Reunion - Perth, W. Australia - 1st Nov 2009
Reunion - Perth, W. Australia - 1st Nov 2009 |
Photos & text supplied by Mick Parry
Michael Purves will deny it, but the one-time Nicholson schoolboy takes on canine characteristics when it comes to
Old Cambrian matters.
There’s a bit of terrier, a sniff of bloodhound and lots of Australian cattle-dog thrown in when given a task.
It’s why he managed to round up 42 Old Cambrians for the first true gathering of Old Cambrians in Western Australia
held at The Cove Indian Restaurant in Perth on Sunday, November 1st.
With a nucleus of names collected at the annual East African Schools Picnic, Mike set about expanding the list. Hitting
the phone and the internet he found various Old Cambrians around the state and the country – and a few were surprised
to hear from him. “I don’t know how you found me, but I’d be happy to come,” was music to Mike’s ears. Those who
hesitated were not allowed to escape. With a terrier’s tenacity, Mike would not let go and used follow up calls to
persuade others to join the mob. He pleaded, implored and beseeched – snapping at the heels of stragglers to
persuade then to attend.
As a result of his persistence, a total of 74 people attended the curry lunch and the Old Cambrians and partners who
turned up were glad they made the effort.
Among the first to arrive was Rory O’Toole, doyen of Old Cambrians in Australia, who was accompanied by Val, his
partner of more than six decades. They were married in 1946. Rory left the Prince of Wales in 1938 - before many of
the others attending the lunch were born. Rory was not the only old timer in attendance. Geoff Frere, who started
at the school in 1941, also turned up. Waddy Fear, (who joined the school in 1941), arrived resplendent in blazer
and Old Cambrian Society tie. He was soon receiving his name badge while wife June and daughter Melanie received
their corsages. Bob Horne, who was also at school at the time of second headmaster Bernard Astley, was another keen
attendee at the lunch. Representing later years were David Buchbinder and Ted Grobicki, who started at the Prince
of Wales in 1962. Visiting from UK was Chris Clarke (Nicholson 1954-59) who attended with wife Alison.
The years fell away over the next few hours as old friends reminisced and new mates were made. Mike had the rooms
decorated with balloons in house colours and the tables had serviettes matching the school colours of blue and gold.
He even made house ribbons in their colours and had a painting of the school badge and motto at the entrance. And
Western Australia is home to a splendid historical item from the Prince of Wales – a striped pre-war Old Cambrians
blazer, kindly donated by Rory O’Toole, and now encased in a glass frame by Mike.
Mike did not stop there: He begged, borrowed or bought a variety of gifts for an impromptu auction to raise money for
the Nyumbani Orphanage in Kenya. Judging by the e-mails, phone calls and letters received after the event, the lunch
was a great success and those who attended really enjoyed the outing. Mike is modest about his input. “I just feel if
you’re going to do something well, you might as well do everything you can to make it the success you want it to be.
“I did get help from Mick Parry and his wife Val and I thank them for sharing the load on the day.”
According to Steve Le Feuvre, Old Cambrian Society webmaster, the Perth gathering rivaled the numbers attracted to
the annual gathering in London.
Naturally, a repeat of the luncheon is planned for next year and there’ll be an extra effort to at least equal the
number of Old Cambrians who make it to the RAF Club each year. There’s nothing like a bit of friendly UK-Aussie
rivalry to spark the competitive spirit.
For the record, the following – in no particular order - were at the lunch: Rory O’Toole, Waddy Fear, Dave McFarnell,
Bob Horne, Roger Lutkens, Mick Parry, Harvey Storm, Hugh Smith, Derek Milton, David Forrester, David Wyber,
Chris Clarke, Hector Munro, Mike Chartres, Brian Galton-Fenzi, Michael Darling, Ed Sulkowski, Alastair McKechnie,
Geoff Frere, Jack Collier, Mike Purves, Barry Chapman, Mike Lawrence-Brown, Jim McMahon, Tony Erith, Richard North,
David Buchbinder, Richard Matthews, Rod “Bunny” Norie, Ted Grobicki, Henk Lippinhkof, Brian Markwell,
Roger Mytton-Watson, Mark Young, Derek Gooch, Roland Alison, Stan Bleazard, Joe King, Steve Phillips, Alan Martin,
Neil Millar and Paul Cahill.
Unfortunately, a couple of other Old Cambrians who were due to attend had to pull out at the last minute. At the time
of writing, Mike was herding them towards the headmaster’s office .........
The venue: The Cove Indian Restaurant
Pre-lunch drinks: Harvey Storm (extreme right) notices the camera
Table for nine: Clockwise from left: Rory and Val
O’Toole, Jay Daden, Brian Markwell, Henk and Anne Lippinkhof, Jack Collier & David Forrester
Shelagh Chapman, Hugh Smith, Jack Collier and Tony Erith
House colours on display
The framed Old Cambrians jacket has pride of place among balloons depicting house colours
Rory O’Toole and Hector Munro
Sally and Michael Darling with Stan Bleazard
Jim McMahon and Dave McFarnell
Waddy Fear chats to Geoff Frere
Rory and Val O’Toole
Henk and Anne Lippinkhof
Jay Daden with Brian Markwell
Brian Galton-Fenzi catches up with Jan and Joe King
Ted Grobicki and Libby Galton-Fenzi
Rosie and Richard North
Beryl and Ed Sulkowski
David Buchbinder with Daphne Grobicki
Chris “Nobby” Clarke and Roger Mytton-Watson
Neil Millar with Stan Bleazard
Mike Purves shows the framed Old Cambrians jacket donated by
Rory O’Toole, watched by Rory and wife Val
Barry Chapman and Michael Darling
Hugh Smith and June Spouse
Roland Ayling, Richard North and Derek Milton
Rod “Bunny” Norie and Waddy Fear
Alan “Lanky” Martin and Hector Munro
Geoff Frere and Richard Matthews
Bob Horne with Jean and Derek Gooch
Raffle draw: Marlene Lutkens draws a winning ticket from the hat held by
Mike Purves, watched by Roger Lutkens
Flash from the past: “Bunny” Norie shows off house colours
“Bunny” Norie's Old Cambrian Society badge and Scott House colours
Geoff and Alison Frere with Paul Cahill
Mick and Val Parry
Val Parry with Mike Purves
Waddy Fear has a chat with organizer Mike Purves on the way out
Val Parry, Michelle Lawrence-Brown, Norma Phillips and Mike Lawrence-Brown
Shirley Parker with Mike Chartres
Alastair McKechnie with Steve Phillips
Brian Markwell and Bob Horne leave with their raffle prizes
Jack Collier, pictured with Mark Young, was happy with his prize of a Tusker poster
Uttermost effort: Alastair McKechnie thanks Mike Purves for the event
Rosie and Richard North, David Wyber and Hugh Smith
Joe and Jan King
Those were the days: “Bunny” Norie, Rory O’Toole and Roger Lutkens look at an old sports photo