Fellows of Senate

Professor John Manning Ward AO

Professor John Manning Ward AO was a Fellow of Senate from 1974 to 1977 and from 1981 to 1990.

Not long after his retirement on 31 January 1990, Professor John Manning Ward, together with his wife Patricia, 69, and his daughted Jennifer, 36, who were on board the 3801 steam train on a Sunday excursion run between Sydney and the Hunter Valley, were killed after a train crash near Hawkesbury River Station on 6 May 1990. The collision between a commuter train and the steam train also killed Moira Jennings, the wife of the Registrar, as well as injuring several other members of the University. (From the University of Sydney News special edition, 8 May 1990)


Memorial Service

The Memorial Ceremony for Emeritus Professor John Ward, Mrs Patricia Ward, Miss Jennifer Ward and Mrs Moira Jennings was held in the Great Hall at 11.30am on Thursday 21 June 1990.

More than 1,000 people, including chancellors, vice-chancellors and senior officers from universities around Australia and overseas, filed into the Great Hall for the memorial ceremony for members of rhe University community killed in the tragic 6 May train crash.

The academic procession for the service consisted of more than 160 people, one of the largest in the University's history. The University of Papua New Guinea, Tokyo Metropolitan University. and Waseda University, where Professor Ward received an honorary doctorate not long before his death, sent senior representatives to Australia for the ceremony.

The Academic procession for the Memorial Ceremony

The Academic procession for the Memorial Ceremony, photo, 'The University of Sydney News', 26 June 1990.


Also present were three cabinet ministers from the NSW Government, and the Federal Minister for Higher Education and Employment Services, Mr Peter Baldwin.

Professor Don McNicol, who became Vice-Chancellor earlier that year, paid tribute to his predecessor as a fine educator, a skilled administraror, a dedicated hitorian and a prolific writer. Professor McNicol pointed out that John Ward had led the University through a period of unprecedented change and conflict in Australian tertiary education. Despite that, Professor McNicol said, 'he always treated those whom he opposed with respect, relying on the logic of his arguments and never descending to demagogy.'

Professor McNicol said that Professor Ward's vision of a university widely embraced learning and culture, somerhing that is reflected in the great diversity of faculties, colleges, institutes at this University and in the various foundations and activities which allow it to reach out to the wider community in Sydney, in Australia and overseas.

'You may judge for yourselves how accurately this University reflects John Ward's vision,' Professor McNicol said.

Professor Deryck Schreuder, Challis Professor of History, also paid tribute to John Ward's achievments as an historian, and his contribution to a 'Sydney style' of historical studies at the University.

Professor Schreuder said that much of John Ward's influence at the University relied on his character and personality. 'He had the courtly manners of an earlier era of gentleman scholars,' Professor Schreuder said, 'something which actually served him surprisingly well in our more abrasive era.'

Professor Schreuder described Patricia Ward as a 'highly professional' librarian who, like her husband, was dedicated to high educational ideals. He said she had done much for her profession in general and, most recently, much for the safeguarding of valuable NSW local government records. The marriage of Patricia and John Ward, he said, was 'a very real partnership based on the loving attachment of two strong-minded people'.

Mrs Colleen Hayward, Principal of Darlington Primary School, described the brief but successful career of Jennifer Ward, who had worked as a teacher of very young children.

Mr Frank Hambly, Executive Director of the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee, told how he had valued his close friendship with Moira and Keith Jennings over many years. Moira Jennings, Mr Hambly said, was a 'talented, intelligent and vivacious person with a highly developed sense of humour'. Mrs Jennings fully supported her husband in his career, while at the same time developing her own skills as a devoted mother and teacher, he said. Mr Hambly recalled that she always enjoyed social gatherings and outings with other members of the University, and noted that 'it was on one of these social occasions that she met her tragic death'.

(From 'The University of Sydney News', 26 June 1990)