Delma Walters (Kelso)
Retired Widowed 3I moved to Sydney in 1966 to do nursing at Royal North Shore Hospital. I met my future husband Dr Ian Kelso in the emergency department at the hospital.
We married in 1971. Our twin boys Samuel and Matthew, were born in the next year, and their sister Kate, in 1979. We settled in Avalon on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
I have been a very happy wife, Mum and now Grandma to Georgia, Claudia and Nicholas.
We sadly lost Ian in 2005, a gorgeous soul; he is very much missed by us all.
I spend my spare time now travelling, when I’m not being Mum and Grandma.
Denise Gawne (Lewis)
Retired Widowed 2After leaving school and going to Sydney to work and live, my connections with Coffs continued through family and friends. Luckily a work opportunity saw us return to Coffs and here we raised two children who, like my Mum Kitty and I, attended Jetty High.
Life was busy with family and our own plastering business that opened and quickly expanded. During this time I was able to travel extensively, an interest which continues, along with reading and gardening. After I retired I designed and had a house built which was a great project.
I continue to happily live there enjoying the best of Coffs' beach lifestyle and catching up with friends and family.
Douglas & Cristine Turner (Wheaton)
Coffs Harbour High School
Class of 64
Note from Doug Turner
A short note from your co school captain. Half a century has passed since we all graduated in 1964, and much water has passed under the bridge. I have very happy memories of my five years at CHHS, and the very many school friends I made then. I remain very proud of the fact that you, and the teachers, elected me as your captain. I am not sure why we all lost contact, and so quickly, but put it down to the fact that, as country residents, most of us went to the city to work or continue our education, and of course, we did not have the social media, as we do today, to keep in contact. I do hope that life for all of you has been as fortunate as it has for me. I have caught up with several of you from time to time.
You may recall that I met my current wife Cristine Turner (nee Wheaton), in fourth year. I have reminded her early this year, that our eyes first met across the assembly hall 50 years ago, and thus began a love affair that continues to this day. After school, we both went to Sydney to continue our studies, mine in law, Cris in medical technology. We spent five years in Sydney studying. I worked in a legal firm as an articled clerk, Cris at Crown Street Hospital. Cris and I married in 1968, and spent our last year in Sydney married, and completing our respective degrees. Cris became pregnant in that year.
Articled clerkship was a form of slavery in those days. I started on 6 pounds per week, and when we were married, I recall my salary was 22 dollars per week (decimal currency had come in), which met the rent on our little unit exactly. Cris kept me basically in the last year, and I had nothing, she had a small car that her father gave her. I was the gold-digger, not her!
We returned to Coffs in 1970, me as a fledgling lawyer, she as a medical technologist. Cris worked at the hospital and for private medical practitioners, I joined my father, who had commenced practice in Coffs in 1952. I practised in Coffs for nearly a quarter of a century, leaving to open a practice in Noosaville, QLD in 1995. During the period in Coffs, we had 5 children (we lost our first little fellow still born in 1970). Coffs was very good to us, and a great place to bring up children. During some of this period, I practised as a sole practitioner, and Cris, who is multi-skilled, became my practice manger, and proved to be very good at it. She ran my professional office with consummate efficiency, and absolute discretion.
I practised in Noosaville for some 6 years, and we returned to NSW on 2000, to be closer to our children. Since then, I have been teaching at the College of Law in St Leonards, and also taught at the City University of Hong Kong for a year in 2007. Cris has been an office manager for a large charitable organisation, but we are both now retired, although I remain an adjunct lecturer at the College.
We now have 5 grandchildren, and reside in Petersham. I look back and remember all the fellow students that I knew well in those days. I count myself lucky that I made the right choice of partner, as Cris has been a wonderful wife and mother. Any professional success I may have enjoyed is largely up to her, taking over the family responsibilities, and assisting me so much in practice.
Retired Married 3Retired (only just)
I am a “late starter” at CHHS having moved from Tamworth after doing the Intermediate Certificate Exam at THS in 1961 to start 4th year at a new school after the death of my older brother in a farm accident in 1959.
This was a difficult time for me, leaving all my friends 200 miles away and arriving at a new school on the first day knowing no one, and starting again with all new teachers and an obvious difference in the academic skills of my fellow students which appeared to be of a higher standard on the coast.
I found the 4th year class of 1962 to be a friendly mob and soon made some good friends and keep in touch with a small few but regrettably have lost touch with many after most left Coffs to further their education. I remained in Coffs Harbour and like quite a few 5th ‘yearers’ of 1963, came back for another go at the Leaving in 1964. This year I was successful but I don’t know why I bothered as I remained in Coffs Harbour and had permanent employment with Les Graham Electrical as the Electrical Appliance repairer then Radio Tech and progressing on to TV Technician. I guess this had to happen as I had made my first Crystal Set (Wireless – Radio) at the age of 12 and had been working after school and during holidays at LGE for the previous 3 years.
Married the bosses daughter Leonie in 1967 and in 1972 we started our own TV Hire and Service business in Coffs Harbour which we operated in Park Avenue along with Motor bike sales and Organ sales, both for a few years, then added a Video library and specialist Hi Fi which we sold in 1987.
During this time in Park Avenue we had 3 children, Katrina (1969 – 2 children), David (1971- 3 children) and Graham (1974 – 1 dog). All live in Queensland, Brisbane, Cairns and Wonga Beach (last stop before the Daintree River). All have worked overseas - London and Europe and NZ- before returning to Australia to settle down.
