Rudi Salter


Rudi was Business Manager of Marsden School and All Saints’ College from 1977 to 1984.

Born in Vienna, Rudi came to Australia in 1939 as a refugee, as were some other All Saints’ employees. Married to Ruth in 1942, he originally worked in his parents Strathfield textile factory while achieving his ASSA accounting qualifications. Besides numbers, his additional interests were music and flying. He received the Ryan Medal for his contribution to the Gliding Federation of Australia and was a member of the Eglington Gliding Club while residing in Bathurst.

Upon his appointment as Business Manager, besides coming to terms with the financials associated with the amalgamation of Marsden and All Saints’, he worked tirelessly to quickly introduce Computerised accounting, replacing the paper trail. His office light often burned late into the night. This development changed significantly the financials of the College and contributed in no small way to future financial planning.

The fate of a Business Manager is pitiable. Destined to deal with crises, broken equipment and above all, learning how to say ‘no’ convincingly. In many respects this makes him an outcast and untouchable. However, Rudi was above all human. Show him a cheque made out to the school, and he was all smiles. One of his softer moments resulted in the College replacing a very tired Toyota Coaster with a new Izuzu 36 seat bus, becoming ‘the pride of the fleet’.

At his desk he would think of the unseen and often unappreciated efforts of the people involved in keeping the College fed, housed, cleaned and in good running order. Rudi established that there were sixty-six ways of spending money within the College. The first part of his daily activity was the responsibility of sorting the College mail with bated breath (if not previously carried out by the Headmaster, prior to driving to Sydney for a 9.30am meeting). From experience Rudi acquired extrasensory perception- organizing the College mail into three piles – those appearing bloated were opened, another left to mature and a third removed to the dark universe of his office. Parcels were then opened only to reveal broken crockery, which being returned, were replaced with more boxes of broken crockery, parcels of rats (indispensable in the teaching of Science) sheep’s innards, swiftly rerouted to its proper destination, viz Agriculture. A whole microcosmos passed through Rudi’s office reflecting the diverse facets of school life.

As well as College Business Manager, he enjoyed exiting the claustrophobic office environment, Rudi was involved in a range of activities involving the interaction with students and staff, often playing in College musicals, accompanying students and staff on ski trips to Selwyn, as well as tour groups to various destinations near and far, as well as driving buses to rural areas for boarding students on their mid term breaks. He would always listen to a well thought out and documented proposal for the funding of some College improvement or essential educational expenditure although seldom instantly approved, which meant waiting until a better opportunity arose to remind him of the need, and from personal experience usually over an ale if you paid on some auspicious College occasion. Ask him where all the money has gone and he would always have an answer.

Bruce Clydsdale

(Foundation President)

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