I wish to advise the BGSOBA of the passing of life member Allan Samuel Bright ’42, on 14 September 2019 at the age of 93. Alan was born 1 May 1926. He attended BGS in 1940, 41 and 42. His sons Mitchell ’78, Timothy ’82 and grandson Luke ’11 also attended BGS.
Allan was an enthusiastic musician, playing the trombone and piano from an early age. He later gave professional tuition in piano and played trombone in the Brisbane Citizens’ Band for many years. Allan was also quite athletic. He played soccer as a junior schoolboy and was skilful enough to play in a Queensland representative side. He also represented Brisbane in a schoolboy cricket team.
He enjoyed high school and excelled at sport. He was a good sprinter and in 1942 was the School’s 440-yard champion, for which he was awarded the Norman Waraker Memorial Cup. In 1942 he also won the OBA Cup for the School's champion athlete. He played cricket in the BGS First XI and rugby union in the BGS First XV side. He later played Brisbane A-Grade club rugby for the GPS club.
Life in Brisbane during the war years was not easy. I recall Allan describing air raid drills, during which the students and staff would leave the classrooms and run to the long narrow trenches dug on the School's ovals, where they would hopefully be protected from bomb blasts from a feared Japanese aerial attack.
His time at BGS must have been enjoyable as he decided to become a teacher after graduating from school. He worked as an educator for an incredible 61 years, finally retiring at 79 years of age. He trained at Kelvin Grove Teachers’ College in 1943, the course being for the duration of just one year. Due to the war effort, there was a labour shortage in Australia, so students were graduated quickly to fill the vacancies in the workforce. After his probationary year in Brisbane, he commenced the first of three country postings to one-teacher schools. Subsequently, Allan taught at Queensland schools including The Southport School and Ipswich Grammar School, as well as schools in New Zealand, Victoria, and Papua New Guinea. He taught primary, secondary, and TAFE. He obtained a Masters degree in Special Education and taught students with learning disabilities and hearing impairment. He taught students whose second language was English, both young and mature age. He served as the principal at several schools.
Being a school teacher, Allan knew many people. There were few places Allan could go around Brisbane without bumping into a former student, parent or colleague. The fact that these people were so eager to say hello and catch up after so many years was testament to Allan’s affable personality and how much he was liked and respected as an educator.
Allan was blessed with extraordinary energy and vitality. He enjoyed wonderful health and wellbeing for so many years. Allan is survived by his wife of 60 years, Elaine, his four sons Mitchell ’78, Tim ’82, Cameron and Adam and seven grandchildren.
Below are photos of Allan as a student at BGS and in his late 80s.
Timothy Bright ’82
- The Grammarian - October 2020