2001 The Oz Reunion
The Diary Memories
(Madeline O'Connell Jones)
Rod what a gem! The website is fantastic! DID I
really beat you up at Quarry Bay? Surely not moi?! Tomboy yes mugger no
Is it possible to create an ongoing page where we can report our position and movements around the place? Graham and I are going to Vancouver for three weeks from 1st Aug to 22nd Aug to stay with my brother Tim who lives there - hope to drive and see Deny and Laara in Calgary (do they still hold rodeos!?) for a day or two. ..Like to meet up for a beer with anyone in Vancouver.
THEN in Feb 2002 we are taking my mum to Oz she
is meeting up with Anne Marie Lee and is dying to see Eileen Baker whom
she taught - are there any other DGS girls or staff that KGVers are in
touch with? Obviously Brian Eastman is in very close touch with Eileen!
Going to see Skip and Kathleen again when my golf swing is acceptable - straight line but lots of hits - I prefer horses.
Phil R the CD is so great Ive had so many friends
and family wanting copies Ive sung and bopped my way round a make over
of the kitchen and while marking piles of assignments - everyone got a
Keep mailing Madeline O'Connell Jones xx 10th May 2001
Rod, I am having such fun looking at this web site .. what great
photos.. what happy memories of a super week in Sydney. Have only got
as far as the first night .. for my computer thinks I have seen enough
this evening! I downloaded some enhancement a couple of days ago .. for
was not able to get into some areas at first. I suddenly tonight see
the Stevens sister with their specs on shortly after arrival! Hope to
see more. So many of the comments reflect my own thoughts .. yes a bit
scary to come to this first reunion .. for it had been 52 years(!!)
since I had seen some .. being one of the seniors amongst you. Brother
Alan and I started in April, 47.. and years later after Quarry Bay,
young Sylvia and Nigel followed. There were not many from my time .. and
until the Yum Cha lunch when the Ellery sisters, Corrine and Iris, Vera
Rumianzoff and Heather Harper appeared ... Terry Peters and I were the
oldest there! Now there's a sobering thought. So nice to see Terry and
meet his very nice wife, Bea.. who was one of those spouses who was such
a good sport.. for this old school pals reunion is not always easy. I
enjoyed seeing them on their New Zealand tour .. enjoyed having them
home for dinner .. and enjoying some of our superior New Zealand white
I have sent photos & news to Mike and Lee Salter(Leila Butcher).. to
Corrine, to Ira Smirnoff in NY, to Joan Franklin Izard .. a very
rewarding e.mail exchange is continuing. And posted old school photos
to Heather's sister Shauna Anderson in London - Shauna was one of our
great athletes .. on the field and in the pool.. not so well at
present. And Joan Franklin Izard .. such a super person, comes up with
strange memories ..you may be too young to remember the lunch room
upstairs.. god it was awful - we always inspected the soup for
toenails! I was head of table - either sub-prefect or prefect, and as
we all think of ourselves as awful teenagers, Joan says I was motherly
and kind and gave out such advice as "you must drink 8 glasses of water
a day".. and was head librarian under Mr. Atwell and learned the Dewey
system .. his teaching has enriched my reading life forever. Yes, it
was a great school. But I had my wild moments .. the first to produce
a pack of Churchman's No.1 in the prefects room.. and say what about it?
And when in Hilda Johnson;s cookery class we turned on a Christmas treat
for parents, teachers.. and made splendid Xmas cakes, not all the brandy
went into the cake mix ..pretty tame by today's standards.. but such
good memories. And our parties .. and our group picnics to Cheung Chow,
Lamma and other outlying islands.. just the best of times. Those
post-war years in Hongkong were a very special time .. and more recent
visits have disappointed me. This Sydney reunion has stirred very happy
memories, and I thank you and all the committee for a splendid time..
Where next? Bangkok (hot) Hawaii ..(Hmm)
I hope Vancouver comes up again - I gather that was a very nice place.
Enough waffle - thanks Rod for your great web-site - will look in again
Kind regards, Norma
(June (Lee) Tieken)
Thanks for your latest. I like all your ideas!
