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Before compiling my bio I must comment on the extraordinary tales that have already circulated regarding the whereabouts of Jack Moffatt. My NSBHS memories of Jack are now somewhat vague as I lost 20% of my memory due to brain damage following bypass surgery and complications in 1993 (a well known medical condition). I would love to claim the prize but my cardiologist reminded me that viagra could kill me but maybe it's worth a try.
Jack was in our roll call class and as many of you will remember he was always present when his name was called but he was obviously shy as he never answered any of the teachers questions. I do remember him doing rather well in one class Maths test. I can't remember if he was in the cadet unit though. I first came across Jack, after NSBHS, in 1966. I had graduated with an honours building degree undertaken at UNSW and took off for South America on the way to starting a career in Canada. By the way as you can already tell I got Geography honours in the leaving certificate. Amazingly whom should I run into at the ruins of Machupicchu in Peru but an another old falconians who answered to the name of Moffatt. I'm sure it wasn't an illusion brought on by altitude sickness.
After many "interesting" experiences in South America and the Caribbean I settled in Montreal, Canada working as an engineer for Imperial Oil. I married Patricia, an Australian girl, in Montreal in 1967 and we returned to Sydney in 1969. After working as a construction manager in the local building industry for a few years I fled to ivory tower of academia at UNSW teaching in the Faculty of Architecture. If you have never worked at a university you don't know what you have been missing. I had the opportunity to travel, work in different countries and be a director of a project management firm while still being employed by the Uni. It was on one of my sabbaticals that I next ran into Jack. It was 1974 while I was doing research in a bar in Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory that the vision of Jack appeared to me once again though he looked a little older now.
Jack faded from my memory over the years. In the mean time I got a masters degree, had a son and lived happily in idyllic splendour in Mosman. 1988 the bicentennial year was busy for most of us. It seemed appropriate to do something memorable so I convinced my ever-loving wife to join me crewing on HMAV Bounty sailing through the Barrier Reef. As we had never sailed anything before, and my wife has a fear of heights, this was a great experience especially meeting another crew member, a bearded chap with a striking resemblance to one J.M., while we were hauling sail on the yard arms during a midnight gale. Life moved on and between teaching, some research and writing, raising our first and only child I managed to work in the USA on three occasions at Colorado State University and once at Concordia University in Montreal. The project management business thrived and the firm did projects in Australia, NZ and Hong Kong. In recognition of my devotion to duty the UNSW made me Head of the School of Building in the Faculty of Architecture in 1989.
The responsibility was obviously too much for me. After four years of dealing with 30 staff (managing university staff is like trying to herd cats) and about 500 students I had a "cardiac event' at work with subsequent bypass surgery and complications which led to a medical discharge from work in 1997.
My wife and I now travel when we can and when the Aussie dollar is worth more than two beatle nuts. It was in 1998 on one of these trips that I last ran into Jack. It was in Monument Valley, Utah. He was obviously much older now and I dare say you might assume that he was virtually unrecognisable in the dust of the desert in such an awe-inspiring location.
In conclusion unlike all you hard working successful high flyers I can only say that retirement in a great townhouse on Balmoral slopes beats the hell out of working for a living. I do wait at home for a visit from Jack but he has probably heard about my poor email spelling and has chosen to shun me. Perhaps his ghost will grace the reunion.