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James O'Loghlin '26

Written on the 17 April 2018 by Old Collegians Association

Extracts from the Memoirs of: James Vincent (Buster) O'Loghlin (1908 - 1980)

Foundation Student May 1923. Editor's Notes in bracketed italics.

Exert from 2002 Rostrevor Magazine

From the 1925 Annual: Inter-Collegiate Boxing Champions Governor's Cup Winners 1925. Left: N. Haren, F. Allen, J.V. O'Loghlin, S. Jaffer, T. Howard.

I went to Rostrevor, when it opened, as a boarder in May 1923 and left in 1926. Life at Rostrevor in its first years was quite an adventure. The classrooms from Intermediate down were in converted stables, still rat infested. The physics and chemistry lab had been a hay-loft and the gymnasium was a carriage house that could take a hansom cab or Cobb and Co coach. The first football practice ground was a sloping ground on the city side of the school (Moules Rd area). Afterwards a nurseryman's seedling area was converted to the first oval (the Bungalow). Later, after my time, the big orange grove where we helped ourselves and smoked became two additional ovals (Main. And Mem Ovals).

For swimming we had a dam with muddy edges where I learnt to swim and the first swimming sports were held (Errol Tapp was proclaimed College Champion in 1923 - he is 96 this year and resides in a care residence on Portrush Rd).

I was not much good at cricket or football although I eventually b Captain of the 2nds in both, largely through seniority. Cricket bored me a game for those too timid to play football and too stupid to play chess! (which Dad had taught me as a lad).  At football I was not talented but because I was tough and indestructible as a ruckman because of my extra boxing training.

I remember on one occasion a star Prince Alfred's athlete charged at me but sustained a broken collar bone. one-eyed-barracker coach, Br Mackey (teacher 1924-6, Headmaster 1933-8 and naming source of Mackey Building - Mackey Mall and the benefactor used paid for and built the Chapel through a bequest to him from his father) berated me for giving my attention to the injured man and not the ball I never developed the killer instinct that seems to be essential to reach the top in any sport.

From the 1926 Annual: Boxing.
Standing: T. Howard, F. Siebert, K. Barnes.
Sitting: K. Connolly, S. Jaffer (Captain), J.V. O'Loghlin.

Years later in a military boxing tournament I was in danger of being disqualified for attempting to help an opponent I knocked out, instead of standing back until I had been counted.

Boxing of course, was the only sport I starred at. I was essentially an individualist, not a team man. Sir Tom Bridges, WWWI VC and hero was State Governor in my Rostrevor days and he presented a cup for intercollegiate boxing. In the first year there were four entrants. We met St Peters and Scotch met Princes. We suspected that the idea was that Saints would meet Princes in the final. It turned out the other way round. Our team of five bear Saints four to one with me winning the under 9stone Division. In the final we won fairly comfortably again, me by a technical knockout as I was developing a flair for propaganda by an air of flamboyant self-confidence, since copied by Mohammed Ali.

In the second year Princes dropped out and Saints beat Scotch for the right to meet us.

I dieted to get under 9stone and had my hardest fight against Bob Lee, one of the Lee brothers who owned Melbourne Cup Winner Comic Court (1951 Melbourne Cup). I won on points. In the third year only, Saints and Rostrevor competed and we won again. I defeated the Saints Captain of the School, John Hayward, on a TKO. At that stage I boxed under l1 stone but only weighed lO stone l lb. We were not challenged again, and the cup is still on some shelf at Rostrevor (In recent years it has resided in the cabinet in the foyer of the Purton Auditorium but now takes pride of place on top of a memorabilia cabinet, adjacent to the Headmaster's Office, upstairs, in. Rostrevor House Rostrevor folklore has it that the competition was abandoned, and the Cup permanently handed over because other Colleges knew that they would never beat Rostrevor).

From the 1926 Annual: College Prefects. 
Back: S. Jaffer, B. Funder, G. Margitich, K. Walsh, P. Siebert. 
Front: V. Rice, L. Doyle. T. Rieken (Head Prefect), J.V. O'Loghlin. W. Gallagher, T. Hannon

A notable feature of these events was that all the lads of the competing schools were taken along to see and barrack. Our reputation had been something of an asset, particularly as I was the only one to go through the series undefeated.

(Buster O'Loghlin's son Graham O'Loghlin attended Rostrevor from 1947 to 1951 and a photo of him is on page 17).

From the 1927 Annual: Boxing

 

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