Across the generations

Always one of the most popular events in the Trinity alumni calendar, the 2013 Seniors’ Lunch attracted over 80 guests.

After enjoying lunch in the newly renovated Dining Hall, and a hearty rendition of the College song, special presentations were made to the oldest alumnus present, John Barton (TC 1935) and furthest travelled, Geoffrey Oddie (TC 1952) from Sydney.

In proposing the Toast to the College, Bill Traill (TC 1953), noted that this visit to Trinity was particularly nostalgic for him as his granddaughter, Anna (3rd year Science), is in College and a member of the TCAC. Other relatives in attendance at the lunch were Brian Loton’s (TC 1950) grandchildren, Lachlan Kirwan (3rd year Commerce) and Jackie Kirwan (1st year Environments) and John Clark’s (TC 1952) granddaughter, Emma Clark (2nd year Arts) and nephew, Tom Clark (3rd year Arts).

Bill Traill shares some reflections on his time at College and the connections across the generations.

Following the Traill

Our granddaughter Anna’s entry into residence at Trinity in 2012 was a significant event for the Traill family. She is the third family member to have been accepted for the benefits and pleasures of this place, and importantly to have the chance to contribute to collegiate life – each of us from a different generation. I entered College in 1953. Anna’s father, Michael, came to Trinity in 1979, and now Anna continues the tradition.

In proposing the Toast to the College at the annual Seniors’ Lunch, I proffered the thought that those with intergenerational family links are well positioned to appraise the changes that have occurred over the 50 or more years since our residencies.

I must say, I like what I see.

A succession of Wardens has been proactive in judging societal changes and their implications for this College. The removal of the residential gender barrier in the 1970s was a reform of immense significance. The whole area
of accessibility has been addressed in a most practical and seemingly successful way, so as to produce a more diversified demographic. Anna was the beneficiary of one of these programs when, as a year 10 student, she participated in the Young Leaders Summer School Program.

But there are other programs, such as Foundation Studies, focussing on the preparation of international students for tertiary study. I made the further point to my colleagues that the values and benefits of collegiate life are perennial, and it is pleasing to see that much of the old ethos remains intact, aided by an extraordinary range of groups to reflect the wider interests of contemporary society and the resident body.

Trinity has coveted a reputation for encouraging and acknowledging academic rigour. Clearly it remains a plank in the College’s expectations of its members, along with the social goals, so much a part of collegiate life. One area where I must express delight is the enthusiasm for team competition. There is much to be gained in one’s personal development by competing in a team setting.

To amplify, may I grant myself a little license, to congratulate Anna and her fellow members of the Women’s 1st VIII on their win in the intercollegiate rowing regatta, which is one to add to her grandfather’s football successes in 1953–54, and her father’s track and field wins in the early 1980s. And I nearly omitted to record the character-building heavy losses of the Trinity tennis team, of which I was captain.

Bill Traill (TC 1953)

11 Jun 2013
Category: Learning