By the second half of the 20th Century, at the time of the College centenary, St Paul’s was a substantial and integral part of the University community. These years were a time of change and growth. By the mid-sixties, enrolments at the University of Sydney had increased to more than 15,000, and applications to St Paul’s outstripped supply many times over. The 120-150 College residents were, for the most part, undergraduates at the University of Sydney, and many of these young men came from outside Sydney. St Paul’s gave them a home away from home, just like it does today.
These post war years were overseen by Rev’d Dr (later Bishop) Felix Arnott CMG, Warden from 1946 to 1963. The changes and additions made during the Arnott years have left a lasting mark on the College, thanks to the leadership of Warden Arnott, the vision and commitment of the fellows, notably Sir Alexis Albert and Dr Charles Salisbury, and the contribution of the Paulines, including the 634 Freshers that came to College across these years.
Some notable changes during these years were; the creation of Mummers drama group and the Wine Cellar club, the opening of Dennison Wing, the Chapel and the Arnott Wing, the passing of the much loved Matron, Miss Amy Hart, and the removal of the less loved temporary structure in the Quad, known as the Hut.
Recently we invited the Freshers from the time of Warden Arnott to visit College and catch up with fellow Paulines from those foundational years. We were pleased to welcome 24 Paulines, accompanied by 11 partners, back to their old home for a reunion lunch on Sunday 16 July.
Their visit started with a tour of one of the new buildings, Graduate House. There was great interest in the current students and the future of the College and our guests enjoyed meeting current students Alex Back and Sharon Chou who were a great help conducting the tour and explaining their involvement in the life of the College.
It was then time for a few drinks and much catching up in the Quad before heading into the Junior Common Room for lunch. We were so grateful to have Freshers from 1949 up to 1962 in attendance and it was wonderful to hear their stories and reminiscences. We were delighted that during lunch Tony Scott (1957-60), and several others spoke about the more memorable events of their time at Paul’s
Most importantly, it was wonderful to see our Pauline’s meet again with old friends from their youth, and talked like it was only yesterday that they were residents at back at College.