2017 Farrer Old Boys Re-Union

Dear All

It is now more than a week since our 2017 Anniversary Reunion held on 22-23 September.  Pat and I enjoyed ourselves and I’m sure everyone else did also.

There were 21 including partners at the Tamworth Services Club on Friday night for dinner and 13 at West Diggers Club for the official Farrer Old Boys dinner on Saturday evening.  All up they said there were around 140 of us in attendance on Saturday which was understandably down from the school’s 75th Anniversary Reunion in 2014.  The Saturday evening dinner was re-scheduled to West Diggers in town as the Refectory was required by a visiting basketball group.  We got to sit with Warren Loseby, Brian Rixon and Bill Kennedy from the 1952-56 Class at our table along with our own people.

It was again good to have Brian and Anne Riordan with us on Friday as well as Bill Heazlett from Brian’s Farrer 1954-58 class who happened to be up from Walcha on the day.

We experienced a quite hot and windy Saturday afternoon for the school Barbecue and most of us declined walking from the sports pavilion at the oval for the tour of the school on the day.  I think it was held there so we had more shelter.

It was wonderful to have Johnny Barwick with us after the recent loss of wife Viv.  Thanks for making it John it was great to see you.

At the Saturday evening dinner Principal Mr Clint Gallagher spoke to us as did Secretary of the Old Boys Association Jock Stier who as usual did a great job in organising the Reunion overall.  If I remember correctly the Principal noted that new dorms are to be installed where the Metalwork Workshop is and the old brick dorms are being converted to have bigger rooms and their own bathrooms.  He spoke of water technology advances being applied to irrigation systems in use and a Farrer Foundation is being established to provide help for students that are remote or can’t afford to pay.

I’m not sure if the stock roster system we knew is in use now or if students work the dairy.  I wonder if first year boys on herd duty must still rise at 3.30 am to get the cows in and face exams the same day.  I know some of us remember. I think it is safe to say Captain the Clydesdale no longer hauls milk by cart from the dairy to the Refectory as he did in our day.  I guess the Refectory would have a pasteurised source now.

We looked around the dairy area.  I guess the piggery that was once there has been gone for some time but we did notice milking of the cows was underway.  A sign says milk is being sold to ‘Devondale Murray Goulburn’ from FMAHS.  Another advertises the sale of bulls and rams from the school.  Sorry I’m just catching up.  While we rambled about there was a very contented black angus bull munching hay nearby which did not mind me walking up to him for a chat.

Well that’s it from me at this time.  Someone talked about a next reunion which if we wait five years will have most of us around 82 years old which sounds ominous though perhaps not for many of us sprightly youngsters.  Someone else suggested 2020 which is in three years and when many of us would be 80.  Those seem nice round figures and worth thinking about.  Any more thoughts?

All the best and take care.  Photos from our Friday night evening at the Services Club are attached.

All the best

Roger Pratt

  1. PSPhoto names: Farrer 57 men

Back Row L to R:  Bob Carr, John Nichols, Peter Gough, John Barwick, Bruce Ware, Bob Slack-Smith, Athol Pengilley

Front Row L to R: Bill Heazlett, Rex Squires, Brian Riordan, Roger Pratt, Col Cork, Brian McRae

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