Russell Yelland

Alistair McHenry retires

Alistair McHenry retires

Those who know our former Director, Alistair McHenry well, will know he isn’t too fond of the spotlight.

And so it was, on October 28, under the guise of a belated R&Y 80th birthday celebration, that we twisted his arm into attending what would also be his retirement party.

A small gathering of clients, family and industry colleagues attended the function at The Gallery, to share stories and to thank Alistair for his tireless work over 41 years. Despite his initial reluctance, Al gave a cracking speech, serving up some hilarious anecdotes about his co-Directors, and thanking his wife, Sally, and the team with whom he has shared such a long and steadfast career.

1/5 Alistair addresses his guests and colleagues at The Gallery, Adelaide CBD

2/5 Industry colleagues and guests at Alistair's farewell

3/5 Colleagues, family and guests celebrate 83 years of Russell & Yelland and farewell Alistair

4/5 Celebrations at The Gallery, Adelaide CBD

5/5 One of R&Y's framed historical architectural drawings on display, among others on loan from the UniSA Architecture Museum


To mark what is now 83 years since the practice was founded, Director, John Held, arranged for the display of a number of early R&Y drawings and artefacts, on loan from the UniSA Architecture Museum for the night. Having worked with Alistair for exactly half of R&Y’s tenure, John remarked on Alistair’s calm and exacting approach, his encyclopaedic knowledge of design and construction, and his quiet, good humour. Co-director, Stewart Caldwell also reflected on Alistair’s composure and patient mentorship – a steady guide when Stewart was starting out with R&Y, which soon transformed into a trusting partnership.

It’s difficult to imagine work life without him, but Al assures us he has plenty of plans after a full career at Russell and Yelland – not least of which includes some backroads travel, and more of the personal making projects that illustrate his strong constructability focus.


Pics: Mel Boulden Photography