Lancelot Bavin

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Lance Bavin
File:Lancelot Bavin c1906-10.jpg
Born 18 August 1881
Wellington, New Zealand
Died Template:Death date and age
Sydney Australia
Nationality Australian
Education Newington College
Occupation Founder & Headmaster Chatswood Preparatory School
Headmaster & Co-Headmaster Mowbray House School
Spouse(s) Ida Bavin
Children 2 Sons, 2 Daughters
Parents Emma (née Buddle) and The Rev. Rainsford Bavin

Lancelot Bavin (18 August 1881 – 4 January 1956) was a New Zealand-born Australian educator who was the Founder and Headmaster of Chatswood Preparatory School and Headmaster and Co-Headmaster of Mowbray House School. He was the preparatory school headmaster of lawyer and company director Sir Norman Cowper CBE,[1] poet Kenneth Slessor OBE[2] and Prime Minister The Hon. Gough Whitlam AC QC.[3]

Family and early life

Lance Bavin was born in Wellington, New Zealand,[4] the youngest son, and eighth child of nine, to the Rev. Rainsford Bavin, a Methodist minister from Lincolnshire, England, and his New Zealand-born wife Emma, née Buddle. His siblings were: Edna (Mrs Charles Lack); Jessie (Mrs Ambrose Fletcher); Sir Thomas Bavin (the 24th Premier of New South Wales); Gertrude (Mrs William Parker); Major Cyril Bavin OBE; Horace Bavin; Florence Bavin (Mrs Ernest Warren); and Dora Bavin (Mrs Leslie Allen).[5] Rainsford Bavin arrived in New Zealand in 1867 and was appointed to Christchurch circuit . He married in 1867 and was then appointed to Timaru, Kaiapoi, Wanganui and Nelson. Lance was born during his parents time in Wellington and then lived in Auckland. His family moved to Sydney from Auckland in 1889 and his father took charge of the William St Church. Nothing is known of Bavin's education until he attended Newington College as a day boy in 1896 and 1897 from the family's then home in Ashfield. As the son of a Methodist minister he was on half-fees.[6] The Rev and Mrs Rainsford Bavin had three sons at Newington over nearly a decade and three of their daughters married Old Newingtonians.[7]

Chatswood Preparatory School

In 1906 Bavin founded the Chatswood Preparatory School.[8] He initially ran the school with his wife, Ida, and his mother, Emma (1845–1931).[9] The main building was constructed for the opening of the school in 1906 and is now heritage listed.[10]

Mowbray House School

In 1914 Sandy Phillips, until then a master at Sydney Grammar School, became co-headmaster with Bavin and Chatswood Prep became known as Mowbray House School. Bavin and Phillips had been students together at Newington College. Phillips remained at Mowbray House until his return to Sydney Grammar in 1924, where he ultimately became Headmaster.[11] Bavin continued as Headmaster of Mowbray House until the school closed in 1954 due to his ill-health.

Local government

Bavin served as an alderman and Mayor of Willoughby Council for several terms.[12]


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