In Loving Memory – Jim Brown (OH ’54)

Jim Brown’s involvement at Haileybury goes back to the years of World War II. He commenced as a student at Castlefield in May 1942, at the tender age of five.

In thirteen years as a student Jim was very fortunate to be taught by a number of excellent teachers. One of these was Sholto Black, who taught him Economics in Year 12 and it was his influence which led Jim to commence a Commerce degree at the University of Melbourne and embark upon a career as a teacher of Economics.

Jim was appointed School Captain in 1954. The School Captain became a member of the OHA Council on leaving school. Jim provided great service to the OHA, and served on the Council for many years, including being Honorary Secretary for fourteen years and President on two occasions including the School’s centenary, 1992.

On leaving school, Jim took up a Commonwealth University Scholarship and a teaching studentship. He graduated B. Comm, Dip. Ed from the University of Melbourne and joined the teaching profession in 1959 during the long post-war boom. He taught at Moe and McKinnon High Schools, before returning to Haileybury, at the age of 25, as Head of the Economics and Social Studies Department in 1963. He taught Economics, Social Studies and History. Jim held this position until 1990.

Teaching was a profession in which he excelled for more than forty years, and his impact was evident in every facet of School life. Despite his quiet manner, he commanded tremendous respect from his classes. His success as a classroom teacher was apparent year after year, as his Economics students achieved outstanding marks in their senior years of study. One of his former students said: “His classes were something you just did not miss.” A number of these students became prominent in the fields of economics and politics.

Jim was Head of Allen House for 9 years and Chairman of House Masters.

He was also a force in the sports coaching sphere. As a student he had captained the tennis team for three years. As coach, his Haileybury tennis teams won five premierships, a source of enormous pleasure. He was Master in Charge of Tennis for 15 years.

He became a key figure in Haileybury Administration. He was appointed Senior Master in 1982, and later VCE Coordinator. In 1995, he became Director of Studies and  was responsible for all matters relating to the curriculum and its delivery for Years 7 through to Year 12. This was a wide-ranging and crucial role involving overseeing matters within the School and communicating with the Board of Studies. He was a leading advisor on Economics in independent schools, and his work was published in a number of journals and books.

After 37 years on the staff, he resigned his fulltime position in 1999. Soon after, he returned part-time to provide sage advice to the new principal, Dr Pargetter, on a range of School matters. This was at a time when Dr Pargetter was charting the progress of the School into a number of new directions. Jim continued this role as Honorary Dean assisting the Principal until 2007, also doing valuable work in the School Archives.

On top of all of this, his Haileybury legacy has lived on beyond his personal involvement. His sons David (’79) and Andrew (’82) attended the School (unfortunately Wendy came along a little too early for the Girls College!) and he is also grandfather to a number of Haileybury students.

Jim’s knowledge of, and contribution to, the School was unparalleled. Our condolences are extended to Jim’s wife Sue, son’s David, Andrew and daughter, Wendy.

Funeral details will be advised.

Vivat Haileyburian.

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