Henry Lawson class of 61-65 gather’s in Grenfell again

Some 31 Henry Lawson ex-students and partners enjoyed the Spring weather on the October long weekend in Grenfell in order to gather for their fifth re-union some 53 years after completing school in 1965. Full story in Friday’s Record.

Once again many of the group travelled from inter-state in order to attend the event which recognized the fact that many of them had, or were soon, to turn the grand age of 70.

Lucy Chamberlain (nee Batty) and husband, Bill, Pat Johnston (nee Luckie), together with brother, Noel, and Wendy Norrie once again travelled from Queensland as did Jan Walsh who has recently moved to Gympie from Tasmania.

Jan, together with other “first-timer” Paul Taylor from Sydney, were attending their first re-union and were pleased they made the effort to do so.

Other regular  traveling attendees included Kerrie McDonald and brother, Noel Stonham from Canberra; Lyn McBride (nee Walter) from the Central Coast; Kate Mason (nee Lee) and Rhonda Schouten (nee Payne) both from Port Macquarie; Kevin Bristow and Bill Austin  from Sydney; Gai Hudson (nee Troy) from West Wyalong; Doug and Kate Fraser from Port Stephens; Dorne Bell (nee Fraser) and husband Graham from Coffs Harbour; Richard Smith, Cootamundra; Ron Webb, Murrumburrah and; Di and Owen Hasler from Gunnedah.

They were joined by “locals” Richard Loader and Noeline Percival, Ian Jones,  Robert “Butch” Baker and wife, Julie-anne, Norman and Robyn Horne, together with Bob and Lorraine (nee McNickle) Bradtke,  for the weekend activities including the Saturday evening dinner conducted at the Country Club.

“We had a fairly busy schedule yet again,” co-organiser Owen Hasler said, “with an informal gathering at the Bowling Club on Friday evening, a trip to Cowra to visit the POW Camp-site, Visitor Information Centre and lunch at the beautiful Japanese Gardens on Saturday courtesy once again of Loaders Coaches, followed by the Dinner at the Country Club on Saturday evening and a BBQ luncheon on Sunday.”

“Classmate Richard Loader drove the bus on Saturday and , with the assistance of Ian “Dooley” Jones, we had a running commentary throughout the trip describing developments in the area.”

A number of apologies, principally due to family commitments involving grand-children’s activities and health issues , were noted at the Saturday evening dinner event.

Noel Stonham, former local and both science teacher and very successful basketball coach  at The Henry Lawson High School in the 1960’s, spoke of his commencing duties at the school under the dynamic leadership of Harold Goodwin, an icon at the school for many years as Principal.

Noel saw Harold as a tough task-master but a good team builder who encouraged staff and students to be innovative and to be goal setters in life.

Noel had a number of humorous anecdotes from his time at the school and also mentioned a number of his fellow staff, many fondly remembered by the gathering, but who are now deceased.

This year’s magnificent cake, prepared once again by Kerrie McDonald, featured the words of the school song and image of Henry Lawson on top, was cut by Kerrie and Noel in tandem-a fitting recognition of their commitment to the school and the class re-union

“It was another memorable event,” concluded Owen Hasler, “and it is a very positive recognition of our time in the town and our friendships made at the school that we are still in touch and enjoy gathering as the years pass by.”

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