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autumn 2015


It is with great sadness that the Ruyton community

notes the passing of the following Old Ruytonians:

Margaret Allchin

(Hand ’40) passed away in April

last year. Margaret always had a love of and strong

connection with Ruyton and visited Miss Daniell

when she was in a nursing home, getting one of her

daughters to play the violin for her.

Heather Andrew

(Macdonald ‘38) passed away last year.

Heather was an Old Ruytonian for 76 years. She served

as Treasurer of the ORA for 17 years and was an

Honorary Old Ruytonian. She had a long history with

the School and lived at 86 Wellington Street, Kew, the

site of the Junior School. After fire destroyed much of

the School, the Macdonald’s dining room became Miss

Daniell’s study.

Betty Magennis

(Briggs ’41) 1924–2014 died peacefully

last October.

We have received the sad news that

Mary Vance

(Brodribb ’35)

died recently. Mary was a Bromby girl

and left Ruyton in Year 11.

Fiona Whitlock

(’65) passed away in September

last year.

Joan Simms

(’43) passed

away on 4 September 2014.

Joan attended Little

Ruyton and Ruyton. In her

final year she was Captain

of Lascelles House and a

Prefect. After a short

career as a secretary, Joan

commenced nursing

training at the Alfred

Hospital and followed this

with a year of midwifery

training at the Queen Victoria Hospital. Joan nursed in

many hospitals in Victoria, Queensland and in the UK,

inner city and regional, before spending 22 years at

the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. She was the

Sister in charge of the Infectious Ward and occasionally

acting Matron.

Joan’s four nieces,

Anna Mason

(Simms ’66),



(Simms ‘69),

Sue Thornton

(Boothroyd ‘75)


Judi Boothroyd

(’76) all attended Ruyton, along

with her great niece,

Amelia Comport

(Mason ‘97).

Joan was a role model for her nieces and their friends,

a full time career woman in an era when this was a

rarity. Joan retired from nursing at the age of 60 and

had a very active retirement. She attended the Golden

Girls Ruyton reunion in 2013. She maintained lifelong

friendships with several school friends.

Lauren Elizabeth Cutler (’07)

1989 – 2015

‘According to the law of the conservation

of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just

less orderly.’

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral.

Recently, the class of ’07 lost one of its own. Lauren

Cutler passed away following a stroke while

travelling in Bali. Lauren was a loving daughter to

Bill and Sue, sister to Julia and friend to many. This

loss has changed the lives of so many people

around her who loved her dearly. Lauren started at

Ruyton in Year 5 and graduated in the class of

2007. During her time at Ruyton, Lauren excelled

academically, showing a particular aptitude for

maths, science and art.

However, this is not why her passing has had such

a devastating affect. Lauren was one of those

people we all envied – we wanted to be her, or

around her, or to follow her. Lauren set her own

pace in life and truly followed her heart and her

passion. She made her own fun and was

completely indifferent to whether people liked

what she was doing or not.

Since completing Year 12 Lauren did not stop

exploring the world. She took every opportunity

that life gave her, especially if it involved an

overseas adventure. She travelled in Europe, India,

Asia and South America. Her photos are something

that coffee-table books are made of and enough

to make you jealous. When she wasn’t on an

adventure, she was enjoying life in Melbourne.

Lauren created her own crafts, such as macramé,

to sell through her business, River Clancy. She was

also a social butterfly, thriving in the company of

friends – new or old. Lauren was someone who

danced to the beat of her own drum and who lived

life to the full. In her brief 25 years on this earth,

she managed to experience more than most would

in a lifetime. Her family has urged us to take this

lesson from Lauren’s short life: life is too short and

too unpredictable not to live it right now.

Lauren, Loz, Cutler, Cutters – you will be so dearly

missed, even though you are still here, just



We love you – fly free.

Imogen Rollnik


Professor Anna Craft (’78) 1961 – 2014

Professor Anna Craft, who was at Ruyton, along with her sister, Naomi in 1974 and 1975,

has sadly died from cancer, aged 52. Anna greatly enjoyed her two years at Ruyton, and found

its educational approach engaging and stimulating. She went to Cambridge University in the

UK, and obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and an MA at London University.

She was a successful primary school teacher in London, became an educational researcher,

joined the UK’s Open University in 1991, and in due course was appointed to a Professorship

in Education there, combining that with a Professorship at the University of Exeter. She also

became a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in the USA.

Anna argued that a problem-solving, ‘possibility thinking’ capacity is now a fundamental requirement in modern

living, and that today’s complex and fast-changing world requires creative abilities which need to be cultivated from

the earliest years. She presented her ideas in over 100 books, book chapters and journal papers, and became an

internationally recognised and highly respected leader in the study of creativity in education.

Harvard’s Professor Howard Gardner has written that Anna

‘was one of those rare individuals whom it was always

fun to be with, to learn from, and to be inspired by ... she was the epitome of life and high spirits’.

She is survived by her husband, Simon, and their teenage children, Hugo and Ella.

The Ruyton spirit lives on – passed from mother to daughter.

Old Ruytonians whose daughters were

in the class of 2014 are:

L to R:Caitlin Riva (Miller ’80) and

Sophie Riva (absent),Sarah Kanat

and Robin Kanat (Bate ’80),Alexandra

Buckley and Janette Buckley (King ’76),

Jennifer and Arna Andrews (Wright ‘79)

and Nicole