Shared from the 5/16/2018 Leader Messenger eEdition


Traditions strong at Rostrevor


Patrick Moller and grandfather Fred Moller, with Norman Vowles and Luke Valente at Rostrevor College, which is celebrating its 95th year with a reunion later this month. PICTURE: AAP/MORGAN SETTE

FORMER prefect Norman Vowles still holds sporting records at Rostrevor College, more than six decades after graduating.

“I had the extraordinary situation of being the best high jumper and shot putter,” the spritely 84-year-old says, who finished up at the school in 1951.

“Can you imagine that? I won it most years for a while.

“We didn’t have many great high jumpers, or shot putters.”

Vowles is modest – he was always among the first picked for the school’s football and cricket squads, and ran the literacy and debating team.

And sporting and academic ability runs in the family.

His grandson, Luke Valente, is a Rostrevor prefect and a serious chance of being picked by an AFL club after being selected by the AFL Academy – although Mr Vowles has some sage advice.

“I don’t think he should dedicate his life to football,” he says. “Sporting achievement, especially in that area, has a limited life. I’m anxious to see him not devote himself entirely to it.”

Remarkably, Mr Vowles’ friend and fellow Rostrevor prefect Fred Moller is also the grandfather of another current prefect, Patrick Moller.

Patrick has a strong family history at the school.

“My grandads on both sides went here and my dad went here,” Patrick says.

Mr Vowles, who retired from a long dentistry career only a few years ago, and Mr Moller will be among the familiar faces on campus at the school’s 95th birthday reunion for old collegians this month.

Mr Vowles arrived as a green seven-year-old, catching the train from rural Spalding where his father ran a store. “The rest of my family were farmers,” he says. “One of my cousins, Brian, was head prefect when I first started.”

Mr Vowles says he benefited from a school which encouraged students to spread his wings and “learn as much as we could”. “I believe I was particularly lucky. It’s a good school,” he says.

Mr Vowles has donated a 70-year-old running ribbon to the college for the reunion.

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