<< Back to Lion December 2020 homepage 

Seven sons

The Keck brothers, commencing years at Wesley: back from left, Tom 1935, King 1926, Jim 1934, Fred 1929, Jack 1933; front from left, Rev Harry, Lurline, Ethel, Bruce 1941 and Bill 1931

The Keck family had seven sons at Wesley, which is probably a record, as Philip Powell explains.

Let me introduce you to the Keck family. The Rev Harry Keck and his wife Ethel sit proudly with their seven sons and one daughter in a Canterbury photo studio in 1938. All seven sons attended Wesley College starting with Harry – known as King – Keck in 1926 through to the youngest, Bruce Keck, who commenced in 1941. Their sister Lurline, of course, attended MLC, Kew.

The sad story is that the two eldest sons, King and Fred, were killed within a fortnight in late March and early April 1942. King’s Bristol Blenheim was shot down over Egypt and Fred’s Hampden was shot down over the Ruhr. The next four sons all served in various roles with the Australian Imperial Force. Bruce spent the war years at Wesley, including the two years at Scotch College in 1942 and 1943. (See our archival story on page 20 for more on Wesley in the war years.) Bruce was musically gifted and was the school’s musician in 1946.

We think having seven sons attending Wesley is a record – can anyone else match that? Bruce and Lurline are now in their 90s. Bruce lives in Ballarat after a lifetime teaching with the Victorian Department of Education. Lurline, a writer and academic at Monash University, lives in a Hawthorn retirement apartment complex where a number of well-known OWs also live.

Philip Powell (OW1973) is an entrepreneur, writer and historian.

>> Discover your alumni community, find contact details and connect
<< Back to Lion December 2020 homepage
<< Previous story | Next story >>