Rod Wise writes:
"ron isaacs's reference to jesse james reminds me of the funniest episode I remember from
those days. It was in 4th or 5th year. Jesse james was the class master of a fairly unruly lot
and was prone to giving out heavy
impositions. he gave out a batch one morning and asked the class who was the class captain.
murray sime mumbled "Jeffreys, sir". So Jesse said, "Right,
Jeffreys", take down their names and the number of lines for each. "Right, sir," said murray.
Every day thereafter when impositions were imposed (natch!) he would ask "Have you got
that, jeffreys", and a voice, invariably Sime's, would reply "Yes, sir."
But all good things were bound to end. A couple of weeks into term we were ordered to fill in
cards with name, addresses, religion, summer sport, winter sport, etc. Somehow five extra
cards were filled in, four of which, in hindsight would appear to have been characters from "77
Sunset strip", with two names I distinctly remember writing Judo and athletics for the sport of
Roger smith - but someone always goes too far - Doug best, I think it was, who insisted that
Efrem Zimbalist's sports were Sex and More Sex. In addition to these four villains a card was
filled in for the ubiquitous Jeffreys. Oh what fun we thought we were having.
Alas, come Monday morning Wilkinson (remember him, he was the horse with no name who
was affronted by elephants) flew into the classroom in a towering rage and demanded that
these five studies, calling them individually, rise from their seats. Of course, being cowards,
no-one did. Then a most remarkable tranfiguration swept across his countenance - i was not
sure whether he was laughing, crying, snarling or what, but these words sort of emerged from
his lips: "I see. Thought you were being funny, did you? Well, I had a funny weekend, two
whole days in here, trying to find these five students in our records."
He then turned to Jesse and announced that the five did not exist whereupon the poor old
codger nearly dissolved into tears, saying "jeffreys, Jeffreys, I can't believe it. He was the one
boy in here I could depend on."
Meanwhile, we five official (ashen) culprits were on our feet (but not, i might add, none of you
cowardly bastards that egged us stupid gits on!!!!) and i supposed we were flayed within an
inch of our lives. But we were young with calloused hands ..
speaking of murray sime, you had to give him credit for sheer gall. Not only did he invent and
carry off the remarkable creation of Jeffreys, class captain extraordinaire and collaborator par
excellence with the oppressive teaching staff, but he had incredible presence of mind. Ancient
history was a great subject taught in a ghastly fashion, with the result that few of us had any
expectations of passing it in the LC and few eventually did. (It was a disgrace, really.) But
back to the resourceful murray sime. Our Ancient Greece textbook thoughtfully had a crib
summarising every topic printed in the back of it. Come the end of 4th year exam, and murray
decides to tear the crib out of the textbook and take it into the exam room with him. There he
is, blatantly transcribing from that crib onto his exam paper when the teacher who was
supervising that exam bowled up and demanded to know what he was doing. cool as the
proverbial cucumber, murray says "It's OK, sir, we've been issued with them specially for the
exam." The only
reply the flabbergasted teacher could make was "Oh, that's Ok then", and wandered off,
probably thinking that he might have been better off taking up that quantity
surveying cadetship he'd been offered by the Water Board all those years before. And as for
M. Sime, I seem to recall that murray was one of the few who actually passed ancient history.
now did i tell you how i managed to pass third year Latin ..."
A reminder of tasks to do if you have not done so yet:
1. Have you returned to Harley Wright his questionnaire about whether you will be
attending on October 20/21
2. Have you sent me a short bio of yourself?
3. Have you sent a recent photo of yourself to Michael Hooper?[ Please e-mail it to:
firstname.lastname@example.org (or by mail to Prof M. Hooper, Department of
Endocrinology, University of Sydney, NSW 2006)]
4. Have you sent Tony Friend a graphic/image for the web page from your collection of
ancient NSBH memorabilia in your shed/under your bed/on your top shelf? [by mail to
28 Twin Oaks Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901, USA; or by e-mail to:
4. Have you done your homework? [just joking...]
See you round the quad