The old '69 rattles on
As was said in the beginning to the Class of '69, 30 years on: 'The waistline's thickening, the hair's thinning, work is either downsized or downloaded, the kids are out of control, and (though we swore it would never happen) we are becoming our parents. Oh for the blissful ignorance of youth!'
Visions of boyhood were gloriously revisited as 122 survivors (including a record 23 members of staff) gathered at the Cardinal Pavilion last November. The innovative class photo on the riverbank was a fine idea - what a tragedy it didn't turn out. But not even a photographer far superior to our incompetent contractor could have captured the priceless moment when fanatical convener David Clark announced that the conveniently vacant seat in the front row would be filled by none other than the Class's long-lost pin-up girl, library assistant Mary Beddoe (now Elliott).
Travelled a long way
We would have travelled a long way to see that, and some of us did: Ian Coillet, Bill McAuley, Andrew McPherson and our celebrated cartoonist Ward O'Neill from Sydney; John Thorpe and Wayne Jackson from Canberra; Tony Bell and Steve Bennett from Tasmania; and Alan Chuck from London.
Leigh McGregor proposed a stirring toast to the School, Dr Donaldson responded with his usual flair, and we were richly entertained by delightful and surprising anecdotes and reminiscences from our quirky quartet of Panel Beaters, Dick Briggs, Norm Emerson, Baxter Holly and Vic Nash.
But the undoubted highlight was the truly magnificent toast to the Class by Dick Lawson. In top form with a masterpiece of memories, Dick later confided that the speech had taken more preparation than any case in his legal career. It certainly showed.
We hope to compile a Best of the '69 Dinners CD, and are very grateful to Alex McKenzie for his continuous sound and light show of Scotch slides and hits of the '60s, and for tenaciously tracking down all but a few of the original band. We missed David Stacey, but not even his mum knows where he is!
The photos here (and others) can be accessed on Alex's website: beachfrontproductions (http://users.bigpond.net.au/beachhouse). The internet yet - after a slow start, we '69 Luddites are learning fast.
Learnt to give
We've also learnt to give something back. Over the years, our Class has contributed to the future welfare of Scotch, through Annual Giving and the Foundation, the very grand total of $228,582. And so far, there's another $400,000 or so in endowment. Thirteen '69ers are members of the Foundation and four are on its Board of Trustees.
There's been something special about each of the five reunions we've held since 1979, and we hope the whole Class will make '40 Years On' a knockout in 2009. Here's hoping we remember. It's said that if you can remember the '60s, you weren't there. The '69ers were there all right, and we still remember Mary Beddoe - in our dreams!