This year’s recipient of the Carey Medal is Bruce Murray.
Bruce commenced at Carey as a 5 year old in 1949. He is now 79, and still highly involved with the School, including volunteering his valuable time and expansive knowledge – that’s 74 years of engagement at Carey! During this time, as well as completing his education, Bruce was a Carey teacher, a member of the professional staff, a volunteer and a parent of three Carey students.
Bruce has become a constant figure in Carey life, with an unmatched knowledge and understanding of the Carey community. He will always recognise a Carey name if it appears in the news, alerting the School to notable alumni achievements; he monitors memorial lists in newspapers to help the School keep track of the community; and after every Australian Honours and Awards ceremony, Bruce scans through the list and is able to identify most, if not all, of the recipients with a connection to Carey.
His expansive knowledge of Carey came from a combination of factors. Firstly, as School Captain in 1961, Bruce took it upon himself to get to know as many of his ‘constituents’ as possible. He was thoroughly popular, and received an unprecedented standing ovation at speech night after presenting his Captain’s speech. Before this, Bruce was a school prefect, Captain of Tranter house, President of the SRC and a valuable presence on many sports teams – all of which allowing him to meet a broad range of students and teachers.
Bruce commenced as a member of staff in Carey’s 50th year, 1973, and immersed himself once again in school life, coaching cricket, football, cross-country, athletics and umpiring. He primarily taught Accounting subjects and in 1978 he was appointed Housemaster of Moore House. In this period of 20 years as a teacher, coach, mentor and Housemaster, Bruce was an important role model for countless students. He also played an important role in organising events like school fetes and art exhibitions alongside Carey parents. He stepped into administrative roles in 1993 commencing with School Registrar, then Director of Community Relations, followed by Director of Alumni Relations, and through each of these roles, he continued to build on his impressive knowledge base. After 33 years as a member of Carey staff, Bruce retired from Carey in 2006, but was not yet ready to set aside his vast Carey knowledge.
Even after his retirement, Bruce has still been dedicated to Carey, and has become an invaluable volunteer to the School, contributing thousands of hours of his time in support of building community engagement at Carey. For example, in 2015, Carey undertook the significant task of digitising the 9000 enrolments cards which had been handwritten from 1923 to the mid-1980s. Bruce volunteered to help. ‘Three of us undertook what sounded like a boring task, but I saw it, rather, as telling the story of Carey,’ Bruce says.
Each of these periods of work with the School certainly contributed to Bruce’s valuable knowledge bank. But, crucially, at the heart of this is Bruce’s a deep interest in people. He understands the importance of listening to what people have to say, caring about their stories and allowing them to be open with him. He is generous with his time and easily connects with others, and has a remarkable ability to remember the small details that risk getting lost over time.
Bruce is also an Honoured Life Member of the OCGA, he has been a member of the Carey Heritage Committee since its inception 25 years ago, was on the Carey Medal Committee for more than 15 years and was a Centenary Book Committee member, contributing valuable research, proofreading and fact checking to Carey’s history book, Torchbearers. As an alum and past teacher, Bruce comes to every reunion he can, he attends every memorial he is able to of members of the Carey community, and he helps with organising the annual 40+ Reunion and Adelaide chapter reunions, which he even travels to Adelaide for at his own expense to represent the community.
In Bruce lives the history of Carey. It would not be a stretch to suggest that Bruce’s knowledge of the Carey community and ongoing service to the school is unparalleled.
In addition to his immense contribution to Carey, Bruce has volunteered much time to his local community and church community. A few years ago, a church news article was written in recognition of his service to his communities, which was appropriately titled ‘Bruce Murray deserves a medal’. Carey’s Board and the Carey Medal Committee unanimously agree.
Content Developer, Community Engagement