SUFC lost its oldest living Wallaby on Saturday 20th June when Arthur Buchan passed away aged 95. He was the Club’s 35th Wallaby playing 10 tests for Australia.
Born and raised in Sydney, Buchan was awarded a bursary while at Bankstown Public School to attend Sydney Technical High School. He went on to captain the school and starred as a brilliant student before enrolling in Science at the University of Sydney.
In 1945 his first year at SUFC, he played 13 1st Grade games and made his representative debut for NSW against Queensland, a year later he emerged from the state trials with a “stamp of class” to earn his spot on the Wallaby Tour of New Zealand. Buchan also played for Randwick and St George.
Buchan was the country’s premier number 8 in the immediate aftermath of World War II, who arrived on the Test scene in the opening match of the 1946 Bledisloe Cup series in New Zealand. Easily recognisable in his trademark headgear and blessed with the speed of a back, Buchan was known for his supreme fitness, harnessed from his days in surf lifesaving, and for being without peer as a cover defender. Famously quoted as saying “If anyone gets by, I’ll get him”.
He received his Rugby Blue from Sydney Uni in 1946, as well as starring on the rugby field, Buchan’s other lifelong passions were surf lifesaving and education. His decorated teaching career culminated in his appointment as Deputy Director General of the NSW Education Department in the early 1980’s.
As a teacher, Buchan was transferred to Murwillumbah High School and, with rugby not played in the area, turned out for South Murwillumbah in the Richmond rugby league competition. His legacy to rugby remains in the current era with the Arthur Buchan Shield awarded annually to the NSW U16s Combined High School champions.
RIP Wallaby No.324