As for recognising people, I will have particular trouble. All you Anglos look the same to me.

Hansen Yee

while Nancy Deans went on to work as a volunteer at Amnesty International(with my Dad)... Chacun a son gout...


Peter Coppleston writes:

"Am I alone or normal in struggling to remember many details of the "best years of my life"?

Is the detail of successful remembering related to how happy one's school days were...mine were about 6 out of 10 on the ecstasy scale? I look through the list and even most of the others I remember are but fuzzy folk from a faintly remembered era. I was relieved when I looked at Bruce Hodgen's picture and thought he looked remarkably like I remembered him. Perhaps we need a database that separates us bald guys from the hair retainers!!

Does anyone else recall the prised prefix "greasy" which was earned by the more magnificent of the year?

Eg: "Greasy John Harkness", "Greasy Bill Mirrow"...but who were the others?

(apologies to both if I'm wrong but I remember it as the sincerest form of flattery )"

Philip Brown writes:

"Along with Hansen Yee I met Nancy Deans in Dec 2000. She was well, and memory and intellect perfect. Hansen is in regular contact with her."

Peter Kaye writes:

"What ever happened to Roger Soady,Anthony Tribe and Charles Yates? I seem to remember that the following were at the school at different times between 1957 and 1961:

Chris Barrie-now Admiral Chris Barrie Chief of Defence Forces Clayton Kesting-he went to Shore in 1960 and subsequently studied Engineering at Sydney Uni Howard Sattler-now working at 2SM"

So much for entertainment... Back to work to find some more e-mails of lost bretheren...Remember, you all have a quota of at least two! Some of you have been doing sterling work, other have ....


I am not exactly in regular contact with Nancy Deans, but I did enjoy running into her recently.

One of my big memories concerns the BIG punch up between Tony Carson and Arthur Streeter in St Leonards Park after school. Arthur came to school the following day and Tony didn't, and English teacher Devir ("Luigi") made some droll remark to Arthur (sporting all his bruises) which was very funny at the time but which I have forgotten.


I have been in touch with Nancy Deans regularly over the years. She is now living with her daughter and son-in-law Professor Tom Mack at 9 Bayswater Road Lindfield (02) 9416-6406 and is still very sprightly, still smokes her allotted 7 cigarettes a day and drinks half a bottle of red wine each evening.

I'm sure she would be delighted to be remembered. Anyone, please feel free to ring her and reminisce about the "best days of our lives"

Ken Jackson

Colin Saltmarsh, our NZ foreign correspondent writes: "My own memories do not extend beyond 3A because I left the school at that point but the names appearing are contributing to the recovery of information filed away long ago. I am enjoying it all. (Thank you to all for the various contributions)

"Tom" Mason was the Headmaster initially .... imperious is the way that I remember him. He retired ... about Second Year .. ? Who followed ? "Eric" Baume, so nicknamed after a prominent and outspoken radio personality with a programme called "This I Believe", was the Classics HoD who spent most of his time teaching Latin including about " Caesar at Alexandria " etc... He had a particularly heavy bamboo cane which did damage that would just about result in arrest these days.

There was an amiable Science teacher who joined the staff about Third Year... his name was named Gent... English origin... and he had a son at the school, didn't he ?

"Guts" Garnsey .... I had not remembered his name until Leo Radom mentioned it .... he was a daunting figure inasmuch as his demeanor matched his grey dustcoat. I remember him requiring me to leave the Intermediate Certificate Exam room to seek a question clarification from another member of the teaching staff. I was struggling with part of the paper and terrified about the loss of time and would not go. Hansen, who had probably done the whole thing in three different languages at that point, entered the fray as the White Knight.

MacAndrew for German once asked Dimetrius Pohl what mark from10 for German Oral that Dim thought was deserved ; Dim told him confidently that 10 was appropriate and Mac conceded ... graciously and with good humour, I recall.

