Chris Wills

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Reading Ken Walker's contribution has prompted these few words on what has befallen me since leaving the hallowed sanctuary of NSBHS in 1962 - year later than many of you, and at the same time as quite a few of the rest! Regrettably my second shot at 4th year was the result of a less than attentive attitude to what our teachers were telling us, and a "fair only" conduct comment from T R Mason. In fact my eventual achievement of a Leaving Certificate, tertiary education and whatever has been achieved since, was a direct result of completely ignoring emphatic advice given to me in earnest sincerity by Barry Hall (Eng) and in less than controlled rage by Nancy Robson (Fr) who advised me that I was going to fail 4th year and should do my parents a favour and get a job asap.

After NSBHS I went to Sydney Uni graduating in Pharmacy in 1966 and in the process met Penny, my wife of over 33 years whose surname initial was also W and worked next to me in prac classes. After graduating I worked in retail (now called Community) pharmacy for a couple of years and in '69 we went to the UK for 6 months which turned into almost 3 years, where apart from taking a year off to travel and return home overland (via Iran - pre Ayatollah, Afghanistan - pre Taliban, and Nepal - pre the trigger happy prince) I managed the pharmacy in terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport.

On returning to Sydney I joined IMS Australia, the multi national market research company quoted in Ken Walker's bio, to work on MIMS, a drug directory reference for doctors. (He had left by then and I think it was called PRSA when he was there) As Ken noted I am still doing this although the job has grown and changed substantially through product range and ownership. Since '73 ownership of MIMS has gone from IMS, to Dunn & Bradstreet in 1988. In 1991 via an MBO to become MediMedia which we sold to the French conglomerate, Vivendi Universal (world's no 2 media company) in late 1999 to become part of Vivendi Universal Publishing, with MIMS now sharing brand space with The Gladiator, The Mummy, Jurassic Park, Eminem, Shania Twain etc. Heady stuff indeed. The strategic fit is interesting and may point to further change ahead. Who knows....

I travel to Europe regularly to meet with our owners and when time permits play tennis, ski and sail - all with a varying degree of expertise.

In the course of all this I (oops we) have brought up three sons: Brendan 26, currently an executive at Macquarie Bank, (who headhunted him from Syd Uni from which he graduated with 1st class honours in Elec Eng and Commerce); Lachlan 23, in his final year at Syd Uni doing civil eng and commerce; and Cameron 17 doing his HSC at Knox.

On the whole my memories of NSBHS and my fondness for the place centre on the very good friends I made during my 6 years there. We had some really funny times - too much fun as it turned out in 1960 - and many memories stand out. For much of the late 60's I kept in touch with some NSBHS friends from this year (Tim Edwards, Tony Tribe and Ken Walker - who dated a cousin of mine for a time), but as lives have the habit of drifting in their own varying directions so these contacts drifted. A pity really.