On a beautiful spring evening in November 2012, the Class of 1967-1972 came together to celebrate 40 years since they completed their studies at Camberwell High School. We chose the Glenferrie Hotel in Burwood Road, Hawthorn to meet together as many of the Class of ’72 came from the Hawthorn area and the area contained a number of important memories for people.
On the night 49 classmates and 9 partners were able to join together including a number of people who travelled from interstate, such as Julyann Vacca, Michael Tyach, Charles Chan and Peter Henderson. Julyann spent 9 hours on a bus to attend which is a wonderful example of the great enthusiasm for the reunion. It was wonderful to see so many people really have a desire to link up and connect and to renew old friendships. Many of the group had hardly changed in those 40 years and what was significant was the way people could pick up friendships and re-connect so easily after such a long period of time. There were no long-winded speeches, only a photo opportunity that marked a pause in the evening’s conversation. It was interesting to see the different journeys people had taken, whether it be education, science, business in general – people’s life journeys had taken them in many and varied paths within Australia and around the world. Yet the common element that many expressed was an enjoyment for their time together at Camberwell High. It was so pleasing to see two teachers from the period, Anne Rusden (physics) and Christine Hermans (née Head) (Art teacher) at the event. There was also a sense of sadness of a few who had passed away over that 40 year period, and a willingness to share memories about the part they played in all our lives during that time at Camberwell.
Some of the comments received later were very gratifying: “It was wonderful catching up with everyone and feeling 17 again for a few hours.” “… thanks for your fantastic organisation of such an enjoyable night catching up with former (definitely not old!) classmates and friends.” “It was such a great night. It was so interesting to see old companions and to hear their stories. I am really looking forward to the next get together.” “I still don’t know who some of the people I spoke to on the night were. However the night far exceeded my expectations.” “… it was fabulous to catch up with so many people (some that seem like I just saw yesterday and others I had trouble recognising!)”
Clearly after 40 years the name tags were quite essential. Many thanks go to the group that came to set up at 6.00pm, Renee (née Landman) and Geoff Head, Jude Anderson (née Hirst), Charles Chen and Jan Jackson (née Bruder). Thanks to Benjamin Barzel for handling the name tags (marking the roll) and importantly taking the photos of the evening proceedings. These have been made available online to all present and to those who couldn’t make it on the evening for various reasons. Geoff Head also played a key role in selecting the menu for the evening and showed that he has the skills to be a judge on Masterchef, and Geoff and Renee Head made a major contribution by arranging for a selection of music from the 70’s – those golden oldies helped create the right mood for the event, people never stopped talking the whole night, there was a great sense of fun and enjoyment shared by all. We hope to see people in five years’ time with a few more wrinkles, a little less hair but still with a happy 17-year-old within.