I shall be delving into the site today and most probably often from
thereafter, recapturing those great times I enjoyed while in that most
fascinating LAND OF OZ. It truly was named for that special continent! A
new-found friend, Jan Knight - David's wife, gave me an historical novel
about the Outback and the region around Adelaide that she had just finished
and highly recommended the 'read'. And it is so thorough and has so much
more meaning to me now that I have met folk from there and where the Reunion
took place. I am truly still a bit overwhelmed by what I really found. No
wonder so many of the KGV'ers returned to OZ. I grew up with many who had
come back from the war years spent in Australia and was impressed with the
strength of their characters way back then! Yes, the operative word has to
be "impressed" on my part of the WHOLE scene! So very glad that I was able
to make the Reunion.
Well, I shall be eager to see just who is on the website.
That CD that Phil R. put together for us all to pleasurably soar way off into
the ethereal each time it's played!! :)
See you are still requesting more for your web site. As I've just got the
last of my photos back give me a few days to sort things out and I'll get
back to you. I take it your address is on the list.
I think my daughter had one of the most memorable times at the reunion and I
think that I should get her to put in a contribution in view of all the
prizes that she won. Don't know what her favourite part was but I do know
that she would come back for another.
As for me I went down memory lane after having lived over there for 2 years.
Many changes in Sydney and many outlying areas.
Keep up the good work and I'll forward something real soon.
All the very best
Following are my thoughts and feelings about the reunion:
We were visiting Skip and Kathleen in Ireland in Nov 00 and were talking of the unique aspects of having been to school at KGV ( Kathleen saying she had never come across a school with such closeness and comradierie in terms of former pupil contact) and we heard of the reunion. We had just been backbacking all down the East Coast, sailing in the Whitsundays and visiting friends including my son Matthew plus partner in Oz and here was the opportunity to come back!
Although we've met up over the years with a pile of former KGVers this was to be my first reunion - I was excitied, scared overwhelmed and tearful as we entered the Canberra Room - then, the years fell away and we were all talking and sharing as if it had been Monday morning in school after a weekend break. No one was a stranger, everyone was a class mate - it was a humbling and loving experience. What nice people we all are! And why not indeed with our unique upbringing and healthy multiculturalism? My experiences of KGV relationships have helped significantly in shaping my thinking, my philosophy of life, my children's lives and hopefully all the kids and young teachers whom Ive taught over the years. That place has been forever on my lips.
I'm in danger of waxing on for a long time so I'll close on Graham's impressions and then come back to the site to say a few words about particular people whom I re connected with especially in the back of the coach to the Hunter Valley and of course I must thank Pete Poulson for the dancing - Pete you were supurb!
Graham was overwhelmed by the all encompassing nature of the reunion and how you all took friends and partners into the KGV circle with such generosity and sensitivity. We are a formidable group en mass with a level of intimacy which is difficult to comprehend and he felt so welcomed.
( Adam McIlravey)
Many, many thanks to all of you for the absolutely great Oz reunion, in both Sydney and the Gold Coast. Christina and I, and everyone else without exception, had a wonderful time - and are still talking about it.
Yes, I know it was a great place to hold it, and yes, you had great people attending, but you folks did organize and run such a wonderful program of trips and events without which we which we would not have appreciated Australia or the occasion half as much. You deserve one huge pat on the back (or if Maunie wants to arrange it - a huge hug).
We eventually made it back to the UK via northern Queensland where we had more wonderful experiences of Australia. The UK is full of wonders too - the weather, foot & mouth, high prices, etc, etc, so come on over some time, and if you are visiting London you are welcome in Bickley.
Adam & "Do you mind if I ask you a question?" Christina.
First thing, I would like to again say Thank you,
thank you, thank you, to
all of the committee members for putting together such an outstanding time.
It was so easy for the rest of us just to show up and enjoy it. It's hard to
put into words exactly how special and important to me our reunions are, but
I don't think my feelings are much different from those we all feel when we
get together. The last couple of years have not been the best for me, so to
be able to spend time with people I love was especially wonderful this time
around. Some of my thoughts...........
* KGV-ers are the BEST huggers.
