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


There is a DVD for sale which will include Memories & interviews put together for a presentation on the 75th Anniversary evening, plus a whole lot of stories we could not fit into the evening and film footage of the dinner evening itself. There will be some order forms with a cost of $20 plus postage and handling.

We have got our merchandise up and running on the APP and on the website (click on the order online button in the top right corner of this page and the home page). We have polos shirts, singlets, hoodies, ties, dress shirts, stubby holders, golf balls, the Anniversary Book, Hats, Membership to the Old Boys Association and the Farrer Foundation. These can be purchased online and picked up on the weekend or sent out with a postage fee attached.


Cheers for now
Jock Stier
Secretary Farrer Old Boys Association

contact us.

75 Years Celebrations DVD Promo.






Email received 25/04/2015 at 8:43 pm

Hi Jock I would like to let you know that my father, John Bussell Woolaston passed away on 1st April, 2015. My Dad was one of the original Old Boys from 1939. He only spent one year at Farrer as the War broke out and he had to leave school to run the family farm with his mother. His father died when he was 10 & the farm manager enlisted in the war. Dad had fond memories of his year as a boarder at Farrer and would tell us how he help plant the poplar trees that did line the driveway. Just thought I would let you know as may be of some interest to you as the secretary of Farrer Old Boys. Regards Lynn Abrahams

Email received 30/03/2015 at 6:26 pm

Hi. I was unable to be at the 75yr reunion last year but hope to make this years Old Boy’s reunion in September. My Dad, Bryan Cedric Walker Blake Born 25.10.1925 from Cobbora. NSW, was one of the original Old Boy’s at Farrer. He sadly passed away November 2013 aged 88yrs. He did go to a few reunions over the years & he had also donated items to the Museum. I believe one of the items was his diary that he keep whilst boarding there? If not it was a copy of it? There is some other items i would like to donate please. Please contact me via email so as i can discuss this. Thank you kindly Mary-Jane Blake. ( Bryan’s daughter)

Email received 24/12/2014 at 8:53 pm

I was at Farrar 1961 – 1965 as a boarder. I would be interested in joining the Old Boys (belatedly). I have been around quiet a lot, at the present I am the Depot Manager at Seisia at the Tip of Cape York for a shipping Company. Have worked as a Plantation Manager of Copra, Cocoa & Rubber in PNG as well as many other jobs. Graeme Boydell.


Email received 30/09/2014 at 6:41 am

Hi Jock,congratulations on putting together the reunion. Had a great time. Here are my current details,maybe if you have a list of blokes in our year you could send them to me.Anyway, thanks again, Ill catch you around the traps, Gin Rennick.


Email received 29/09/2014 at 4:21 pm

To the 75 Years Celebrations Committee, Congratulations to you all for an excellent weekend of activities. The Dinner on Saturday evening was an occasion to remembered for ever. You had thought of everything, even the school bus transport to ensure a safe trip home after the dinner. My only regret is that there were people at the dinner with whom I did not catch up to have a yarn – maybe next time! Again, congratulations and thank you for your magnificent effort. Kev (Stack) Haycock.


Old Boys – September Newsflash

2nd October 2014






Organisers did great job with Farrer reunion

Oct. 2, 2014, 4 a.m.


HAVING attended the Farrer high school 75th reunion at TRECC, I would like to congratulate the organisers and caterers for doing such a wonderful job getting 800 people to attend and then seating them and feeding them a lovely three-course meal.

The fact Farrer had 41 students sit for the leaving certificate in 1960 and 33 of them attended from near and far to renew friendships 54 years later is impressive in itself.

Remember these “boys” are now 71 years old.

It shows me how much respect, loyalty and commitment to their teachers and teammates these boys had.

It shows what a wonderful character and respect for other cultures was built into these boys by Farrer.

The culture learned at Farrer and instilled into these boys gave them a better chance in life to succeed.

Having the school’s first 13 coach Geoff Fowler at the reunion was a highlight for me.

Congratulations, Farrer.

Bruce Kneipp

Farrer old boy – 1956-1960

Below is a recent email received on 24/07/2014 at 10:15 pm

Hello Jock,

I am contacting you as the daughter of one of the original old boys, Bryan Cedric Walker Blake formerly of “Talbra” Dunedoo. 2820. NSW Birth date 28.10. 1925. I have been meaning to contact Farrer to inform you of my Dads passing in November 2012. Dad would have liked me to have contacted you. He did attend a few old boy reunions & enjoyed them very much. He did tell me over time he had donated some items of his to the Museum. I regret that i wasnt able to accompany Dad to the old boys reunion in 2009 as i had hoped to do. He wasn’t particularly well and my oldest son was doing his HSC that year also. Unfortunately the following years since 2009 Dad & Mums health deteriorated and as well as a lot of other issues, prevented Dad getting back to his old school…..of which he had many happy memories. I think Dads diary was photocopied & put in the museum? I know there is items here amongst his possessions that id like to donate. There is two enlarged framed pictures which Dad had done professionally . One is a sketching of the school & the other is a blown up photo of head masters. I know there is another photo but my sister has it as it was in his room at the Narromine Nursing Home where he was for a few years before he passed away. Anyway id like to get the items together & maybe i could attend the next old boys reunion on Dads behalf, and bring them along with me. Will wait to hear from you.

With Thanks Mary-Jane Blake.