The Duke and the College Boy

AMONG THE FIRST COHORT OF DUKE OF EDINBURGH AWARD RECIPIENTS... Jim Morgan from Shepparton. Photo: Steve Hutcheson

IN LAST week’s edition, we ran a story on the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and how they have impacted on society as we learned of the death of the Duke.

This week, as a result of that article we were to learn about Shepparton resident, Jim Morgan who was possibly among the first intake of recipients of the award when it was first launched in the United Kingdom in 1958.

Jim was going to a military college in Dover, when they were selectfed to participate. Jim was 16 years old at the time.

“You learned life skills,” said Jim. “It gets young lads to want to achieve, to be successful by challenging their abilities.”

“At the time, they chose college boys on purpose knowing they had a better chance of meeting with their expectations. University was not available to everyone at that time so they wanted boys who might reach that level.”

Jim spent two years with the Duke of Edinburgh Award program while at the military college and went on to become a structural engineer. He migrated to Australia in 1966.
Since that time, more than 800,000 young Australians have progressed through the Award program.