Monday, 26 March 2012


Thank you John Mc Gregor, for those beaut key rings

It really was a great afternoon and to be able to catch up with people I haven't seen for 50 odd years. I must admit though there were more than one or two faces I didn't recognise. The organising committee should take a bow for all their efforts.
Kind regards
John McGregor

John, it was our pleasure. Many thanks again to you and Mae for your generous gift of key rings for everyone who attended the reunion. Mine now carries the front door key so I will always be reminded of you, the reunion and TPHS every time I use it. Regards, Sue



Attended Telopea Park Primary School 1953-54 (Grades III & IV)

Attended Telopea Park High School 1958-1962

Memories: ….Memorising German grammar and German culture, thanks to Frau Watson

….the time Sue Falk pretended to faint in French to stir up Mrs Irzykewicz (I believe she ended up at a more appreciative school)

….being told in the bike sheds after school that Marilyn Monroe was dead

…the bus trip to the Snowy Mountains

…My unsuccessful effort at composing a school song: “Torment and terror, in dungeons dark and deep/In them do thy children sleep their last sleep/Over them bereaved mothers wait and weep/But still the children thou dost keep.” For some reason, Mr McPherson didn’t like it.

Post-school life:  Gained an ANU degree in Chinese in 1966; brief postgraduate studies in London; exchange student to China 1974-1975 in the last days of the Cultural Revolution. A fascinating time: imagine Shanghai with only 20 resident Westerners, Spartan living conditions (we rose at 5.30am for morning exercises) and cultural diet restricted to rigidly controlled propaganda. But I managed to make good friends with my Chinese room-mates and had some fine teachers; I still see them today.

In late ’75 returned to find the Dismissal unfolding. The expected revolution did not eventuate and I returned to the ANU where I met my husband. We were both doing history doctorates but ended up in the public service: he joined Foreign Affairs in 1979, and I joined the Education Department (aka DEET, DEST, DEETYA, DETYA) in 1985. There I worked mainly in a research job alongside a team of economists.

Our first posting was Singapore, to which we took 6-week old Lisa; Christopher was born there, and Owen in Canberra before our next posting, to Japan. (I married rather too late to follow my mother’s example of a child in every post and every space between postings, which resulted in nine children). We were also posted to Brazil (1992-1995) and most recently to China (2003-2006) and Brussels (2007-2010).

We’ve retired to a terrace in Sydney, where two of our children live (one is in London). A part-time online job polishing translations from Chinese for Social Sciences in China keeps my mind ticking over.  

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Your thoughts on the reunion .........

What a wonderful weekend, and some very special memories for every one of us. Looking forward to keeping in touch.

Best wishes,
Brian & Sue

I just want to say how much I enjoyed seeing you and renewing my friendship with so many people I knew and had lost touch with. All the events went remarkably smoothly due to an amazing level of organization. I know a number of people contributed to the organization, but I was particularly impressed at how you handled the possibility of rain by moving everything to your house for the barbecue. You seemed to have thought of everything and even managed to have a good time in the process, which I know is not easy when you have to anticipate the next thing to be done. The whole experience created an amazing feeling of camaraderie and shared connections. 
I hope we can keep in touch and I look forward to the possibility that there will eventually be a follow-up event.
The photos were great. 
Best regards,

What a weekend - a few confessions came out after so many years, including one of my own with respect to Helen Moebus. (now that should get someone's attention) - My big surprise was that Ida was only a few small farms away and within binocular distance except for the trees........
The reunion as it turned out was inclusive of quite a few "end" years, Transition, Intermediate certificate and Leaving and that to me was special and reflects our times.

Before I depart for Sydney at end of this week to look after 4 young grandchildren I just want to say how much I enjoyed catching up with you again after all these years. The girl with the thick blond plait was still there. The whole three days were truly enjoyable for me. Our photos looked like an Aged Conference and I loved looking at every single one of them.  Where have all our years gone. Now that is definitely an old lady speaking. I probably won't get to Canberra too often anymore now that my Mother is here in Melbourne but maybe if I do we could catch up. Thanks again for everything. You now deserve a rest but I am absolutely sure you won't be doing any of that.  
Warm wishes. 

