Students did a double-take when Trinity’s bearded school captain, resplendent in blazer and boater, stepped up to bark the command “School parade!” and bring morning assembly to attention.
Closer scrutiny from disbelieving eyes around the quad revealed that the captain was none other than Head Master Tim Bowden, who had swapped places with Spiro Christopoulos.
It was part of a pandemic version of the traditional “muck-up day” as HSC students’ school careers drew to a close, and apart from the smiles it produced there was a deeper point to it.
“I talked to the boys (school captains and vice-captains) about how standing in different places gives us a different perspective,” Mr Bowden said before changing out of his temporary uniform and resuming his normal persona.
Acting Head Master Christopoulos, meanwhile, looking splendid in a smart suit and tie as he handed out a string of school awards, confirmed the idea to don the famous evergreen uniform came from Mr Bowden himself.
“He said if we’re really going to change roles, let’s do it properly. It was his idea.
“It’s great that the Head Master bought into it; it takes two to tango.
“It was something different; you don’t want to get expelled in your last couple of days. It was approved, it was funny and it had never been done before.”
The Year 12 student said it was “fantastic” to gain an appreciation of how the world might look to the Head Master.
“All eyes are on you; you’re in the spotlight,” he said. “It was only for 15 minutes but you do gain an appreciation about the Head Master’s role and a burden that is never-ending.”
Mr Bowden, for his part, experienced what it was like to stand in the sun during assembly – something that is shared equally following his decision to move each house around the quad every semester, literally giving everyone a different perspective.
The end-of-year stunt was a closely guarded secret.
“Even my brother didn’t know,” said the real school captain, who will be succeeded next year by his Year 11 brother Jamie.