Mitchell Seow

28 Feb

There are still people coming here looking for information about the Sydney High student Mitchell Seow who died suddenly on 14 January 2006: see my January 2006 archive. Mitchell was in the debating team I supervised in Years 7 and 8. High Notes that reprinted a lovely article that appeared a short while ago, though not online, in the Sydney Morning Herald:

A Lost Life Celebrated at Premier’s Ceremony

Awards News Wrap IT WAS a bittersweet day for Jenny and James Seow as they sat among other proud parents at yesterday’s awards ceremony.

One by one, 800-odd beaming students filed past the Premier, Morris Iemma, each clutching a trophy bearing witness to years of hard slog and dedication.

The Premier’s awards for all-round excellence in the Higher School Certificate recognise students who achieve a mark of 90 or above in 10 or more units.

With a mark of 99.6, 18-year-old Mitchell Seow was one of the best and brightest. But he never made it to yesterday’s ceremony. On January 14, he collapsed and died at a friend’s birthday party.

Collecting the award in his place was his best mate and fellow Sydney Boys High student, Bryan Wrench. At his side were Mr and Mrs Seow and Mitchell’s elder brother, Nick.

“He was my best friend,” said Nick. “I just feel very empty without him. I’d thought we’d make it through life together, do things brothers are meant to do … watch out for each other.”

Just what caused a healthy, athletic teenager to collapse and stop breathing remains a mystery. The Seow family is awaiting the coroner’s findings after an autopsy failed to reveal the cause of death.

But Nick believes had his brother survived, he would have ended up the chief executive of a major corporation. He was fascinated by business and had a University of NSW scholarship to study finance waiting for him.

The Seow family wants Mr Wrench to keep Mitchell’s award, as a token of the close friendship the boys shared since entering Sydney Boys High in Year 7.

Mr Wrench said Mitchell would be remembered as a consummate all-rounder; a keen rower, soccer player, debater and prefect.

At his funeral last month, attended by the whole of Year 12, the rowing team formed the guard of honour. Mrs Seow said: “He was just a happy kid who loved clowning around and going out with his friends. We are very proud of him.”

I certainly recall his big smile. A prize in his memory has been instituted at the school.

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Posted by on February 28, 2006 in events, ex-students and coachees, personal, Salt Mine


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