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Year Group Bursary Program
Your gift will help us offer some form of needs-based bursarial support to up to 10% of the student population (eventually 170 boys).
Pay it forward - pass on the privilege and opportunity of a BGS education to another boy.
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*All gifts, regardless of size, make a difference and are tax deductible.
Celebrating 25 years as volunteers
Each day in a hundred different ways, parents, Old Boys and other community volunteers are working to improve the educational experience for boys at BGS.
Every rowing regatta, rugby match, Moogerah working bee, Open Day, music concert, Art Show, gala opening and ordinary day in the Tuckshop — just to name a few — involves countless hours of unpaid labour.
Many hands make light work, but some individuals choose to do the heavy lifting.
Old Boy and past parent Geoff Clarke ’64 and his wife Shirley are two such people, having volunteered hundreds of hours to school activities over the last 25 years. Though their son Scott graduated in 1999, Geoff and Shirley have three grandsons who will attend the School in the coming years, and their involvement in the BGS community has become a way of life.
Geoff says that like his Old Boy father, Morris ’39, he was always a Life Member of the BGS Old Boys’ Association (BGSOBA), but it was Scott who reignited his connection to the School. When Scott started rowing, Geoff and Shirley were at every regatta and lent their own competitive spirit to putting up the supporters’ marquee. ‘We used to race the parents from other schools to see who could put their tent up first. BGS always won,’ Shirley laughs.
Geoff has rowed in Masters regattas. His involvement with BGS Rugby also continued beyond Scott’s days at BGS. ‘Some of my mates’ sons were still at school so I would go along and help with the barbeque,’ Geoff says.
Today, Geoff gives his time to the BGSOBA and the Moogerah Support Group. He became OBA President in 2003 and served the maximum three years. Still on the committee, he’s a regular fixture at the dinner and mans the BGSOBA stall at School Open Days.
Through their family construction business, TC Clarke & Son, which this year celebrates 100 years, Geoff and Shirley have generously sponsored several School and BGSOBA events. Geoff has also contributed his professional skills to improving the Outdoor Education program at Moogerah for several years.
‘I’m in the building game and I enjoy the hands-on of the working bees. I find out what’s needed for the weekend, load up all the gear on the back of the ute and out we go,’ Geoff says. ‘I’ve made good friends with the Outdoor Education staff. It’s a fun weekend.'
Shirley also has friends through volunteering. She was a Tuckshop Captain when Scott was at school, and 20 years later she and her fellow teammates still meet four times a year for breakfast, lunch or a Christmas function, where they raise money for a charity chosen by that year’s hostess. ‘I didn’t know anyone when I started,’ Shirley said. ‘But we were all new to Tuckshop, and we had a lot of fun. You only get out what you put in to it.’
When asked why parents should get involved, Shirley’s answer is simple: ‘Someone did the same thing for my son,’ she says. ‘Before we arrived parents worked to raise funds and create a great culture. I want to pay it forward and see other children benefit.’
BGS is truly a family affair for the Clarkes, with daughter Melleah marrying Old Boy Brett Crunkhorn ’96 and the first of their three sons set to start at BGS in 2021. Brett and Melleah met after finishing school at the BGS Rowing Boatshed where they both worked as rowing coaches. Scott and his wife are expecting their first child in July, and Geoff says if the baby is a boy, he’ll be putting his name down the day after he’s born.
The BGS Board of Trustees recognised Geoff’s ‘selfless service’ to the School in 2011, when he was a recipient of the Betty Howell Award.
Despite the accolade, Geoff and Shirley’s involvement has never been about winning awards. Geoff didn’t know he had a LinkedIn profile (he says his kids must have put him on social media) but it’s short, in capital letters and to the point: ‘HARD WORKING FAMILY MAN’.
The BGS community could add, ‘committed BGS Old Boy and all-round good bloke.’
A big thank you to our Supporters
The real heroes who are kindly helping us achieve our goal