30TH REUNION REPORT
It all began one evening in November with a phone call from Pam.
'Would you like to help organise a 30 year reunion for Watson High
'Um, yes. When is it?'
Yikes!! Not much time and so much to do. Annette and Kathy had also
been enlisted and our first meeting was 10% organisation and 90% "Do you
remember.?' Still, the plans were set, the invitation worded and the names
and addresses divided between us. Pam sent Salli the makings and she designed
the invitation which was quite impressive with the WHS badge in the top
corner. The invitations were mailed out in a frenzy and we all did some
detective work to chase up students with no contact details; luckily many
of the parents were still in the phone book. I also contacted Peter Searle
who had the names of teachers etched in his Random Access Memory.
As the RSVP date came closer the number of acceptances was a little
disappointing and we were considering asking our spouses along to bulk
the numbers! However, we did not count on Pam's enthusiasm which was contagious.
She was adamant that we had to start ringing around to encourage people
to come along. So we did and this elicited a great response. Most people
had been caught up in the pre-Christmas madness and it had just slipped
their minds. Our final figures were 48 (37 students and 11 staff).
At last the day arrived. Annette had made all the arrangements at the
Italo-Australian Club who were most helpful. We decided to arrive early
to put up the 'decorations'. Kathy had put a lot of work into posters of
school photos and photocopies from the 1969 Namalata magazine. She had
also forwarded all the e-mail responses to me and I had managed to enlarge
them (easier on older eyes) and we put these up around the walls. It was
interesting to read messages from Michael Penny, Pamela Bourke (Crooks),
Shirley Brooks (Wind), Koby Boer, Chris Lumb, Debbie Vanvoorst, Paul Kwaczynski
and Grahame Niemann. They were much appreciated on the night and caused
much interest. Some of the class photos did also - there are still some
faces that no one can remember. Balloons in the school colours added a
festive touch and I can now add 'balloons, helium inflation of' to my resumé.
As people began to arrive the noise level grew louder. Those who hadn't
seen each other for 30 years started catching up. Name tags were a useful
fashion accessory. It was certainly great to see everyone again, especially
the teaching staff. Photos of children were doing the rounds of the tables,
and musical chairs and mingling were the order of the night. Giggling also
made a comeback as memories long forgotten resurfaced with a little prompting.
Vicki and Yolanda (cheerleaders of yore) gave resounding versions of
not only the WHS war cry but also that of Ku-Ring-Gai High! I will reproduce
ours here because it is unusual to say the least:
'Aranda, Barada glubba glubba glot
Karumba, Pinjarra give it to them hot
Play the game, play the game, tackle them true
Red, white, aqua, blue
Glubba glubba glot - I kid you not. Who thought up that one?!
A good idea was to drift from group to group and catch strings of conversation.
Guy Holden and Maurice Beatton shared memories of 'six of the best'. Jan
Watson bravely admitted to 'being there' when Erika Wymark's school hat
jumped train on the way to Ku-Ring-Gai High. Louise Blue revealed a much-loved
piece of paper signed by teachers and staff of the very new school wishing
her happiness in her upcoming nuptials. There were mutterings about the
incident-packed science excursion to Gerroa near Kiama. Girls (and I say
this unashamedly, because the years truly fell away) remembering what they
wore to the Sixth Form Farewell (or 'Formal' in today's parlance). Visits
to Ku-Ring-Gai High and the billets we stayed with and the distance some
of us had to travel by bus to reach our accommodation. Memories, too, of
many and varied extra-curricular activities that took place in the classrooms,
especially when the teachers were called out. And who can forget the saga
of the mid-calf socks and too-short sports tunics?
There was also a consensus that Errol Sweaney was a man before his
All of the memories must have been good ones if the smiles and giggles
and even uproarious laughter was anything by which to judge. But it wasn't
only memories of our school years; there was much swapping of information
on what has been happening in the intervening years - further education,
jobs/careers, marriages, children, grandchildren, travels, hopes for the
future. And through all this ran a common theme: 'When is the next reunion?'
Some want it at 35 years, others at 40. Whenever, I can recommend getting
involved in the planning of same; the 'committee' meetings were almost
as much fun as the night itself. And now we have your addresses!! Delegation
is a wonderful art.
Salli displayed her considerable talent in organising a group photo
- no mean feat with 48 people. Two young staff members very graciously
took photo after photo after photo with at least a dozen different
cameras. It is a great photo. Kathy's determination and her son's expertise
have resulted in this wonderful website - haven't things come a long way
in 30 years?
On a personal note I would like to thank all who attended. It was a
great night and for those who couldn't make it this time you'll get another
chance. For a bunch of people close to 50 years of age we all look pretty
Beth Harris (Munroe)