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After an undistinguished academic career at NSBHS I was persuaded by my Father that repeating 4th year after having already repeated 2nd year, might wear out the welcome mat (try HAD worn out the welcome mat) at the family home as well as, the halls of "learning".
A short time later, after an "interview" at the waterside workers pickup hall in Sussex St I embarked on my new "career" as a grape picker in Mildura, This was followed by a couple of seasons in the cane fields above Cairns and intermingled with a liberal sprinkling of other crops harvesting and some buffalo cropping in the NT and croc shooting around the Gulf I returned to Sydney at the ripe old age of 21 as a seasoned nobody (but with abs in my abs). Just when my depression at, and envy of, one of my best mates (a lad from NSTHS - now appropriately a pub), had begun to set in, he saved me, when he described, as he fondled the red, green and blue pens in his plastic pocket protector, his future as an accountant "and the great retirement package he would receive". I was instantly brought out of my funk and responded "what the hell are you doing worrying about that at your age?" A sentiment I still hold. Nevertheless I suppressed my wanderlust and signed up for the Yorston and Fortescue accounting course (I still have the text book) and looked forward to my rich "retirement " as a result. As I flunked out of that 3 months later("Debit what is near the window , credit what is near the door etc," didn't work any better there than it had some years before in my Business Principals course at NSBH) I thought to myself ."I know, I will go back and do my 'Leaving' at night school, sitting at those selfsame desks at the corner of Miller and Falcon, that I had sat at, unwillingly some years before." Unfortunately I was even less disciplined towards academic activities and soon found myself drawn to an establishment further up the St (Claud Fays in fact) After a number of different vocations, all generally involving bush skills and generally the non-cerebral side of life, I was "recruited" by the subsidiary of a subsidiary of a firm from Virginia, to be involved in "research" in some remote areas of Asia around 1964-5, observing and reviewing things like re education and re settlement. Interesting times!!! .I was subsequently sponsored by my employers to a "college of my choice" in the States. They naturally assumed that I had the basic requisites (a High School Graduation might be nice, for instance). Not knowing at that time, Harvard from Thommos Two- Up School, I naturally selected the one nearest a beach. I guess my intermediate certificate -- my one good year at NSBH, looked like a PHD to the US admissions office as it was from somewhere else and I surprisingly not only enjoyed my new quest for wisdom, I passed quite handily.
As of (astonishingly) now, I am an alumnus of OCC-Marine Technology, Boston College -in - business and law and the Stanford Graduate School of Business----- so don't let anyone tell you that a NSBH education, albeit an interrupted one-- isn't worthwhile. I guess an arrest by the fading KGB in the summer of 1992, the subduing of a Hijacker in 1991 and incarceration in Brazil and Saudi Arabia and a few other bizarre tales, would only be boring, so I wont go into detail at this time. My 4 wives (to be correct the current and 3 former wives) and 4 children (all girls and wonderful kids) have made for a stimulating life and are living proof that "optimism triumphs over experience", Like one of the other contributors, I too have been married for 30 years (just not to the same folks) and have enjoyed almost every minute of it. Fortunately business has been kind and after the kids education and alimony expenses have been covered there is still a little left over to dabble------ There are many more experiences left in life for us all, I feel sure, but none more potentially humbling, than attending a NSBHS 40 year reunion (after all it wouldn't be complete if you all didn't have the 2nd year (my 2nd time) holder of the title of "most caned person of the year" (I did well that year I got a serving or two, from Carnegie-----something about attending the school of arts in Crows Nest, instead of Scripture, from Rice--- the ex wrestler who upon reflection probably liked Misty McDonald even less than I, but was obliged as the head of the English Dept. to give me some of his best strokes, to my various extremities, at Misty's request and finally Batman who had to give out a couple of whacks every now and then to assert his authority). While I wander down corporeal punishment lane, I also think back fondly (for those many of you chosen ones who also attended Artarmon Primary-- Hey there is another potential reunion!!) to my punishment at the hands of the principal and consummate sadist, Harold Mathews. Now there's a memory. That person would have been a great Nazi prison camp commandant. (rumour has it that as he mellowed he advised Pol Pot and Sadaam Hussein) He certainly made the NSBH bamboo wielders look like pikers. But I digress. The years have flown by and most of you seem to have had a great life. I sincerely trust it continues,!!! I must now away as, due to my eclectic background, I am on call as an advisor to Paul Hogan, Russell Crowe and all the other Australian film icons, and I also need some time to remove my tongue from cheek.
I trust this highly censored version of my Bio permits me admission to the festivities in October. Where else, but on the Internet, could someone speak to such an illustrious group, from his solitary confinement.
The thing that I remember vividly from my youth and growing up in Australia generally, was our irreverence, good humour and ability to laugh at ourselves (even at the expense of poor fools like the author).
I trust that the October gathering is a good time for all (assuming after this little lot that you even send me the right dates and venues) and that I am not confused about dates or venues. I must admit, that I have been really confused-- (and nothing from my days at NSBH or elsewhere has helped me prevail) ever since I found out that Phonetic was spelled with a PH What a country!!! Cheers"