Arthur Michael Streeter
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The only thing of note that happened to me before I came to NSBHS was that I contracted polio as a child. I recovered fully and was more interested in reading than sport afterwards.
I transferred from another high school into NSBHS in 1959 when my family moved to Willoughby. NSBHS was a formative time for me – involving fights, music and real friendships.
After leaving NSBHS, I entered Sydney University but my father’s business fell on hard times and money became a problem. I was lucky enough to get a cadetship with the Repatriation Department which enabled me to continue my studies.
At SU in first year as a trainee Scientist, I made an interesting observation. There were far more girls doing English and History than distinction Maths or Physics. Coincidentally, I developed an interest in English and History. So I often attended these lectures in my spare time. This gave me the common interests to speak to Arts girls. Consequently, I found Manning house more amenable than the Union Refectory.
But all good things must come to an end and, after being lucky enough to top Microbiology in 1965 and with a shiny new Science degree in my pocket, I took up my duties at Concord Repatriation General Hospital. My duties over the next few years included performing urgent out-of-hours blood testing and blood bank work. In those days, when I flew through the streets to the hospital in my EH Holden at 2 or 3 am, one would literally not see another car. Most of the patients were WW2 diggers and, I must say, it was a pleasure and a privilege to work for them.
In 1972 I completed a part time M.Sc. in Microbiology. Having developed a taste for research, I applied for a Commonwealth Public Service Postgraduate Scholarship. With strong departmental support, I became the first CPS Postgraduate Scholar from the Repatriation Department. After my dissertation was accepted for a PhD by the Department of Surgery, Medical Faculty in 1982 there were rumours of a Nobel prize nomination. I know this is true because I started those rumours myself.
By now I felt I had done enough medical research and had become involved in organising the work of the Haematology Laboratories as the Principal Scientific Officer. I found that man management was a challenging task. I tried hard, achieving some success. However, on balance, I think I was better with machines than with people. Some said I had more in common with an integrated circuit than a biological entity.
Around this time microcomputers were just starting to appear for home use. I started writing computer games programs for fun and profit. Some games sizzled, others just fizzled. But no doubt a lot of young Australians zapped a lot of alien invaders using my software.
Turning to a more serious side of computing, I set up my software company in 1992 and sold our own laboratory software to hospitals until I retired in 2001.
As a retiree, I read, collect, and drink wine in preference to water. I still collect and enjoy the music of the 50’s and 60’s. I often find comfort in the memories of the salad days of my youth. Those extra-curricular History lectures seem to have resurfaced as I have developed an avid interest in military history. Also I have been honing my skills in home maintenance and carpentry. My power drill collection is legendary and they have named an aisle after me at the local “Bunnings”. I enjoy many wonderful moments with my dog “Laika”. And I’ve started every true Australian man’s dream, i.e. I am designing and building my own tool shed!
And now, in my sunset years, I think of those 3 gods, Fame, Fortune and Beautiful women. I’ve had a taste of each and no man should ask for more. They are, of course, gods with feet of clay. Life has taught me that, in the end, only kindness matters. I am hoping that my legacy will include the good thoughts of my wife and our son and daughter and their families.