Maurice Saxby Memorial

On Monday 19 January staff members of The School Magazine attended a very special event. They joined three hundred members of the children's literature community and others in the Great Hall of the University of Sydney to farewell the man known fondly as the godfather of Australian children's literature.

Dr H Maurice Saxby AM died in November 2014, just shy of his ninetieth birthday. He left an incredible legacy of knowledge, information and inspired teaching related to this country's children's literature. As a teacher, reviewer, critic, scholar and author, Maurice Saxby had an influence that touched thousands of Australians and many others around the world.

Former staff and artists of The School Magazine

The memorial service included the participation of CBCA NSW president Gail Erskine, CBCA National Board member Margaret Hamilton, IBBY Australia president Robin Morrow, illustrator Jeannie Baker, author Nadia Wheatley, University of Sydney Professor Robyn Ewing and seven other members of the children's book community. Listening attentively were scores of others, including Duncan Ball and Kath Hawke, former Editors of The School Magazine, as well as past and present School Magazine artists, Astra Lacis, Noela Young and Stephen Axelsen.

During many of the almost one hundred years that The School Magazine has been inspiring a love of words in young readers, Maurice was a keen advocate of our publications.

Maurice Saxby and friends of The School Magazine

He wrote articles that extolled the magazines, he encouraged his students to read and use them, and he frequently praised the magazines during his multitudinous interactions in the children's literature world.

In 1988, to the delight of the staff, Maurice officially launched The School Magazine bicentennial anthology, A Puddin' Rich and Rare.

The School Magazine staff salutes this ‘rich and rare' man, who did so much for Australian children's literature and for our publications in particular.

Vale, Maurice Saxby.

—Karen Jameyson, January 2015