Churchie Old Boys’ Association 50 Year Reunion for the Class of 1965
May I add my thanks for everyone’s being here today, to the Headmaster for allowing us to be here (I trust he won’t regret it), and to the Old Boys’ Association for hosting this event.
I know Malcolm Hazell would want his name to be added to those who have apologized for non-attendance.
We have all moved on well down life’s track; in my case as you may have noticed to the point where I can’t even be let out alone.
Our being here today reflects a view that Churchie was very good to us five decades ago. I am sure we were an impressive cohort! We certainly had an impressive Headmaster, as has been remarked on by others today.
I have, I think, finally forgiven him however for his Speech Night observation in 1965 that our sixth form was not as academically bright as the 1964 form. Dick Copeman was certainly a stunning Dux.
We all participated in school life in our own ways, but comprehensively, including in my own case, playing in the Under 15 Hs – when I was selected!
As I recall, Dick, who was always selected, and I, played on the wing. I remember being stung one Friday afternoon, looking with Dick at the listings for Saturday. Not on the left, I said, not on the right! No, said Dick, you have been “left right out”.
In those days we all got on pretty well together – boarder or day-boy, sportsman or academic, popular or dork – I think then the term was ‘nerd’ (I knew it well).
I am proud now to be a Churchie Old Boy Governor, and I am sure whatever qualification I may have to discharge that role was fostered by my experience at this fine institution.
I was very pleased that current Churchie Boys attended my swearing-in as Governor – at my invitation; and to my surprise, lined the driveway at Fernberg as I arrived for the first time in that role, which was a very moving experience.
The fabric of the modern Churchie is simply amazing. I used to conduct my own annual informal “review” during the Anglican Synod which meets in Morris Hall – when I was Diocesan Chancellor.
As to the campus, I would like, by the way, to be able to nominate important matters of State as the reason I could not join this morning’s inspection. It was actually something much more important – attending our granddaughter’s 7th birthday party.
But the campus aside, it is the spirit and ethos of the school which, to my observation, remain fairly much unchanged after 50 years; and we would all applaud that.
Now lest I become maudlin, I will now stop.
But before I do that, I must on behalf of all of us, thank Ian Marr and Robert Gauld in particular for having got us all together today in such memorable circumstances.
Robert may have had to endure some rebuffs, as he made those many calls he mentioned. For those of us present today, the positive influence of our development here in the 1960s has been nothing short of overwhelming.
Thank you all.
(Later, at half-time during the First XV GPS Rugby Game – Churchie v St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace, as the Governor’s departure was announced, the Governor said, on public broadcast:)
I am very pleased to have returned today, as Governor, for my 50 year class reunion.
At the insistence of the Chairman of the School Council, Mr Dan O’Connor, the Governor’s Standard was today flown over the Old Boys’ Pavilion.
To all the boys now on the field: today’s is the best of games, with the sides evenly poised.
My best advice at this point echoes that of an early Headmaster of Churchie – “finish hard”. I know the current Churchie Headmaster shares that philosophy.