Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Australian Sojourn – March 2015

Part 9: A Reunion in Goulburn

NOTE: As of March 30 I'm back in Minnesota. But my series of posts on my recent sojourn in Australia continues . . .

After several days of family time in Melbourne, culminating in the wedding of my nephew Ryan and his wife Farah, I boarded a train and traveled to Goulburn, New South Wales. Goulburn is considered Australia's oldest inland city, and it was where I lived and taught as a primary (or elementary) school teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic School from 1988-1993.

My visit to Goulburn was a short but memorable one, primarily due to the wonderful reunion I had with over 20 of my former teaching colleagues at the Blue Plate Restaurant on the evening of March 17. It had been at least nine years since I last saw many of my friends who gathered at the Blue Plate. Indeed, my last visit to Goulburn was in 2006, a visit I document here, here, and here.

Above: While in Goulburn I stayed with my dear friends Cathy and Gerry Conroy. Gerry had been a teacher with me at Sts. Peter and Paul, and Cathy and I had studied together part-time at the Australian Catholic University in nearby Canberra in 1991-1992.

I'd also taught two of Gerry and Cathy's three children, Jacinta and Bernard. Jacinta and her beautiful family (pictured at left) are currently living in Goulburn. She and her husband are co-founders of Suluhisho Trust, a non-profit organization that facilitates sustainable social and economic change within communities in Kenya.

I have such happy memories of my time in Goulburn. Indeed, I realized that if (or is that when?) I move back to Australia from the U.S., I'd like to settle either in Goulburn or some place nearby.

Above: Friends and former teaching colleagues (from left) Louise Hobbs, Jackie Kruger, Kathy Klem, and Marion MacDonald – Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

Right: Marg Larkham, Michele Yeadon, and Jane Booth.

Above: Annie Zappia and Cathy Conroy. Both women were very supportive of me during my last year in Goulburn (1993) when I was criticized by some for expressing certain theological views through a series of letters to The Goulburn Post. For more about this, see the previous Wild Reed post, The Australian Roots of My Progressive Catholicism.

Left: Jacinta, Sophie, Gerry, and Louise – March 17, 2015.

Right: With Mike and Bronwyn – March 17, 2015.

Okay, let's go back . . . Above and following are some images from 1993, my last year in Goulburn. In the photo above I'm at left with a number of my Goulburn friends, including Mike Baker and Cathy and Gerry Conroy, who are pictured in the pictures from the March 17, 2015 gathering at the Blue Plate.

Above: With Mike Baker and Jane Booth in 1993.

Above: Jackie, Marg and Gerry in 1993. This photo and the previous one were taken at a party hosted by Marg and her husband Frank. I'm sure I was the one who bought the bottle of Mateus as back then that was my drink of choice (well, one of them!).

Above: Louise, Jackie, Kathy, and Gerry. This photo was taken at St. Michael's Novitiate on the staff day before the start of the 1993 school year.

Above: Sitting with (from left): Michele, Jane, and Marg.

In 1993 I hosted two memorable parties in my little stone cottage in Clifford St., Goulburn. The first of these was in April and was a "Back to the '60s" party! I'm pictured above with (from left) Gerry, Estelle, and Cathy.

Above: Jane, Michele, and Carmel.

Above: Cathy and Estelle . . . and, of course, Dusty!

Above: Carol, Jane, and Marion.

Above: Steve, Marg, and Ray.

Above: With my good friend Kerry Dyer – Goulburn, March 18, 2015.

. . . And here's Kerry and I at my "Back to the '60s" party in April of 1993!

Above: With Kerry and her sister Sandra in early 1993.
Can you believe that hair of mine?!

The second party I hosted at my Goulburn home in 1993 was my farewell party. It had a "beach party" theme. Pictured with me above are Marg Larkham and Toni Gaye Bush, both of whom were at the reunion gathering at the Blue Plate Restaurant on March 17, 2015 . . .

. . . as was my friend Marion, pictured with me (at left) with our friend and colleague Beverly in November 1993.

Above and below: What can I say? . . . I sure can throw a party!

Pictured second from right is Mike McGowan, who was at that time the principal of Sts. Peter and Paul's. I taught two of Mike and his wife Bernie's seven children, Jeremiah and Tess. I remain close to all the McGowan's, and regular readers may recall my support of Raphael McGowan's inspiring Cycling to March initiative of 2014, and our various roving adventures (see, for instance, here and here).

Above: That's my friend Jan Kramp leading the conga line. Jan sadly passed away several years ago.

Above: Gerry and Cathy – Goulburn, March 18, 2015.

Above and below: Views of Goulburn – Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Australian Sojourn, March 2015: Part 1 – Brooklyn and Morpeth
Part 2 – Port Macquarie, Wingham, and Ellenborough Falls
Part 3 – Roving Sydney's Eastern Beaches with Raph
Part 4 – The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Part 5 – Watsons Bay, Camp Cove and the Sydney Heads
Part 6 – Family Time in Melbourne
Part 7 – The Great Ocean Road
Part 8 – A Wedding in Melbourne
Remnants of a Past Life (Part I)
Remnants of a Past Life (Part II)
The Australian Roots of My Progressive Catholicism
Goulburn Revisited (2006)
Goulburn Landmarks (2006)
Goulburn Reunion (2006)

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

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