Friday, 12 August 2022

Sadly, several members of the SACS community have passed away over the last few months. We pay tribute to them here.  

Verena Bukovac

After a long battle with illness, Verena Bukovac passed away peacefully at home on Friday 15th July aged 62.  

Ms Bukovac was a much-loved member of the SACS community, was on staff from 2000 to 2009 and had a profound impact on countless Old Andreans.  

Ve was a highly regarded Science and Maths teacher, Head of Winchester House and had a strong commitment to Indigenous education.  

She came to SACS from The Scots College and also taught at St John’s Catholic College Darwin and Coonabarabran High School.  

Upon announcement of her death on social media, tributes began pouring in from Old Andreans and here are a few of them.  

“She was a great math teacher who could breakdown the issues and make it understandable. Wouldn't of gotten out of the lower math class if it wasn't for her.” James Kozanecki (OA2006) 

“She was such an amazing woman. By far, the most wonderful teacher I have ever had and she will always hold a very special place in my heart. She will be dearly missed.” Danica Bellchambers (nee Baunach) (OA2005) 

“Ms B saw straight through my crap and chuckled. She got through to so many because she was so genuine, witty and no nonsense yet with a massive heart. She was the teacher you'd run into years later and want to buy them a drink to thank them for it all. Rest peacefully Ms B x” Sarah Norris (nee Bremner) (OA2001)  

“Ms Bukovac chaperoned us on our Germany tour in 2002, she was great company with those of us on the tour as we travelled our way around the country. 

“My fondest memory was getting a bit out of sorts in Berlin a few days before the end of the tour, where I was due to meet my parents to continue school holidays around Europe. To cheer me up, Ms Bukovac secretly reached out to my parents and arranged to surprise me the night before the tour was due to conclude. 

“She really cared for the students and made school fun for anyone that she taught. She will be sorely missed!” Stuart Macintosh (OA2004).  

Rev Alex Abbottsmith (OA1950)

Rev Alex Abbottsmith (OA1950) passed away on Sunday 5th June aged 87. 
Rev Abbottsmith was a much-loved school chaplain for nearly 30 years at SACS, serving between 1971 and 1999. 
An Old Andrean himself, he would as chaplain in his own personal prayer routine pray regularly through each individual member of the school community and wrote a staff devotional each week that went (pre-email) into every pigeonhole. 
He initiated offering PTC courses to senior students, a practice continued by some chaplains subsequently. He was something of a SACS institution. 
Alex even quietly financially supported a few needy students with some of their school fees. 
After he left SACS, the Alex Abbottsmith fellowship programme was founded in his name which allowed a Year 13 student to spend a GAP year working in the Christian Development department. 
Here are some tributes left for Rev Abbottsmith from Old Andreans and members of the wider SACS community.  

“It’s hard to adequately articulate the impact Rvd A. Abbotsmith had on my formative years. One of the few educators whose lessons I remember so vividly and whose lesson content I carry with me wherever I go. 

“An utterly wonderful man. 

“ ‘Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit’ Colossians 3:16. I think this one sums him up perfectly.” Mark Nowicki (OA1998) 

“I drew a cartoon of him once in class. He loved it and took it with him and showed people quite often so he told me. That would have been late 1989's or early 1990's. Great guy. Genuine soul and will be fondly remembered.” John Zelenjak (OA1994) 

“On a more lighthearted note, I recall a time when Mr Miller sent a student to Rev Abbotsmith's office to ask him if he knew the current location of a particular person.  

“After a short time, the student returned to Mr Miller carrying a Bible from the chaplain's office, and said that Rev Abbotsmith wanted him to read Genesis chapter 4 verse 9.  

“Mr Miller turned the verse and read this aloud: ‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’” Jodie McNeill (OA1988) 

 Jarrod Mills (OA2019)

Jarrod Mills (OA2019) very sadly passed away on 15th June this year aged 20.  

Jarrod was a lovely young man and SACS was a very big part of his life. His older sister Ciara graduated from here in 2016. His parents Theresa and Jeff were very active members of the school community. 

 The family welcome contact from all members of the SACS community with phone calls, visits or messages.