew Ray O'Donohue at school but had little to do with him. However, in New Guinea in 1945 I was singing in my tent writing a letter when a voice from behind asked, "Where can I find someone from the Orderly room? I looked around and it was Ray. Ray left the Squadron in January 1946 and I arrived home from New Guinea in March 1946. My brother Dick tool! me into town to the Red Lion Hotel and who should be the first person I bump into but Ray O'Donohue. We've been good friends ever since."

Alan joined the RAAF in August 1943, He served with 41.T.S. at Victor Harbor then 20TU at Mildura and then the No.8 Beaufort Bomber Squadron in 1945 at Aitape ( Tadji ) New Guinea. The squadron was disbanded in January 1946.


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