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Mr Ross Wallace is our longest serving Preparatory Year ‘Poppy’ at Whitsunday Anglican School. A purely voluntary role, Mr Ross Wallace, known as ‘Poppy Wallace’, has made a significant personal and financial contribution over the past 16 years to the lives of many students who journey through the school. With the wisdom of a long life and the love of an understanding heart, Poppy Wallace is the epitome of a loving grandfather: a little bit parent, a little bit teacher and a little bit best friend.

A few days of each week during the school terms, Poppy Wallace visits our school. His first port of call is always to the Preparatory W classroom, a classroom Poppy Wallace has been visiting for 16 years now. The relationship between Poppy Wallace and educators, Shirley Wood and Wendy Adamson, transcends that of ‘school grandparent’ and educators. It is a friendship forever bound by the joy on the faces of the preparatory students each year when he is ‘in the house’.

In a time when a large percentage of families do not have the luxury of an extended family to support them, the role of Poppy Wallace has grown to encompass not just the Preparatory W students, but to embrace children of all ages in every year across the whole school campus. Poppy Wallace is always happy to lend a helping hand, a non-judgemental ear, to share a story, to produce a magic trick or two and to offer wise counsel on a range of topics. Poppy Wallace gives of his own time to support students, attend school events and march with us on ANZAC Day.

Poppy Wallace and his lovely wife, Judy, have also set up an annual bursary through the Whitsunday Anglican School Foundation to support a student and their family with expenses at our school.

Poppy Wallace isn’t our only Preparatory Grandparent as we have had a small number of these wonderful people over time. Poppy Keith Wilkinson (our original Poppy), Granny Beryl Bates, Poppy Ian Hamilton and Poppy Syd Cowan all hold a special place in our collective hearts at Whitsunday Anglican School.

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