JR class of 1972 - 2013 Wisemans Ferry Reunion
The Forty Year Reunion of the JR Class of '72 was conducted at Retreat at Wisemans on weekend of 19-22 April 2013. The weather on the Saturday was abominable with constant rain and the Saturday Tennis, Beach Volleyball and Barefoot Bowls events were all washed out.
The Settlers Arms
However many attendees took advantage of the opportunity to pay a lunchtime visit to the 1831 Settlers Arms Inn at St Albans and from about 4:00pm when the sun shone once more, the reunion never looked back. Saturday night saw an excellent buffet dinner in the Retreat's Riverbend restaurant.
Saturday Night Entertainment
After Dinner entertainment included a Trivia Competition asking participants to name the teachers and any three boys in blown up extracts from various class and sporting photos. Naturally there was a totally disgraceful emphasis on photos containing teachers in the highly fashionable mini-skirts of the time.
This was followed by an anecdote from Greg Heard who recalled an amusing incident he witnessed in 1971 involving The Boss and Deputy Headmaster Toft. The Boss knew how to handle his Deputy even if no one else could. There was then a surprise appearance from The Boss (Geoff Lock) who returned to address us once more just as he may have done at any Monday assembly during our 6 years at Ruse, except that the announcements made on this occasion were just a little livelier than usual.
Fine Wine "Tastings"
Later in the evening reunionists kicked on in the Games Room beneath the restaurant and a number of die hards continued the revelries in fine wine exporter Greg Corra's room, where Gory offered free "tastings" of some of Australia's best reds and whites. The spies report that this continued right through to 5:30 am.
Golf and River Cruise
The following morning a golf competition was conducted and Geoff Lock took 12 people on a River Cruise in his 30 foot cruiser. There was, of course, absolutely no truth in the allegations that Geoff had been one of the last to leave the Corra "tastings" the night before. Corra himself was up by 10:00 am riding his bicycle along the rural roads on the other side of the river. It is alleged that some of us are approaching the age of 58 or 59, but there was no evidence of this whatsoever in the behaviours of reunion participants.
Message from Tucker
Sunday Lunch began with a "Message" from School Captain Dave Tucker given by Vice-Captain Peter (Seppe) Wise. Despite his enthusiastic participation in the previous night's wine "tastings" Seppe delivered the speech to perfection and drew good laughs from every one of Dave's jokes and punch lines.
The Four Rusians
By the time the Sunday BBQ lunch began we had exactly 50 ex-students plus 2 teachers (Mal Bray and Louise Scott) and 25 kids and partners in attendance. Following lunch, Michael Miller and his band of enthusiastic thespians conducted a two part Show. The first act was based on Monty Python's "Four Yorkshireman" sketch and involved four well healed ex-Rusians trying to outdo each other with outrageous tales of their deprivations as working class schoolboys at JR in the 1960's.
The second act (and the one that put the entire audience into completely helpless hysterics) was The ROAST, a tribunal set up to examine various witnesses regarding the effects of an education at Ruse on the "personal, intellectual and moral character and development of its graduates". Under the watchful eye of the Judge (George Jackson) three witnesses, The Boss (Michael Miller), Bill Toft (Pete Smith) and Mr X (Greg Heard) were called and interrogated by Senior Counsel (Terry Daniel).
Mr X was interrogated on the lasting effects of being "forced" to perform female roles in the School Musicals and was a scream and a half. George was just perfect as The Judge, Michael was wonderful as The Boss, Terry perhaps found his new role in life as the Learned Counsel, but it was Pete Smith who totally stole the show with his portrayal of Bill Toft. The audience, even the partners, Retreat staff and the PA guy just killed themselves laughing at some of his lines and a few perfectly delivered ad libs. On one occasion a partner's mobile phone rang in the audience and without missing a beat, with perfect timing and delivery Pete responded "Right, you, my office", (speaking the words just as we had heard them so many, many times in the 1960’s) before launching seamlessly back into his evidence.
Photos of the Shows and of the Reunion generally may be found in various albums in the Photo Gallery
Seventeen guys plus partners kicked on into Sunday Night, most staying overnight at The Retreat. Perhaps fortunately, Gory Corra had headed off to visit his elderly Mum and the Monday hangovers were relatively tame.
Proposed for 2018. Any inquiries to Ron Lovitt (02) 9774-1873 or see 1972 website http://jamesruse1972reunion.webs.com/ for further details of reunions both proposed and past.
Ron Lovitt (1972)
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