Dear Friends,
Our 50th reunion was a wonderful occasion. many thanks to all of you who worked so hard to pull it off. The organisation, the activities, the food and the company were terrific.
I came home with a great sense of wellbeing, a somewhat different orientation, and a renewed fondness for Canberra.
If we could do that more frequently we could have some wonderful continued conversations.
I am going to write a blog when I figure out how to.
Thanks again for one of the all-time highlights

I would like to continue on Wendy's theme. I had the best time seeing you all again and learning of your life's adventures.
It was a real joy to see you all well and happy at our age and doing such interesting things.
Thank you Sue and the TPHS organising committee. I was amazed at how much work you all did to enable us to greet each other again. It was so much fun and a real delight to see you all after 50 years and I look forward to our next meeting in the not so distant future
My very best wishes to everybody
Helen Andrew

What a Reunion!!! It exceeded all my expectations and I have spent all morning trying to get my head around the right words to congratulate you and the other committee members on a truly wonderful weekend with the Class of '62. You took care of every detail to ensure that we experienced the best reunion possible. By Sunday morning 50 years had been erased and we were again those young people even though we may have looked different (just a little) on the outside!. You made this possible and I am sure I am not the only one who feels uplifted by the occasion. 
Rob did a wonderful job as MC and if it weren't for the Press Club eviction rules we would have been there a lot longer! 
You did Telopea proud and a truly memorable reunion it was from start to finish. Our memories of Telopea now have another chapter filled with much laughter and sentiment. 
Cheers to you all and take time out to celebrate those months of planning. 
Marg Knight (Davies) 

thanks for the wonderful photos 
love to you all 
Dear Committee members, 
Thanks for that, the photos are very impressive. Also thanks for all the take home pieces of memorabilia. 
All the best. 
Christina and Andy Rowe 
Can I add my thanks to you and the committee for all the work that you put into the weekend's activities. It was an outstanding success, largely due to your efforts. It was great to meet people again for the 1st time in 50 years. Thanks again for arranging it all. 
Jim McIntyre

Tired but happy?

What will I do this weekend?  After last weekend, rest up for a bit, work was a bit hectic this week or was I just tired? 
Thanks to our organising committee, you all did a great job, as you see by  our smiling faces!  snappy dressers too!
All the best for a very happy year
Lyn Kelly Page

A week has nearly past and at last I have found time to extend my thanks and best wishes to all for a wonderful time. 
Laurie and I were in awe of the organisation of the whole event.  I will hold in my heart the friendliness of everyone! 
Life is for making special memories and the reunion will certainly be one of those. Laurie and I wish you all a happy and safe Easter and look forward to meeting again in the not too distant future. Please do not pass through Tweed Heads without making contact.Kindest regards
Helen (Moebus) Ganter

I hope the committee aren't too flat after the BIG HIGH!
wondered if you had a contact for John Mc Gregor. He provided the keyrings, didn't he?
I would like to thank him for that but couldn't see a contact address etc.
All's well back in paradise, if a little wet, but we did enjoy the weekend so much and appreciate everyone's effort.
Keep well and happy

(For everyone's information, his contact address is:

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Oh, what a night, it really was such a night!

Meet and Greet at the Kings home, 
Friday 16th March 2012

The cries of recognition were loud and the smiles were wide even after 50 years. An occasional age line here or there, plus the odd grey hair, couldn't stop the instant recognition.
Who knows, perhaps the name tags helped?

Bill, Sue's brother, felt right at home with everyone, although he attended Canberra High. He was however at Telopea for all his infants and primary schooling and knew most of our brothers and sisters 

Rosey and Jan, two close friends of Sue Upton's, helping out on the night and playing 'waitresses' as part of their Home Economics Work Experience  

Lyn Barlow, a close friend of Sue's, baked and brought her 3 dozen home made sausage rolls to the party. Lyn was a boarder at and school captain of Girls Grammar in 1957, so she thought dressing up was a good idea to prevent any confusion that she attended TPHS!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Well what an amazing reunion weekend!
The photos are now up on the web. Please have a look at
Scroll down under the 'Actions' box located above a photo you are viewing, click View all sizes, then click  Download the Large size of this photo

Ailsa Grant was unfortunately unable to attend at the last moment. At the reunion dinner Judy passed on some of her memories. Below is the full interesting story:

I appreciate that my small contribution will be probably too late but I have spoken today with Judy Summerhayes and I was so pleased that she used student names, some of which would have changed over the years and which I wouldn't have recognised.

She was kind enough to provide me with an up-date of the dinner program. It all sounds so good and I would really love to be with you all. Perhaps another time. What a wonderful job the committee has done in bringing you all together.

