Pictured: John Walker with Queensland Law Society President Elizabeth Shearer
BGS Old Boy John Walker ’55 recently reached an important milestone – retiring after 60 years as a solicitor and the longest standing member of the Queensland Law Society.
As he’s still “doing a spot of work” for his old firm, will he make 61?
“I might, but not if Ryl (his wife) has her way!”
Since entering into articles in 1956, John has had an eventful career, including a case of mistaken identity. One night in 1969, a molotov cocktail was thrown through his office window. It was the height of anti-Vietnam War protests, and his Toowong firm happened to share a building with napalm manufacturer DuPont. John’s office was burnt out, but no one was hurt.
While at BGS, John was a member of the first-ever BGS Rowing First XIII to win the Head of River in 1955. Now a life member of the Grammarians Rowing Club and GPS Old Boys Rowing Club – he and son Andrew ’82 competed in a Grammarians eight at the Head of the Yarra in 2015 (pictured: The Grammarians at the Head of the Yarra, 2015; John Walker fourth from left).
“I continue to row once a week with the Sept-Octarians out of the Toowing Rowing Club shed. The best part is the breakfast after the row,” Walker said.
A move to indoor rowing led to a silver medal at the National Titles in 2017.
Proving he’s a Renaissance man, Walker plays baritone saxophone with the The Legal Forecast (TLF) Creative Orchestra and Big Band – made up of law students and members of the legal profession ‘passionate about the benefits of creativity in legal practice and life generally’. He also plays first clarinet in a woodwind quartet.
A founding member of the Rotary Club of Brisbane West, he has served in most of the executive positions, including President.
Walker’s sons Andrew ’82, Cameron ’85 and Lachlan ’88 are also BGS Old Boys, as is his father John ’28 and grandson Jack Wheatley ’14.