Ron arrived at Brighton College in the Early 1960's as a day pupil in Leconfield, since graduating he has ended up on the other side of the world. He will be flying over from his home in Australia to join us at this year's Pioneers Club, so we are looking forward to hearing all the news from down under.
- When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?
I had always presumed I would work in my Father’s successful building surveying and architectural practice in Worthing when I “grew-up”, until, while browsing through brochures in the school’s careers room, I spied a picture of a land surveyor with theodolite and tripod atop a slag heap in Northern England and decided that was the life for me!
- What are you now you've grown up?
After three years in Barbados as a land surveyor (tough gig!), my wife, Jayne, and I emigrated to Perth, Western Australia in 1976. I soon realized surveying in Western Australia was not for me and immediately commenced an accounting degree and joined Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) in their insolvency division in 1982.
- What is your best memory of school?
Probably every time I survived rugby training, when the exercise was to tackle Herman – a boarder who, from recollection, had limbs hewn out of solid granite!!
- What was the best piece of advice you were given?
A Sergeant in the Royal Sussex Regiment, while conducting my basic & proficiency examination in the Combined Cadet Force, advised me “Never join the Army, son!”, as I had apparently adopted tactics against an imaginary enemy that would have resulted in the annihilation of my troop!!
- What do you do as a career?
Having commenced my insolvency career, I subsequently gained qualification as an Official Liquidator and Trustee in Bankruptcy and became the insolvency partner at BDO in Perth, Western Australia for many years. Insolvency practitioners are not the most loved people on this planet and the stresses of salvaging or winding up companies were, on occasions, extreme, especially when dealing with dishonest, devious and litigious directors. However, to get a positive outcome for creditors, sometimes beyond their expectations, has been very rewarding.
- What have you done that you are most proud of?
Since semi-retiring in 2008 following successful heart procedures, I have been able to devote more time to pro bono work assisting numerous individuals through, what appeared to them, insoluble financial difficulties. The successful outcome of virtually all these assignments has been very rewarding.
I have also greatly enjoyed, in my role as treasurer, being part of the success of the Anglican Schools Commission and Guildford Grammar School in Western Australia.
- What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
That would probably be to drink a bit less wine and eat less cheese!
- What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
Probably wine, cheese and my cardiologist!!
- How would you like to be remembered?
It would be good to be remembered as someone who was always a willing and trusted sounding board to those in financial stress and someone who never let a client down and persevered until a satisfactory result was achieved, however long that took.