The College has celebrated the 20thanniversary of the official opening of the Albert Wing with the hanging of a portrait in Hall of Robert Otto Albert AO RFD RD, the College’s most generous benefactor in living memory.
The portrait of Robert Albert hangs near the High Table adjacent to the portrait of the College’s principal 19th century founder, Sir Alfred Stephen.
Its hanging and the 20thanniversary were marked by the Warden in dinner in Hall on the 20thanniversary of the official opening of the Albert Wing on 12 September 1999 by the then Chancellor of the University, Emeritus Professor Dame Leone Kramer. The Albert Wing was also dedicated on that day by the then Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev’d Harry Goodhew.
The Warden referred to the magnificent generosity of the Albert family, and especially of Robert Albert, who was in College from 1953 to 1957, which not only made possible the Albert Wing but has been evident in countless other ways – including in scholarships, the creation of the St Paul’s College Foundation and major gifts to it, and the purchase and now the refurbishment of the Chapel organ.
The Albert Wing looks like it was in Edmund Blacket’s original design because of its judicious blend of the Gothic lines of the heritage building and almost completing the north-east corner of the quad. But inside it is clearly a late 20th century building providing office space for the College’s administration and three floors of generous-sized rooms for student accommodation. It is a prized place to live and the rooms in Albert are hotly contested at ‘room draw’ time of year.
The entry arch, which joins the Tower Block to the Albert Wing, provides a welcoming portal to the College’s original quadrangle.
With the Hon Lloyd Waddy, Robert Albert was co-founder of the St Paul’s College Foundation in 1977 which, thanks to Robert Albert and the support of so much on-going generosity from Paulines and friends, has been the major supporter of student scholarships and maintenance of our heritage buildings.
Robert continues his personal benefaction to the College through the Albert and Pauline Scholarships which provide a number of full and part-scholarships annually. One grateful recipient of an Albert Scholarship wrote to Robert Albert this year:
“It is an honour to receive the Albert Scholarship, making it possible for me to attend such a prestigious and unique college, which has given me a plethora of opportunities and experiences for which I will always be grateful for. This has allowed me to focus both on my academics and my cultural contribution to St Paul’s … I have been able to score consistent High Distinctions … (and)… I have endeavoured to apply myself across the board, from Rawson Rugby to performing piano.
“…I hope that in the future I will be fortunate enough to give back to the college like you have, as to ensure another student is able to experience St Paul’s and contribute to its special culture.”
The Albert Family also gave the College Chapel Organ in 1972, and through Robert Albert’s continuing generosity it is being refurbished this semester in readiness for the annual Carols service on Sunday 1 December. Click here for more information about this 2019 refurbishment.
Robert is an Alfred Stephen Fellow of the College and was made a Fellow of the University of Sydney in 2002. The portrait now hanging in Hall is a celebration of learning, altruism and affection. Thank you, Robert Albert!
Pictured above: The newly hung portrait of 20th and 21st century benefactor Robert Albert AO RFD RD next to the portrait of the College’s principal founder, Sir Alfred Stephen GCMG CB.