Wesley College has opened a Gallery of Honour which seeks to recognise Old Collegians whose endeavours, commitments and feats exemplify Wesley’s ‘by daring and by doing’ motto.
Among the 31 inaugural inductees are AFL player Buddy Franklin, ballet dancer Steven Heathcote, tennis legend Arthur Marshall, Olympic rower Glen Loftus, writer Peter Cowan, musician Mat Jodrell, Anglicare WA CEO, Ian Carter and the first West Australian to summit Everest, Mark Sheen.
Here, 2019 College Captain Ben Roshkov and Vice-Captain Josh Troy look at how they, as current students, are inspired by the stories of our alumni.
Last Saturday night, we were lucky enough to be at the opening of the Wesley College Gallery of Honour. There are 31 initial inductees, from different decades and different fields of expertise, but all those inducted have done incredible things. For us, it was a particularly special night as we were able to interact and listen to some of these great men as they spoke about their time at Wesley, and the great things they went on to achieve.
During the night there were some common themes. There was a very strong sense of community during and after of the schooling life, and a focus on the opportunities at Wesley that allowed for such a diverse group of extraordinary men – from rowers and football players to historians and doctors. Finally – and I’m sure all current students understand this – the ideal of the College as not only a place for academic education, but for being a vehicle for life lessons, particularly around the core values of the school.
Many of the men spoke very fondly of the College but, significantly, noted the strong sense of opportunity and important life lessons they took from here. One such story came from the wife of the late Geoffrey Bolton. She noted that Geoffrey, who is known as a world-renowned historian, once was considering a life in law – but it was the then-headmaster, Mr Rossiter, who encouraged him to follow his passion in History.
Another incredible story came from Glen Loftus. Mr Loftus won a silver medal in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games for rowing. However, he noted that at his time at Wesley he was devastated not to make the First 8 and was possibly the only Captain of Boats not to row in the first team. He described how influential this was in giving him the drive for success in later life. For us, this was a very strong message as it embodied something Wesley has always taught us: that incredible feats come with resilience, by daring to continue past obstacles and working your hardest to achieve your best.
If there is one thing all these incredible men spoke about, it was the way that Wesley was able to facilitate their passions and drive them towards the success they received. And one day, it may be you on that wall, fondly remembering your time at the College and how the motto – by daring and by doing – still lives with you way past your time as a student.
In the meantime, if you have a few spare minutes at the College, have a read of some of the stories up on the wall, because while you may only recognise some of the more recent and famous names like ‘Buddy Franklin’, every single one of these men have achieved great things in their lives, and their journey started here, at Wesley. Let their stories inspire you, and let the Galley of Honour ensure their legacy lives on at the College.