Everyday campus heroes: Yeomen Bedell

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s an everyday campus hero!
Living among us are a handful of secret superheroes who use their powers for the greater good of our campuses. They’re the everyday heroes that make our campus community truly special.

In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape their sight. Meet David, Keith, Michael and Rob - the Yeomen Bedell of the Quadrangle (the keepers of the keys!). Are you ready to find out what they do on an average day? Here, they spill the beans on rumoured  secret underground tunnels, ghost lecturers and royal visitations. 

So, what exactly is a Yeoman Bedell?

David: “Good question. The position of Yeoman Bedell is one that dates way back into English history. It was then carried into universities like Cambridge and Oxford and eventually to our campus.” 

Rob: “It is traditionally a ceremonial role that leads the graduation processions, but today the Yeomen’s job includes everything from ensuring the Quad is functioning and running as it should be, to occasionally driving the Chancellor to off-campus meetings!”

David, Keith, Michael and Rob. - the Yeomen.

L to R: David, Keith, Michael and Rob

There are lots of spooky rumours surrounding the Quad. Is it true that there are friendly ghosts who wander through the quiet corridors, like Hogwarts?

Keith: “I remember I was here early one morning to open up a lecture theatre and I heard someone in the room lecturing. I ran up thinking they started early, but when I got there, the room was empty. It had to be a ghost in the room lecturing.”

And the secret underground tunnels…?

Michael: “They do exist, yes. We’re not sure exactly what they’re used for – maybe plumbing? We’ve never been down them, but they’re definitely there.”

So, you’re also responsible for changing the flags on the clocktower – what’s it like up there?

Michael: “It’s a long 98 steps to get up there, but it’s worth it. You get a view of Sydney as far as the eye can see. It's one of the perks of the job."

Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met on campus?

Rob: “We’ve had Nicole Kidman here when her niece graduated. She was just having a coffee at Courtyard and as everyone walked past their jaws fell to the floor.”

Keith: “We also had a visit from the King and Queen of the Netherlands and the Princess of Swaziland. The whole quad was closed off for them, but we were still allowed in.”

Like true heroes, our Yeomen even save lives!

Michael: “It was just your average day, and then suddenly someone collapsed at the Quad. I called the ambulance and did CPR until they arrived. The hospital called me later to let me know that the person had survived.”

Do you know an everyday campus hero? Let us know.

18 May 2018

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