Graham Balfe

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After leaving school in 1961 I went to the University of New England at Armidale where I did a science degree majoring in microbiology. There I met Gwen Fillingham (ex NSGHS - 1961) who also did a science degree and Dip Ed. We married in 1968 and are still happily together. Gwen is currently a science teacher at MLC Burwood.

I worked for CSR for 21 years in Sydney, firstly in the Roseville research laboratories (where I caught up with Harley Wright again) and later on a number of energy resource projects. While with CSR I did a post grad diploma in Biochemical Engineering at UNSW followed by a Master of Applied Science in pollution control.

During these years we took 18 months off to travel around Europe (mainly camping out of our duty free Volvo) and had our first daughter, Jacqui, in London. Returning to Australia we had our second daughter Michelle. Both daughters went to NSGHS. Jacqui did science at Macquarie Uni and went teaching. She now has a daughter, Jessica, our first grandchild. Michelle did Business Information Technology at UNSW and builds web sites for commercial clients.

When Jacqui was at NSGHS she found that the NSBHS cadet unit (now a company size) took in some girls and decided to join. She had a great time and eventually became CSM - all 5'1" of her!

After leaving CSR in 1987 I went to work for AGL at North Sydney where I still am (I'll have to stop all this chopping and changing jobs!). AGL, like CSR has provided an interesting range of jobs over the years including property development, intersate pipelines, wholesale energy trading and currently, looking at new energy technologies.

I restored a federation house at Lindfield during the 70's and 80's and now have an old Victorian 'handyman's delight' at Hunters Hill. Fixing old things becomes compulsive - I re-built a 1963 Lotus Seven during the past few years (probably reliving a Morgan +4 I had in my youth). Us old men and our old cars have lot of fun.

Gwen and I like a bit of bushwalking including some recent trips to NZ and England. We have recently acquired a holiday house in Leura so we can escape to the hills on Friday nights.

When I look back at school I think I was very fortunate. I had a good family, good school mates and really enjoyed school cadets and the 1st Greenwich Boy Scouts (along with Lindsay Black and Chris Hunt). Also from Greenwich were Chris Tennant and Robin Winkler (he was voted class captain in kindergarten!). We all grew up like characters out of Ginger Meggs (remember when you could play cricket in the street and scour the local tip for billycart parts?). Despite always being told that I 'should be seen and not heard' I would not swap my early years for any other. After I left school I also began to realise how ungrateful we were for some pretty good teaching.

Looking forward to catching up at the reunion.