It was the early 1960s.
John Laws and Bob Rogers were rival disc jockeys and they could be heard on the main part of Maroubra Beach, via the p.a. system.
Col Joy lived up the street, around the first corner, in a unit and one day actually came down to ask us not to park in the spot we’d found below his unit.
I was a student, at Maroubra Bay High School, which was opened, a bit further up the hill, in 1959, in the years of The Wyndham Scheme.
So, I was closer to the Surfies (The ones with the almost white hair, bleached, with the aid of lemon juice ) than the Rockers, although my best friend, at Maroubra Bay High School, lived in Palmer Street, inner city, and tended to dress like a rocker.
Maroubra Bay High School was brand-spanking-new and has long since, absolutely disappeared again. Confusing people who look for old school friends, on the internet.
But we know it was there!
I’ve said it before and I’ll write it again, the few times that I watched the T.V. series, Heartbreak High_, initially set on the abandoned site, of our Maroubra Bay High, to me the show echoed some of the atmosphere that I experienced at MBHS, between 1959 and 1961, even though the student-teacher relationships were quite different, in the series.
In the few bits of Heartbreak High that I watched, there wasn’t a rather short, stout, deputy principal, striding through the playground waving a cane.
(_It had lost its impact a bit, from when a previous deputy principal, at South Sydney Boys Junior High, where many of us were transferred from, used to merrily keep the boys in line by doing the thrashing, in the corridors, of the old building, in Avoca Street, where the echo worked very efficiently.)
(Don’t know how I got on to that aspect, it really wasn’t a major part of school life, at The Bay.)
However, I do suspect that there was a little touch of revenge in the things that some of my fellow students got up to, on Muck-Up Day, when we who had almost all come from the South Sydney Boys Junior High School, were there for the last time, as students, before the Leaving Certificate (After 5 years of secondary school) examinations.
The teacher, whose car had been secretly taken out of the car park and into the playground, needed it to be returned.
The advertisement, in the newspaper, claiming that a teacher’s car was for sale, had not gone down well either.
Looking like he is supervising the returning of the car, is Alex (green jumper).
Alex was one of the four of us boys, with a Dutch background. Although, unlike Hans, Jan and I, he did not come to the school via migrant hostels. He was boarding in Maroubra and he was, I believe managing The Atlantics, when that pop-group, which went a Long Way To The Top, took off, made up of MBHS boys and playing for Rock ‘n Roll dances, in the area.
I was no Rock ’n Roller. I attended one of these dances, in a hall, in South Coogee once.
I preferred the Pride of Erin, the La Bomba, cha-cha, and samba and particularly the rhythm dance and the March o’ the Mods!)
I used to admire Robert Potter, son of Dot and Bob Potter, who was doing so well in the (formal – competition-) world of Ballroom Dancing, but who could Rock ’n Roll, in the popular style (Rather than the stylised competition style) with the best of them.
(Aside: At the 2003 MBHS Reunion, Robert sat with me for a while, as I operated the DVD show, on the big screen.
I am a Kris Kristofferson fan, and a line from one of his songs is:
……..but I drank his beer for nothing, and then I stole his song!
Robert had a bottle of champagne. Offered me a drink and went away to mix.
He never came back. I drank his champagne, for nothing!)
This was an earlier festive occasion. The farewell dinner, held in the school library, when we, as Year Five students were about to sit for the Leaving Certificate and leave Maroubra Bay High School.
Mr James, can be seen in the background, wishing us good luck.
In the foreground Rosie and Julie, two girls from the younger year, helping with the serving of the food. Funny how some names stay in the memory!!
to be continued…..
Incomplete personal memories of Maroubra Bay High School, recorded because another (and last) reunion is planned for March, 2009.