MrJoop

Ramsgate, Australia

In 1969, I enrolled in the “Art Teachers Conversion Course”. It was my first experience of formal art lessons. Soon other...

Time Machine- I've just been back to December 1961, when I was seventeen and it was a very good year.


I just turned on the t.v., to watch the tennis, while having lunch, after editing sections of 8mm film, taken in the playground of Maroubra Bay High School, by friend, Hans Tiller, in December 1961.
On Channel 7, the first thing I saw was a promo for a program about how students at high school are out of control.

As always happens, this was just after I’d been looking at scenes from our 1961 Muck-up Day.
There was such a link!! The Channel 7 promo showed brief flashes of high school students, milling around.
My friend’s movie shows MBHS students milling around. But it makes our muck-up day seem so mild.
On that one day only, a teacher’s car had been advertised for sale, by the students, in the paper.
A teacher’s car had been pushed from the parking area into the playground.
Ties were burnt and boys ran around with garbage bins, filled with water trying to wet fellow-students.
That was it! In 1961.

The first time that I viewed this old movie, on a dvd, which Hans has lent to me,two days ago, it was like stepping back in time.
I actually took a few photos, at that same time but seeing an animated me, age 17, chatting with the girls, in the playground, was still for me a look back at me.

Actually, those two young men, in the capture above, met up again, in October, 2008.
Along with Hans Tiller, who filmed the 1961 scenes.
Someone else held the camera for Hans, on that day, in 1961. Was it me? Or his sister, Monica?

It’s fair to say, that at Maroubra Bay High School, particularly those of us who had been transferred there from South Sydney Boys Junior High (when that closed) had a bloody good time.

Hans took the opportunity to film the Maroubra Bay High School boys playing rugby league, capturing this shot of a school friend’s face covered in blood.

The revival of all these memories has come about because we are having another MBHS reunion. This time, on the 7th of March, to mark the 50 years since MBHS was opened and these girls will be there!
If you visit: mbhs59.ning.com you will actually be back, like I was, in 1961 and hopefully recognise some of these people.

Look!! There goes Allison McCallum. We were pretty proud of her. She went a long way to the top, as they say, as a singer.

There’s Erica, not too keen to be filmed. She and I did a small Charleston routine, on the stage, at MBHS. (Part of The History of the Dance.)

And there goes Rosie.
Only people reading this, who are my age, will understand that around that time (early 60s), particularly on T.V., there was a revival of Shirley Temple movies and, Rose won’t perhaps be impressed, but that curly hair and ready smile!

And that’s Peter Hood, the drummer! O.K.. He had other talents but he was part of the band, The Atlantics, and we MBHS students were a bit proud of them . (Still are.) Even though I was a bit too conservative for Rock ‘n Rool, I do so much remember attending their gig, in the little hall, at South Coogee!
Through the years, since, Peter has briefly crossed my path, once or twice.
On one occasion, literally!
I was driving through Maroubra Junction, feeling nostalgic about going past Bob Potter’s Dance studio, when I had to stop at the crossing and saw Peter on it.
But also said hello to him at the ballet concerts, that my daughter had a tiny part in and where he was in charge of the sound.

And there is Jeff, of course. Jeffrey and I became friends, when we were still at South Sydney Boys High.
We have met up again recently.
He came to my exhibition.

And that’s Mary. If Rosie made me think of Shirley Temple ~ and let’s not misunderstand! It was their own personalities that, of course attracted my attention ~ then Mary made me think a little of the other personality, then popular on t.v., namely Annette Funicello, and didn’t may of us have a crush on her, in those days?

In the mornings, just before catching the bus to school, there was not only Crusader Rabbit, but there was also the Mickey Mouse Club, on t.v., in those years.
It was at Mary’s birthday party, where, across a crowded room, I saw the girl who wold come to the first MBHS School Dance with me.
But that girl attended another school and this one was at MBHS!

And, when I first saw Hans’ film, I had one of those deep thoughts: I suspect that, if it happened all over again, I’d be attracted to the same people.
O.K.. Perhaps that’s not so profound!

Coming from South Sydney Boys Junior High, it was certainly a lot more fun, attending a co-educational high school – at that stage apparently, a bi of an experiment.
Well. We were happy.

Perhaps, on that last muck-up day, not all the teachers were happy but I suspect that most of them had a pretty good time with us.
POST SCRIPT:
I hope you’ll have a look at those scenes , in context.
Sadly, at this stage, my iMac will not directly accept the scenes, from the film embedded on DVD.
So I had to resort to videoing it from the screen.
I guess that if you were there, at the time, that won’t matter. I hope.
ELSEWHERE I have shown my captures of those years, before, like…….

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See you March 7th, in the Galaxy Room, at the A.J.C., in Randwick, if you were there, in 1961!

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