1939 - 2018

Class of 1958

Gordon’s love of Aquinas and his successful involvement in many aspects of college life paved the way for his approach to life. He attended Aquinas from 1955-58 and was regarded as an outstanding sportsman. At his funeral in November 2018, his good friend and four-time Olympian and Sport Australia Hall of Fame member, Tom Hoad stated that “Gordon was arguably the best all round sportsman the college had produced.”

He was college open swimming champion three times in the late fifties and in two of them also PSA open swimming champion. As a schoolboy he was a member of the WA State open swimming team making the 1956 Olympic Trials and held numerous WA State open swimming records. He was also an outstanding rower and member of two 1st VIII crews in 1957 and 58. In athletics he was College 220 yards champion, a member of two winning Alcock Shield teams, and equal college all-round champion. In 1958 Gordon broke the PSA open shot-put record by almost two meters, and held the Aquinas open record for 25 years. He was also a member of winning PSA 1st XVIII Football and 1st XI Hockey teams, and the State championship winning cross-country team.

Post Aquinas he was an accomplished teacher-coach. He competed in State A-grade athletics, swimming, water polo, hockey, played country league AFL football and competitive surf lifesaving. Gordon graduated as a physical education teacher, and went on to be Churchlands Senior High School’s inaugural sports master. His love of sport, and growing youth talent, saw him coach numerous school and club amateur teams across multiple disciplines. Including two WA state schoolboy AFL football sides, taking them to the national championships.

Gordon was equally talented off the field. He went back to college and studied fine-arts, and eventually taught it. Swimming though was his first love and he established the Blue Marlin Swimming Team before setting up an indoor learn-to-swim business, from which he taught and coached hundreds of boys and girls taking many to state and national swimming championships. He was awarded the National Sports Medal in 2000 in acknowledgement of his amazing contribution to sport.

Gordon valued his connection to Aquinas throughout his life. He was an assistant coach to teams in the sixties and college swimming coach in the seventies. Right up until his death in 2018, he would be seen, walking stick in hand, on the Memorial Oval, watching the 1st XVIII or providing tips to aspiring shot put champions. He loved the school and valued what it gave him. Watching the next two generations: Sean

in 1977-85 and then his grandsons James and Will begin their journeys here were proud moments for this hugely talented and proud Aquinian.