WWII veteran and BGS Old Boy Allan McNevin passed away on 28 November 2017 at the age of 97. His grandson, BGS Old Boy Andrew Henderson '97, provided an abridged eulogy we reprint here as a fitting tribute.
In his early years, he attended Ascot State School. After passing the state scholarship exam, Allan attended Brisbane Grammar School for years 1934 and 1935. Although passing his junior public examination, he was unable to continue through Senior School due to the ongoing impact of the depression. Nevertheless, Grandfather fondly recalled his time at the School and returned to walk the grounds only some years back. His name stands proudly with all other serviceman from the School in The Great Hall.
He was employed by the Commonwealth Bank in early 1937 but in 1938 joined the Army Militia and later enlisted for the Australian Imperial Force in 1940 after war broke out, serving in the 2nd 10th Field Regiment. He sailed with the AIF 8th Division on the Queen Mary to Singapore in 1941. Following the fall of Singapore in February 1942, he endured as a prisoner of war on the Burma Railway, featuring in his good friend Russell Savage's harrowing book A Guest of the Emperor.
Following his return to Australia in December 1945, he recommenced employment with the Commonwealth Bank in July 1946, serving as bank manager and treasury operations across Townsville, Stanthorpe and the Brisbane Capital Office. He also commenced university night studies in 1947, graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1952. In 1947, he met and courted Irene Ridgway and married in 1948.
After 35 years of service, he retired from the bank in 1981 and spent his remaining years travelling the world with his wife and enjoying the outdoors; fishing on his boat and water skiing well into his seventies.
He is survived by his beloved wife, two daughters, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
I am honoured to have known him, grateful for his service to the country and dedication to family. I am immensely proud to follow him through Brisbane Grammar School and share a similar career path into banking and treasury. He will be loved and remembered.