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The then guardians of the traditions and proud history of NSBHS admitted one of the school's lesser lights shortly after the Ist Year exams in 1957. On transfer from Wollongong High and in possession of a bursary I was permitted to join the academic creme de la creme of Sydney's North Shore when the family moved to Waverton. A French and German course pursued prior to arrival at NSBHS resulted in a place in 2A and 3A without that being earned, as it was by everyone else, but I was never made to feel unwelcome because of that.
My education continued in extremely bright company until I left the school at the end of 1959 shortly before my 15th birthday, a passable success for Nancy Deans and Alex MacAndrew but a disappointment to most others, I imagine. I started working at Speedo's HQ at Gore Hill in an accountancy-oriented position. That later gave way to sales elsewhere and later on still some design and marketing and management experience was added.
Working life has been spent in the textile industry, initially in Australia but in New Zealand from mid 966. The latter came about when en route to UK I proposed to an Auckland girl, who foolishly accepted, and so I remained here. Judy and I married in Feb 1967 and have two sons and a daughter.
Craig (31) is an architect, married to Pollyanna, nee Brown, once a PLC girl and now a "neuro" physiotherapist. They settled in Sydney following a wonderful few years in Europe, and now have a son, James (1). Derek (30) who has his own business in the building industry here on Auckland's North Shore is married to Tina whose degree in nursing was subsequently put to use in Neuro Intensive Care initially and then later in a high dependency unit at The Starship, Auckland's Children's Hospital. They have two children, Oliver (7) and Brittany (5).
It's not a matter of great moment in the world but I have been rather pleased to note that my sons have also started their respective families with sons, as did I, and my father before me, and his before him, and his before him .... going back I know not how far .....
For the past few years our daughter, Keren (25), has been a small part of the (UN) International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Exhumation Team in Bosnia dealing with the aftermath of the Sbrenica massacre. She is presently in Europe saying goodbye to friends in UK and workmates who are winding up the ICTY facility near Sarajevo.
They are all dependency-free, music-loving, well-mannered, family-oriented, caring kids with the gift of hospitality and sharing in general, and well worth their place on the planet. My sons are far better fathers than I was on my best day, and if Keren follows her mother's example she too will contribute something very worthwhile to both her generation and those on either side.
In 1971 when the boys were infants I left my Sales and Marketing management position, took a $2500 second mortgage on the house and started in business on my own account, designing the initial ranges from scratch. That was thirty years ago next month : I can hardly believe it !
Pursuit of projects and ideas and the like typically involves travel to various parts of the world several times a year. I enjoy the associated challenges and note that even when combining too little talent and money, keen effort (of a kind never quite summoned in school, it seems) has brought some reward and a lifestyle which has been unspectacular but perhaps more comfortable than enjoyed by some. Certainly I have always been grateful for the means to provide for our family and also have something to share with others.
Between now and trying to "shoot my age " at golf .... aged 88 .... there will hopefully be the time, means and good health for more travelling ( without a briefcase ) attended by good food and wine ... and to do a bit more sailing. Each provides an excellent opportunity to contribute and / or experience some of the finer things in life in good company, and that seems to be a worthy, albeit not sole ambition. There are many others, including quiet pursuits , not overlooking the fact that from time to time one should stop and give thanks for so much provided and enjoyed in this life.
I am really looking forward to catching up with as many of you as possible, and in the interim wish you all Safe Journey to a happy reunion.