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The ASOPA Class of 1966-67 plans its first reunion

 KEITH JACKSON

ASOPA logoYOU KNOW YOU'RE GETTING ON a bit when you begin saying things like, “It doesn’t feel like 50 years ago.” Well, it doesn’t feel like 50 years ago, in November 1963, that I left the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA) after two years teacher training to invest (some people might allege infest) the schools of the then Territory of Papua and New Guinea with my newly acquired teaching skills.

Four years later, the Class of 1966-67 went through the same remarkable experience and now, for the first time since they graduated from ASOPA in late 1967, they will reunite in Mosman, Sydney, on 1 and 2 February.

Middle Head, Mosman, was the location of ASOPA (you can read more about this venerable institution here) and visits to the old campus, recently restored, will I assume be de rigueur.

Generously, the Class is inviting other ASSOPA students, lecturers and their friends to participate in a range of activities including the reunion dinner at 6.30pm on Saturday 1 February at the Mosman RSL Club and Sunday morning breakfast at 9am at the Middle Head Café opposite ASOPA.

“It has been stated that the 125 people in the 1966-67 intake was the largest group of cadet education officer at ASOPA,” says organiser Tony Mikus, “but our collective memory has enabled us to muster only about 115 names; not bad considering there are no remaining records.”

The 1966-67 Organizing Group [who, apart from Tony, comprise Jan Raff (Garrad), Helen Pollock, John Colwell and Dawn McArthur (Taylor)], are still trying to locate these people:

Northern Territory A Group: Brendan Scarfe, Jim McInerney, John Wilkinson and Liz Wicks

TPNG B Science Group: John Westcott, John Fennell, Brian Maher, Bruce Marshall, Nigel Ralph

TPNG C Group: Bob Morgan, Chris Taylor, Lesley Gilmore (Ross), Noelene Randall

TPNG D Group: Darryn Jenkins, Pam Barber (Moore), Patricia Braceland (Crane), Sharon McDonald, Mick Bann

Anyone with information about any of these people should contact Tony Mikus on email tmikus@hotmail.com or 0420 868 368. Hearsay information would also be appreciated.

And if you are interested in attending this event, there is more information available on Facebook here or on the reunion blog here.

“We are expecting around 58-63 attendees,” says Tony. “We are hoping for more as collectively we think this might be the last reunion.”

Sadly, the organisers have confirmed that eleven of the original Class have died in the intervening years.

Comments

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Liz Marshall

To all Asopians... You may be interested in and as outraged as many people are about the proposed development proposals offered by the Sydney Trust for land and buildings at Middle Head.

The class of 1966/67 recently revisited the site and old buildings, now restored, and were amazed at the beauty of the area but the significance of the ASOPA site as known by us is perhaps lost to the younger generations.

Perhaps some grey power support from us Asopians to refresh memories and history would support the cause of the many who want to maintain the area as a public space.

Phil Fitzpatrick

I think there were two groups of kiaps at ASOPA in 1967. I was in the second lot.

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