Exploring McGregor family links as past student, Jennifer, reflects on her time at Clarendon Presbyterian Ladies College

Recently, past student, Jennifer McGregor Clark (1954), visited the Sturt Street campus to view the Pro Patria honour board on which her uncle, Ronald Angus McGregor (1937) (dec), appears.

Ronald Angus McGregor was a student at Ballarat College from 1936 to 1937. During his time as a student, he was a member of the football and rowing teams. In The Minervan football report from December 1937, Ronald was referred to as one of the team’s most reliable players. ‘His ability to get out of difficulties, to handle the ball, to get his kick, and to use his weight, made him invaluable.’

He enlisted on 20 October 1940 and served with 98 (Mitchell) Squadron RAF Station Dunsfold in Surrey. That year, he earned an AG Flying Badge, was promoted to Flight sergeant in 1941 and received commission as a Pilot Officer in 1944. Tragically, whilst on mission over France, he was killed by a bomb.

Jennifer was a boarder at Clarendon Presbyterian Ladies College. She says was a culture shock on arriving, having come from a small country town. “I just couldn’t get over being around so many people,” she said.

Jennifer enjoyed playing goalie for the hockey team because it was ‘fast and furious’ and still keeps in touch with the student who slept in the bed next to her. Her brother, Roderick McGregor (1954) (dec), attended Ballarat College.

Following her time as a student, Jennifer has lived a colourful and fun-filled life. She worked as a personal assistant for high-profile individuals, including executives at BHP Group. Working for some time in Melbourne, she believes she was the first women in Collins Street to wear a pantsuit, and was even interviewed by the Women’s Weekly.

She and her husband, John Clark, are well travelled, having spent time in Malaysia after their marriage. Now retired, she is a botanical artist and member of Friends of Botanic Gardens.

“There are so many good things to look forward to and remember,” said Jennifer. “Life is always interesting if you expect it to be.”

We encourage Old Collegians to get in touch if they have queries about family members who also attended the school or are interested in learning more about our archives. If you wish to get in touch with Clarendon’s Archivist, please contact banks@clarendon.vic.edu.au.