(It was difficult to be other than good-humoured around Dim.) "George" Cumming for Maths had a favourite "imposition": (Leaving out "You 'orrible littul boy ... " he would quietly command "Write out 200 four syllable words ..... and their meanings ". Constructive by him, but very time-consuming for the victims !! That's quite sufficient in a reader's day ... hence, here endeth this contribution ......"

Peter Copleston writes:

"Graeme Boardman was an English teacher "Major" Moulton for physics but who taught chemistry?? Dim Jim ( Mr James ) detroyed our whole class' careers in maths in 3rd year" To which Ron Witton comments: "I once met Boardman again when I was presiding at an Immigration Review Tribunal hearing and found myself saying "Sir" to him... Old habits die hard..."

Dick Mullans:
Clayton Kesting:

More! More!

A Mr Tate taught Chemistry (If I remember correctly, he also coached the first 15 and the CHS rugby team to glory in our final year). There was a Mr Brown who taught Maths II. One oif his favourite sayings was to describe a proof as "going to Manly via Parramatta". He was also responsible for one of the best slips of the tongue I have ever heard - came into a class one day and suggested that we do someting or other "in one foul group"


Hi Everyone

Greetings from Brisbane.

Hansen has reminded me of a similar experience I had with Graham Birse in the school yard early one morning. Our fracas was interrupted by Colin Bowser, the Latin teacher and text book custodian. We were both invited into his office where we were each introduced to his "enforcer". The split bamboo rod did not have the dimensions of a fishing rod, but was just a whippy.

The sequel to this story was that less than ten years later, I had the dubious honour of flying the mortal remains of Robert Graham Birse back to Australia. One of his troops had rolled a hand grenade under his bed.

As I read the names of former students, I get vivid mental pictures of what each one looked like and at least one memory of some past event. I do not reflect on the past very often, but the emails have forced me to do just that.



PS It is amazing what a good hairpiece, and four hours in make-up can achieve for a photo shoot... B

(Bruce Hogden)

Geof Kewley:
Brian Adams:
Demitrius Pohl:

Any more anyone can find....? keep 'em rolling in...

Many thanks to those ingenious souls who have been thought up clever ways to find them...

While being a generally well-behaved student, some of my most vivid memories involve somewhat nefarious activities. These include

(1) Loading grapefruit from the tree at home with huge bungers, lighting the bunger and heaving it into the central courtyard from an outside courtyard.

(2) Lighting a smoke bomb manufactured by someone with greater scientific prowess than mine, timed (successfully) to light during TR Mason's assembly address. This resulted in a group of us being brought up before Mason, having been dobbed in by some prefects. Due to a lack of any hard evidence, Mason asked for confessions. In the absence of any forthcoming, he assured us that at some future time we would be compelled to come to his office and tell him who done it! Mr Mason, wherever you are, I am now willing to admit to being part of the plot.

(3) Towards the end of fifth year, being regularly given the cane by the deputy head (Carnegie?) for missing the last period on Fridays. As I remember it, the last period was just a blank in our timetable and we were sent to the library to be "baby-sat". The first time it happened, the deputy head came into the class and asked if "Wayne Ryan was there". As the weeks went by, the request changed to "Can I see you for a minute, Wayne", but the results remained the same.

(4) At some stage, I did have Arthur Henry for French. Generally his mind was more on cadet matters than teaching French and he was out of the room for much of the time. This was very convenient for the pontoon school which was active at the time, using easily-concealed miniature cards. We must have settled up after the class.

The cadet corps is also quite a strong memory. My father, having been in the war, discouraged me from joining, but gave in at the beginning of third year. I can't remember treating it very seriously and when I reached fifth year the authorities made me a lance-corporal so that I wouldn't be the only final year student who wasn't an NCO or officer. Looking back it does amaze me that at such a young age, we were given access to grenades, Bren guns, Vickers guns etc, even if under close permanent army supervision.

Then there was the French teacher, Mr Gluyas (stickybum for obvious reasons), who made me write out 1000 times "I must not speak out of turn in the class room". After that I certainly didn't in his class. And the English teacher in 2D(?), who insisted that there was to be no intercourse with the NS girls high students (even after school!).

