9 Cover Story history and enrolled in a new four- year Arts (Honours) course at the University of Melbourne. ‘A vicar in Geelong suggested I should apply to live at Trinity College, but the residential fees were too much – £208 per annum – so instead, for about £10, I attended non-resident tutorials in 1950.’ But this first experience of Trinity was, he says, ‘not positive’. ‘Professor AGL Shaw’s tutorials were brilliant, but Warden Ron Cowan just read us his notes from Oxford. I did philosophy tutes at Queen’s, but not being in residence, I often missed out because I didn’t know when they had been cancelled or changed. Latin tutes were very basic and taken at JCH by the Principal, Miss Joske. She was deaf and regularly lost the place as we were translating around the table. So I gave up non-residency after a year feeling it was not adding value. ‘When I graduated, Australian historian Geoffrey Serle had just been commissioned to write a documental history of Melbourne When Trinity’s Bequest Officer, Bishop James Grant, AM, BA(Hons) Melb, ThL, BD, retires on 30 November, he will take with him not only the universal respect and affection of the College community, but also 67 years’ lived experience of Trinity’s history. He talked to Rosemary Sheludko about his involvement in the College, the Anglican Church and Australian history. If ever you need advice on how to handle a potentially difficult situation, or want details of a past event, then Bishop James Grant is your ‘go-to man’. And you won’t be the first to seek his wise counsel. Always low-key, but highly intelligent and astute, his influence in shaping both Trinity and the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne has been profound. He is also a walking encyclopedia of dates, people and events. But, how did a Scottish Presbyterian boy become an Anglican bishop – and Trinity’s ‘tribal elder’. James Alexander Grant was born at Red Cliffs, Victoria, the son of an Australian engineer and a Scottish mother, in August 1931, but within a year the family moved to Dunoon, Scotland, to care for his grandmother. ‘When we returned to Geelong in 1946, I attended St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, but most of my friends at Geelong High School were Anglicans and very involved in activities at Christ Church,’ says Jim. ‘I sort of felt I was missing out, so I decided to go to a service there. ‘My friends introduced me to the Vicar who floored me by saying, “I’ve heard about you”. It was a very good tactic – and very welcoming – and I was confirmed at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Geelong in December 1948.’ He was far less certain about what to do on leaving school. After rejecting medicine – ‘I was more adapted to humanities than sciences’ – and law – ‘my father’s cousin was a lawyer and he wasn’t encouraging about job prospects’– Jim chose in readiness for the 1956 Olympics and he hired me for a year as his research assistant. However, he was extremely busy and, being a very generous man, he invited me to have a go at writing some of the commentary. The end result was ninety per cent my work and ten per cent his, so The Melbourne Scene, 1803–1956 was published under the joint authorship of Grant and Serle.’ This was the first of five books James Grant has written. With no positions then available in the University’s history department, Jim answered a Department of Education advertisement for temporary untrained teachers and was sent to North Fitzroy Central School. ‘I learnt a lot and I hope the kids learnt a bit at least. I enjoyed my time there but by mid-1956, when encouraged to enrol for a Dip Ed, I declined, instead applying to become a candidate for ordination in the Anglican Church. ‘So in 1957 I enrolled in the Trinity Theological School and came into residence in the “temporary” (since 1919!) Wooden Wing (finally demolished in 1963), with most of the first-year students. The Dean, John Poynter, apologised for this because I was a postgraduate, but ‘Latin tutes were very basic and taken at JCH by the principal, Miss Joske. She was deaf and regularly lost the place as we were translating around the table.’ James Grant (TC 1950) (back row: second from the right) with fellow theological students on the Summerhouse Lawn, 1958.