I was sharing some of my memories of Telopea:

·         of Moore House - sorry I don't remember the other house names - I was mistress for a time. Competition was intense as each house conducted money-raising events to raise more money the school culminating in the annual school fair.

·         Moore House conducted a MIss Telopea High School contest and students paid to vote. You are correct if you assume I am not proud of that, however it was a great money-raised and there was even a floral tribute to the winner. Sorry, I don't remember her name but I can see her face quite clearly.

·         Moore House held a Woolshed Dance that year, complete with hay bales donated by students who lived outside the "city". Mr Barbour was MC and played a recording by Acker Bilke of Le Petit Fleur.

·         Sharing a staff room on the end of "the verandah" where I would be "safe" with Yvette Flynn.

·         Umpiring hockey matches on Saturday mornings in winter when every other sport but Rugby Union and Women's Hockey had cancelled their competition due to inclement weather. For inclement read sleet , snow, freezing wind, electric storms. The hockey fields were on the flats behind the old Canberra Hospital, long since under the lake.

·         Selling raffle tickets for only three-pence for half a side of lamb donated by Roger Wotherspoon's family.

·         I really enjoyed singing the school song.  Will you sing it this weekend?  Hope so.

·         Travelling back and forth to school (sometimes without the fare!) on the bus past the Acton and the old hospital and over Lennox Crossing, past the Albert Hall, where the school dances were held, and on past the dignified Hotel Canberra.

There is, and will always be a very special and warm place in my heart for Telopea Park High School, for the students I taught, the staff, the parents, the oval with its trees. Approaching the front door each morning, signing on, walking the parquetry corridors and the view of the oval from the Science Staff Room windows (when I had graduated to the first floor Science Staff room) remain the happiest memories of my teaching life.

I have been brave enough (I am excessively sentimetal) and fortunate enough to revisit Telopea, to walk around the perimeter and to enjoy memories of my time there and I left with a feeling of warmth and a deep appreciation and gratitude for my years there.

A Final note

The hostel in which Rosemary Colman ( Music Teacher) and I lived is long since demolished. A plaque in the park where Floriade is held marks its location.

At Newcastle High in the 70's I taught a student whose father had constructed a garage from remnants of our hostel at their home in Yarralumla. I really liked that connection.

Ailsa Grant

Monday, 12 March 2012

The reunion is getting pretty close now and excitement is building, but that does not stop the BIO writers.

Her is one from Pam Hill (now Taylor):

Hi to everyone – I am sorry I am unable to attend the reunion – but I hope that you all have a great time catching up with one another.  It sounds like it will be great fun.

It has been great to read some of your bio’s and catch up with what you have been doing.

I attended Telopea from Kindergarten (Mrs Woods and the big wooden rocking horse I do remember) to the Leaving certificate and I have many fond memories of my time at school. I still have some memorabilia including 2 dresses worn to the 4th and 5th year farewell – (an apricot satin number and a mauve net with a silver thread through it) – very interesting after 50 years!

After school I studied at the Tech College and then worked as a Steno-Sec at the Attorney-General’s Department, where I was bonded for 3 years.

After marrying Col, we moved to Sydney where I worked for a short time for Hoover, before having our first son, Andrew, followed by a second son Campbell.   We then moved to Bega for Col’s work and bought a small farmlet at Brogo where we have lived for the past 40 years.   In Bega we had identical twin girls to complete the family.   We have thoroughly enjoyed raising our family and living in Bega.  I worked for a number of years at the Rural Lands Protection Board in Bega.

It has been a privileged place to live and we have enjoyed being involved with our church, and such pursuits as tennis, squash, sailing, rural youth, Brogo Hall committee, and of recent years, the Southern District Exhibit at the Sydney Show.   Col’s hobby of growing tall bearded iris – has taken us each year to the Moruya markets to sell plants during the flowering period. 

We enjoyed a trip overseas in 2006 visiting Thailand, Europe and the UK. The rest of the time we enjoy catching up with our children and grandchildren – Campbell and boys in Moruya – Andrew and Michelle and family (a minister at Gungahlin Anglican Church) in Canberra.  Kirsty and Ari and family (St Judes Anglican Church, Carlton Victoria (Liz, I could have popped into La Mama Theatre to see you!) but now moved to Croydon in Sydney. Fiona and Phil and family (Minister at Campbelltown Baptist) and living at Raby NSW and my mum and dad (who have just celebrated 70 years of marriage) who still live in the same house in Canberra that I grew up in.