SCHOOL DOCTOR HONOURED
Thursday, 12 October 2023
Family and friends joined OIU Members and School Principal Dr Hine last week to award much loved School Doctor John Wright with Honorary Membership to the Old Ignatians' Union. Fellow Alumnus Fr Joe Dooley was on hand to say the opening prayer and officially bless the tie, which John duly put on for the group photos.
"You know he went to Joeys" remarked his wife Joy, when we met to gain some insights for the official citation. "All the more reason to bring him into the fold" I replied!
Born in Royal North Shore hospital John spent his first 5 years on the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea where his father, Peter was a Patrol Officer before independence. While attending St. Pius college he was selected for a scholarship of full tuition and boarding to St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill. A weekly highlight was the Friday Night Chess club where his fellow grandmaster, of Chinese heritage, would take young john to his parents restaurant at Chatswood – The Moon terrace - it was on the corner of the pacific Highway and had the glass lift on the outside – very exotic for a Joeys Boarder. He studied hard and was awarded Dux. During university his medical friends introduced him to his future partner Joy, a friend from their school days. Much loved former Rector Fr Andy Bullen married Joy and John in the Joeys Chapel.
As a young graduate, John joined the Naremburn practice of Dr Jim L’Estrange and soon became immersed in the day-to-day workings of a busy GP clinic. One extra-curricular role that Dr L’Estrange took him on was to Riverview as understudy to the School Doctor. Joy says they soon immersed themselves into all things “View, and John would spend many hours over the weekend at the campus, often joining the Priests for a “pre-prandial” drink on a Friday Night. Joy also spent many hours volunteering for events such as the Riverview Art Show. Sons Michael, Matthew were enrolled at Riverview and were present to see their dad receive an OIU tie. The friendships John has formed over the years with both the Jesuits and the Health Centre Staff are legendary many of those friends were in the Parlour to toast John. Cath and Leanne wanted to especially thank Joy for interrupting their evenings with a call out.
I echo the sentiments of the Rector Fr Tom Renshaw, fully supported the idea of honouring John’s commitment to the School in this special way.
On behalf of the Union, welcome John. We thank you for your 33 years of service to the wider Riverview community.