Affectionately Spook – In Appreciation of Marjorie ‘Spook’ Hassell.

Image L-R: Jane Newton, Chloe and Tom Hassell, Shaun Gerschwitz, James Newton, Jack Hassell, Mary Scammell. Front:  Ryan Schwarz, Declan Nunn, David Hassell, Aiden Le and Barb Hassell

Author: David Cornish, Executive Officer, Prince Alfred College Foundation.

Spook was the childhood name of Mrs Marjorie Hassell and it remained with her for the best part of a century.  Handwritten notes to her wide circle of family and friends would be signed ‘affectionately Spook’, and this endearing phrase was one of the memories of her shared at a gathering to acknowledge her generosity to Prince Alfred College.

A little over a decade ago Spook conceived the idea of a scholarship in memory of her husband Colin Hassell AO (1919-1928).  Throughout the remainder of her long life, Mrs Hassell took great interest in the establishment and implementation of the Colin Hassell Scholarship, but most importantly she came to know the first four recipients and gained much pleasure from having done so.

Mrs Hassell died in 2018 and left a bequest to the College to considerably increase the endowment of the Colin Hassell Scholarship.

Members of the Hassell family joined with the Headmaster, Council Chair, Foundation President and recipients past and present of the Colin Hassell Scholarship, for morning tea in the Ashton Room.  As was pointed out, 2019 was the centenary of Colin Hassell commencing at the College as a student and this year is the centenary of Spook’s birth.

The gathering was ably conducted by Colin Hassell Scholarship recipient and Prefect Aiden Le, who proudly introduced speakers including the Headmaster, past recipient Mr Shaun Gerschwitz (2011-13), and Mr David Hassell (1953-62).  Aiden remarked: “To me, this scholarship has not only meant the opportunity to be exposed to the motivating culture of PAC, but has also fostered my development of the ‘finer things’ – particularly, the memorable relationship I have grown with the Hassell family on a personal level; something I’ll never forget.”

Shaun Gerschwitz was a boarder from Port Augusta and is currently completing studies in Medicine at the University of Adelaide.  He concluded his address with advice he received from Mrs Hassell: ‘Keep up the good work, enjoy your time at Princes, and then choose a career that is dear to your heart!’

David Hassell on behalf of the Hassell family assisted Spook with establishing the Scholarship and in recent years has maintained a strong interest in its growth and recipients.  At the gathering he spoke of Spook’s significant generosity, her commitment to the youth of tomorrow, and her desire by means of this bequest to honour the achievements of her husband.

We thank Marjorie (Spook) Hassell and the Hassell family for their generosity to, and continued interest in, Prince Alfred College. Due to their extraordinary support, many, many  students, will continue to benefit from the Colin Hassell Scholarship endowment, into the foreseeable future …. and beyond.

David Cornish
Executive Officer
Prince Alfred College Foundation

Marjorie ‘Spook’ and Colin Hassell AO.