Gus Symons – family man, teacher, colleague and our friend
It is with enormous sadness that I announce to the school community that Gus Symons our much loved Phys Ed specialist passed away last evening. It will come as a shock to most of the school community with Gus choosing to bravely fight a long battle with cancer, with intense privacy. Last night Gus passed away peacefully, surrounded by the love of his adoring family.
Our heartfelt and deepest sympathy is extended to Desi and children as well as Gus’ loving mum, siblings and extended family. Gus adored his family and spoke so fondly and proudly of them each day.
Gus has left a gaping hole at Goollelal with a career spanning 40 years in education, he devoted 30 of those years to Goollelal Primary where he is so well known and loved by an entire community. Not a month goes by when former students and parents haven’t popped by to visit their mentor, as they are passing. Last Thursday Marion, Jane and I were able to visit Gus in hospital and in his eminent style, he made the visit easy for us and we even managed a few laughs about old times.
Our amazing, loyal staff have closed ranks and supported each other and Gus across the last year. We managed to get his beloved Hawthorn footy club to send good wishes and a signed shirt. We are all devastated by the loss of a true gentleman, kind, good natured and loyal to a school that he loved. As a staff member his long standing tenure at Goollelal Primary endeared him into the hearts of staff members past and present. His gentle nature has been valued and appreciated. As a true gentleman those wonderful qualities of looking after people were well entrenched and we valued his approach of ‘nothing being too much trouble’.
As an Educator, Gus’ primary focus has been to enable the students in his care to grow and flourish as young people. With great expertise he taught thousands of children to play an enormous variety of sporting games and giving each one the benefit of his great knowledge and skill. Gus ensured that all children were well prepared for any future in sport that they may choose to pursue. He made sure that the children have been exposed to as wide a variety of sports and physical activities as possible. His talent for running a magnificent and seamless carnival is unsurpassed.
In the classroom Gus’ talent and skill for Science, Geography, History and Mathematics in particular, have always been admired by staff. He devoted his working life to ensuring that children were well prepared for their future. Beyond academia, he empowered and inspired children to be the best version of themselves that they could be and role modelled the enviable values of kindness, empathy and perseverance.
As a staff we are still coming to terms with this devastating news, but are proud to have known Gus over many years and each one of us, and many staff before, all calling him a friend.
Rest peacefully now Gus, you are sorely missed.
Kerry Hartmann | Deputy Principal