I recall that the canteen was a popular spot, not least for the magnificent Chelsea buns, the like of which I have been unsuccessfully searching for ever since. I can also remember a rather buxom woman who served behind the counter and who used to torment the frustrated adolescents that we were by bending over as she served us while wearing a fairly low-cut dress. The canteen was also the source of the highly valued "dry ice" which we used to roll around in our mouths to get the smoke effect.

And talking about smoke etc, I remember that there was a group (one of whom I can remember but who will remain nameless) who used to take some delight in farting and lighting the resultant gases. I was never sure why their pants didn't at least get singed.

And there was the strange habit of scragging (?), in which the victim's testicles were seized from behind. As far as I know, this was no indicator of future sexual preference.

I also recall some mild bastardisation when we first arrived in first year, but nothing much worse than having the school tie cut off short.

I can't say that I subscribe to the "best years of our lives" theory. Most of us probably have mixed memories and the school did produce good results.

I guess the school was a product of its time, but I was never comfortable with the authoritarian, hierarchical (prefects etc), single sex atmosphere and the aping of the GPS schools. At least academic excellence was encouraged.

Wayne Ryan

From: Wayne Ryan
12 Warrai Pl
Tel: 02 6288 2568; mobile 0411 064402

Dear all

Extract from Bruce Donald's delightful recollection of Jack Moffatt in Ron's recent email:

"He would feign total puzzlement with the world as he plotted his next act of anarchy whether it was the famous collapsing wall or the desk top explosion. He had absolutely no fear of that most fearful of Deputies, Carnegie, while we all thought that to be bashed by the brute would be tantamount to dying."

I refer to the "desk top explosion". I have a vivid memory of one, just like yesterday, when, repeating second year, I had dropped the hated Latin and acquired Business Principles and Geography for my sins with all the other failures and deros in the fearsome 2E.

Ours was the classroom closest to Carnegie's room, about 5 seconds run on a dry floor. He took us for General Maths (for his sins I guess). I don't recall Jack Moffatt, though 2E was probably his forte. But the reference to desk top explosion triggers, if that's an appropriate word, what happened one morning when there was an almighty desk top explosion after Arthur's French class, in the few minutes before Carnegie arrived for another thrilling 40 minutes of Maths. I'll give you the full story at the reunion if desired.

Arthur usually entered the room, lobbing his French text from the door across the room in a high arc to land and remain on the teacher's desk (hardly ever sliding off). But this day he didn't. In hindsight, he knew! And he left the event for the teacher in the next period.... the hated Carnegie!

Anyway, I suspect Jack engineered it. Can anybody tell me what were the components of the blast material, and how to make it, and if I am incorrectly attributing this magnificent activity to Jack? I recall seeing a large number of small grey balls spread across the teacher's table top. Sitting in a front desk, and within arm's reach of the teacher's table, I received a written message from the back of the room during French to throw my ruler on top of the teacher's table. In 2E one learned very quickly to not take things at face value. So, I thought twice about this unusual request, deciding that in that class it was surely an indicator of something dramatic to follow, I prudently did not do so.

I'll leave the rest of the story for another time. Who else recalls that glorious day?

Monty Fox
Jack Moffat had many skills but the greatest skill of all was his ability to pitch a penny and have it land on its edge next to a wall.

I can remember a regular group of us who used to play "pitch and toss" after school in the lane which runs parallel to Falcon street. For those who are not familiar with this game, it involves everyone pitching a penny towards a wall and the thrower whose penny is closest to the wall gets first crack at winning the pennies. To win, you put all of the pennies in your hands and then throw them all up against the wall. Those pennies coming down heads you keep, the tails are quickly swept up by the person whose original penny was second closest to the wall and the procedure is repeated. This goes on until all of the pennies have been won.

Obviously, the first thrower has more chance of winning because there are more pennies to throw and Jack Moffat had the incredible talent of almost always being able to throw his original penny and have it land on its edge leaning against the wall.

I'm sure that this game kept him permanently in cigarettes !

Ken Jackson