* I love feeling 16 or 17 years old again, even if it's just for a short
* It was great to see Nicky V. again - the last time I saw him was when we
both left school in 1961
* Saw Mitch and Phillippa for the first time since 1961 also - and we both
brought the same picture to the reunion to show each other ! who says great
minds don't think alike.
* Phil, the CD is a winner. I'll keep sending you favourite songs if you
want to keep producing them. Thank you for the memories.
* Do we all love to dance ????????? I know I do ! Johnny, it was fun !
Is there a dance floor anywhere that's big enough for our reunions ?
* I fell in love with Sydney - you guys were right, it's a wonderful city.
I want to come back.
* It's always wonderful to catch up with old friends that I see at the
different reunions (I'm the lone KGV-er in this particular area !) and just
as wonderful to make new friends each time - Roy, you organize that reunion
in Hawaii, and I'll be there !)
* Thank goodness Anne (Reynolds) never changes.
* Thank goodness I'd seen "Love is a many splendored thing" before, so I
could follow the (silent) plot.
I could go on and on, but I won't. Sufficient to
say that it was wonderful to
be with you all, to be with people who share the same values, care about each
other, remember the school song (I always feel a little foolish singing it by
myself!) and who, like fine (Australian) wine, only get better with time.
Love to you all, Monica.
I want to thank all of you for the hard work you
put into organising one of
the best reunions. You should take pride in the fact that all your efforts
ended up in making a lot of old friends very happy, and given the
opportunity to update themselves as to what is happening to people who are
so very important to us during our youth. KGV and HongKong and our
schooldays is a VERY special part of our lives and memory bank.
It is always such a fantastic experience to see
old friends again, some we
have not seen for over 35 years. What makes reuniuons so wonderful is the
crazy, warm, fun loving group of people that attended KGV. Kids from all
walks of life. And when we see each other, we act as if we have never been
Reunions are full of mixed emotions. You cant
wait for the day it begins.
Then you have such a fabulous time that time flies, and before you know it,
it is parting with such sweet sorrows.
We all fully realise that father time is catching
up with all of us, but
for a magical two weeks we became KGV school kids again. Now everytime I
listen to Phil Rosenberg's CD I cant help but reminise and think of the
good old, fun loving, carefree days in KGV when everyone couldnt wait for
weekends to have fun with their friends, and to be sure, there was always a
few parties going on.
I look forward to seeing you all at the next reunion.
Hugs and kisses to everyone.
I also found some time to attend the KGV reunion in Australia. I must tell you all that it was a blast. Although going to Australia was the prime motivation, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed meeting the former students from prior years, most of whom are old enough to be our parents but what wonderfully fun people with rich life experiences to share.
They organized wonderful tours of Sydney and as I am writing this, they are off enjoying the second half of the reunion at the beaches of the Gold Coast.
The next reunion is tentatively scheduled for Bangkok in 2 years time, and the group has been pushing for Hawaii as a future destination.
Everyone was happy that someone from the "younger"
generation attended, and I promised to spread the word about the friendships
I have made. I really encourage you all to attend the next reunion.
I'd definitely go again, regardless of where it is held. But Bangkok
is certainly an added attraction.
Here's a couple pictures of me, a Joey, and Jimmy Gough. I'll let you guess which one is which. I met Jim for lunch near the Opera House before he jetted off to New Zealand for a month long stint. The brewery he works for, the Lion Nathan, bears an emblem of a lion that is eerily similar to the KGV crest. We had fun reminiscing about the old days up on Tin Kwong Road.
FYI, James Gough and I were in the same class, and his Dad was a teacher at KGV for many years.
The following is a poem I wrote for all exKGV folk about our enduring friendships.
True friendship is like the ocean
Vast and deep
Stretching forever towards
The horizon of life.
True friendship lasts
Through the sunshine and sparkle
Of rolling waves
And the darkness and gloom
Of the depths below.
True friendship is
Strong and enduring,
It doesn’t wash away
On the golden sand
Or against strong shoreline rocks.
True friendship endures
The storms and turmoil,
The calms and lulls,
To grown stronger
With each passing year.
Have endured time and distance
To survive as strong today
As in years past,
We are fortunate to have .......
Maunie L. Kwok (c) 2001
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