Philip Harold Robinson Sargeant

Collector of Oceanic objects

From obituary at

Philip Harold Robinson SARGEANT (’50) was born at Surrey Hills, the son of an engineer, on 13 October 1932. He attended Scotch from 1944–50. A member of the choir in 1944, he was a 1950 Prefect and 1950 Editor of The Scotch Collegian. In 1955 Philip was attending Melbourne University. Philip lived at Carnegie and died on 22 February 2008.

PHILIP Sargeant was not like any other architect of his era. By the age of 18 he had established a reputation as an actor, painter and poet and his aim in life went far beyond the creation of a few admired buildings, clever newspaper articles, paintings, poems and badly recorded stage appearances.

Sargeant, who has died of cancer, aged 75, was born and lived in Surrey Hills with his family in comfortable circumstances. He received his basic education at nearby Chatham State School, walking there each day (and home for lunch), with his older sister Gweneth.

Their father, Harold, owned a prosperous engineering business. Mother Lilian Robinson's family had owned orchards across the hills that are now covered by Donvale.

Recognised at primary level as a bright student, his move to Scotch College in 1944 opened up new worlds. At age 15, he delivered a talk on watercolour painting technique, an art form that was to intrigue him for the next 60 years.

While achieving good marks in conventional subjects, he managed to deliver stunning performances in Shakespeare productions and in the annual contemporary one-act dramas.

Not only was he usually the star, but also he designed the sets and often painted them. His prodigious output over those years, his oils, watercolours and poems, are amply documented in the school magazine.

In 1951 he began his architecture course at Melbourne University. In those days the school was a collection of army huts strung together beside the South Drive.

The course was emerging following the endowment, in 1947, of the chair of architecture by The Age.

In 1952, Sargeant won a residential scholarship at Trinity College. Again, more doors opened. He continued his involvement in serious theatre and in student revues wrote lyrics and dialogue and sang and danced.

Despite these extra-curricular activities, his course results were impressive, but the stunning theatrical performances and, above all, his warm, witty and mischievous personality are what his admirers from those five years best remember.

On graduation, Sargeant followed the conventional career routine: draughting work in a few major offices, offset by sessions as a part-time lecturer. Ageing architects fondly recall his irreverent, salacious comments on the then leaders of his profession and their buildings. In 1960 he was off to London and the Continent. When he returned, he set up in practice and completed a building at Ballarat Grammar School as well as houses in Melbourne and Canberra.
  • Gender
  • Relationship
    Collector, Previous owner
  • Nationality
  • Born
  • Place of birth
    Oceania: Australia: Victoria: Melbourne: Surrey Hills
  • Died
  • Place of death
    Oceania: Australia: Victoria: Melbourne: Carnegie
  • Cause of death

1 item(s) from 'Oceania' related to Philip Harold Robinson Sargeant

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