Richard (Dick) Jones
Our group lays claim to a couple of notable firsts for ASOPA. We produced the only two issues of Vortex magazine. Some of our group still have copies of this estimable publication, but not only do I not possess a copy I have virtually no recollection of what appeared within its covers.
However, as a prelude to a 30-year journalistic career I wrote an article about our 1st year versus Val Murphy’s 2nd year rugby league ‘biffo’ match for the first edition of Vortex. It took the promptings of other 1962-63 course members, plus the irrefutable proof of a hard copy of the aforesaid article, to jog my memory about the rugby league match report.
Our group also staged a revue at the Mosman Town Hall in 1963. The Natives Are Restless caused the Reverend Bomford of the Anglican parish of Mosman to remark: “We don’t want our Christian work in this parish undone by you people at ASOPA.”
No doubt representatives of other years will say that they, too, have developed a special camaraderie down the years. Nevertheless I would like to state publicly that we have a unique bond thanks to the efforts of our organising committees for the first two big reunions in 2002 and 2005.
In closing I would like to remark that as excellent an experience as was ASOPA, it was really only the entree. Papua New Guinea served as the main course. For my own part and along with a number of my course colleagues I racked up 13 largely very happy years there.
[Photo: Richard Jones with Col Booth]