The Ruyton Reporter - Spring 2014 - page 18

the ruyton reporter
News of Former Students & Staff
Ties that still bind
Ruyton made such an impact on
Chaise McHenry
(Eaton ’84), even though she was only here for one year.
‘I absolutely loved my year at Ruyton and all the girls and
teachers made me extremely welcome.’
After completing
her HSC in Perth, Chaise travelled to work in London and
Spain, before returning to Sydney for a career in the
events and Public Relations industry. Family reasons saw
her moving back to Perth where she married and now
runs a boutique winery in Margaret River called
McHenry Hohnen Vintners. Chaise became Vice Chair of
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme in 2013.
Jade McCutcheon
(’69) is on the move back to America to live, having been in Australia
for several years caring for her elderly mother. Jade completed a directing diploma at
the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) in Holland before her Master of Creative
Arts at Wollongong University, and then a Doctorate from UTS on the thesis
as Shaman
. She taught at Charles Sturt University for ten years in Theatre and Media
and at the University of California for eight years in Theatre. Jade is also a playwright,
director and published poet. For more information about her work go to her website
Bowling to victory
In unseasonal freezing conditions in
Melbourne during February this year,
Emma Brown
(Spicer ‘97) along with her
partner, Noelene Dutton, played pairs in
the Australian Open Lawn Bowls
tournament for 2014. The final was against
two Australian Commonwealth Games
representatives. Emma’s mother,
(McCrae ‘73) flew down from Cairns
that morning and Emma’s husband, Kurt
had already flown down from Brisbane to
witness a nail-biter of a game, with Emma
and Noelene emerging triumphant! The
winners received a cheque and a coveted
trophy, on which their names were
engraved. For interested bowlers the game
is on the Bowls Australia Facebook page:
BATV Australian Open ladies pairs final.
A triumph of real determination
In the autumn
Janet Davey
(’13) ran approximately 60km over 12 hours in the Canberra
bush. She was in Division 4 of 2014’s Inward Bound, an event which is similar to
rogaining but far more intense, with longer distances covered in a shorter period of
time. The Australian National University (ANU) and the Australian Defence Force
Academy (ADFA) participate in this competition, which has 7 divisions, where the
competitors run between 20 (Division 7) to 100km (Division 1) in under 24 hours. Janet
was ‘dropped’ at around 1am and arrived at Endpoint at around 1pm, running and
navigating her way there, along with her three other teammates. Her fellow
Ruytonians were at Endpoint to congratulate her, along with her college (Fenner Hall),
and we were all incredibly proud and awed by her effort.
Sarah Heywood
Recte et fideliter – Upright and faithful
Ailsa Pinkney
(’64) has many reasons to feel a strong connection with Ruyton and, by
association, Trinity Grammar School. Ailsa’s mother, Joyce (Williams ’34) was a School
Prefect and Captain of Daniel. During Ailsa’s 13 years at Ruyton she was a Prefect,
captained Daniel for two years, and was School Swimming Captain for three years.
Her father, Alan, was at Trinity, as were her uncle, brother, sons and, most recently, her
grandsons have been enrolled there. Ailsa’s father is the second oldest living Trinity
Old Boy and Joyce’s best friend from Ruyton is Dorothy Williams (MacGruer ‘34) who is
98. Dorothy’s sister, Peggy Bunting (MacGruer’36) married Sir John Bunting, a friend of
Ailsa’s father. In addition, a cousin, Norma Williams was a teacher in the Junior School
(‘75-’82) while Ailsa’s aunt, Madge Williams, worked in administration for Miss McRae.
Ailsa still has the first school bag
she used when she commenced
at Ruyton in 1952. She clearly
remembers her first day.
school commenced I was standing
in the playground and my mum
was standing with other mothers
watching from a short distance. I was
perplexed by the fact that some of
the girls were crying. To me it was
such a wonderful day, with my whole
school life ahead of me. How was
I to know at such a young age that it
was going to be 13 wonderful years?’
The first headmistress for Ailsa was Miss Daniel, who was also headmistress when her
mother, Joyce was at Ruyton. One of the rules at this time was no running in the
School grounds
‘Ladies don’t run’.
However, outside the School grounds this rule was
difficult to enforce, and Joyce, Dorothy, Ethel Temby (Hay’32) and another friend used
to take it in turns to run to ‘beat the Cotham Road tram home.’ The one who did the
running spent their tram fare money on sugared almonds and as they ran would throw
the lollies to the other three on the tram. There was something rather special about
attending her mother’s old school and certainly this was reinforced by seeing her
mother continuing the friendships she had with her old school friends. Miss Margaret
McRae was Ailsa’s headmistress during her final years and they continued a friendship
after school through their mutual interest in art.
Ruyton taught Ailsa many things which have endured with her: taking opportunities
which came her way saw Ailsa representing Australia in swimming on two occasions
and exhibiting her Ceramic Sculpture in an Advance Australia Exhibition alongside the
work of Sir Sydney Nolan. Charity work was an important part of the Ruyton
experience and this saw Ailsa as a finalist in the Australian Women’s Achievement
Award for her volunteer work at Winlaton Youth Training Centre, Nunawading, along
with her achievements with her artwork. But perhaps the greatest challenge Ailsa has
had to face commenced in 1983 when she became semi-paralysed for over five years.
The resilience Ruyton helped to foster remained with Ailsa as she fought, and
conquered, pain and disability.
Today Ailsa enjoys a full life which involves speaking French, ceramic sculpture, playing
bluegrass-banjo and harmony singing, and enjoying five grandchildren.
1952 daughters of past students – Ailsa standing front row,second from right
1964 Prefects – Ailsa,sitting middle,right
School hockey team – JoyWilliams (mother of Ailsa) sitting,right,holding hockey stick
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