Behind the Directorate: Kerr on Conlon
Cats' big day. Dick's big day. Please copy

Mapping memories we didn’t even know we had

Map I don’t know whether this map is clear enough for you to interpret (just left click on it). But, for all of us who spent time at ASOPA or ITI or whatever they called it later, after the place was defenestrated, this image has significance.

Most of the huts were built in 1941 as an Australian Army Signals camp. What became the Hallstrom Pacific Library and the Principal’s administrative bunker were sleeping huts then. They were placed near the road where, if you’re a bureaucrat, sleeping huts should be. The old common room and canteen, remember those sweeping views across the harbour to Rose Bay, in those days were the signalmens’ camp mess.

The lecture room, where Jean Newcombe struggled to teach us biology, was a workshop. Jean had been naïve (or mischievous) enough to tell us that the Bird of Paradise mates upside down. Whereupon one bright spark interpolated: “Ah, it inverts and multiplies”. To be trumped by another genius: “No, it inverts and inserts”. Mathematics Method never had it so good.

There are battery rooms that became lecture rooms. And latrines that remained toilets. But isn’t it amazing that even a stark map can dredge up the richest of memories?


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