In 1989 we opened another business at Northside Shopping Centre renting TV and Electrical Appliances along with selling and installing Security Alarms and CCTV and sold off the rentals in 2005 but retained the Security section and working from home. This business was sold to Telstra-SNP Monitoring on 1st September 2014 and we are now fully retired.
We have been fortunate to be able to have several overseas trips - Fiji, China, Hong Kong, UK, France, NZ, Singapore, Italy and the eastern part of Australia. My highlight was fulfilling a long term dream of standing on top of the Great Wall of China (the same day we visited Tiananmen Square and the students started their sit in) although standing on the rim of Mt. Vesuvius and looking down into the crater after seeing the damage it created to Pompeii and Herculaneum is also a special memory.
So what now?
Looking forward to catching up at the reunion with class mates I have not seen since leaving school and doing all the things retired people do – marking chores off the list Leonie is regularly adding to and a leisurely drive up to Cairns as well as an extended trip to Europe and UK next year. Oh! also spending more time enjoying our classic cars, a 1962 Wolseley, 1962 (genuine) black London Cab and a 1966 Triumph TR4A.
5th Year Vale -1963 BEACON “Squash. Road Hog. Ambition – to impersonate Stirling Moss” and 1964 BEACON “Mr. Horsepower himself”.
semi retired MarriedUp until the end of ’62 I was actively involved with the Coff’s sailing club (Doug Turner’s jib hand), school cadets, PFA, Scouts, and helping my father on the planto that used to be opposite the Big Banana. I was the quite, weedy one in class that frustrated teachers by doing just enough to get by.
Our family moved to Orange where I did 4th and 5th year, landing a scholarship to Duntroon Royal Military College. One year at the college before being kicked out, then called up for two years part-time in the CMF where I graduated as a 2Lt, but resigned six months later.
Meanwhile I had spent six months in Newcastle where Puff McGrath (Class of ’64) and I hung out together. One night a couple of sheilas cracked onto us at the Ten Pin Bowl – Christine and I married three years later; we are now semi-retired with three middle-aged kids and two grand-children; downsized and based in Coolah and doing the Grey Nomad thing.
After Newcastle I ran the one-man office for Queensland Insurance at Narrabri for a year; switched to tractor driving for more money; then BHP paid me serious money for seven months while they taught me how to program their new-fangled computers. I became, and still am, a software developer with a career that included BHP, IBM, DPMS-Pace, and Datronics. Back in those days all of BHP’s computers world-wide added up to less grunt than I now have in my iPhone; we were the High Priests – we worked hard, but boy, did we party hard!
In 1980 I had a crisis of conscience and walked away from the industry to join my parent’s struggling business in Dubbo – only to find myself running half of this as a software development outfit a year later – it still won’t die, which is why I’m only semi-retired.
But being self-employed in a regional centre allowed for rewarding distractions. I was president of the cricket association for 15 years where we ran a project to develop cricket wickets in Fiji. One of our wickets in the parade ground at Suva Barracks was paid for by an Australian Defence Force grant. Local politics was fun: I was part of the team for a local independent candidate who achieved a 45% swing to win the State seat by 14 votes on his first outing.
Christine and I love travelling around Oz, we’ve done most of the roads between Perth, Phillip Island and Cape Tribulation on various motorbikes; and now we’re doing the bits in between by caravan.
Life is a journey, not a destination …
Construction Engineer (Retired) Married 3The world is a small place. Having attended the first reunion in Coffs Harbour many years ago the changes then were significant, this time should I say it will be an achievement to all of us who have made it to "Seniors" level and still going strong.
After leaving school I set off for Sydney Uni to become a Civil Engineer, liked it so much that I stayed there for 6 years perhaps the consequences of a British Motor Bike and some serious family health issues.
I survived all of that including several motor bike misshaps and set off into the world of Civil Engineering with the NSW Forestry Commission who were good enought to pay my way through Uni.
Not great potential at the Forestry so I left and joined NSW Public Works and began a career in civil infrastructure construction all around NSW. There are many structures around NSW that I can claim to have had an interest in including water and waste water treatment plants, reservoirs, roads, bridges and buildings in a 22 year stay with the PWD.
One of my projects was the construction of a Waste Water Collection and Treatment System for Gulargumbone, yes it does exist. It was at Gular that I met a lovely young school teacher and although I had to move on to another job a long distance relationship ended in out marriage in 1977.
Well we continued on the road juggling transfers between PWD and Dept of Eductation and along the way out family grew. Rebecca at Murrurundi, Shaun at Forster and Lauren at Tinonee near Taree. As moving became a little more tenuous with a working wife and three young children we ended up back in Coffs Harbour where I worked as the Construction Manager for the Coffs Harbour Region which at that time spanned from Taree to Grafton.
During our stay in Tinonee my father passed away and my mother became quite ill but to this day she still battles on.
My wife joined the Commonwealth Public Service and the kids set off to school and I joined the twisted world of State Government Politics.
Well the inevitable happened and when PWD was re-structured I found myself in nomansland and decided that there were greener fields elsewhere. I set up my own Company and set off into the world of Contracting, at that stage with a wife and three children and significant debt.
I spent a year around Coffs Harbour where my parents had resided since 1959 but as nice a place as it is there was little work. I picked a Contract in Qld and commuted from Brisbane to Coffs Harbour weekly until I realised that if I kept this up I would more than likely become road kill so we packed up and became Queenslanders where I have continued my support of the Bronco's.
In Qld I worked on various projects, specialised waste treatment plants at Beaudesert and Dalby, three years on Palm Island building a dam, a power station at Tarong with Pacific Power, seven years with Qld Rail as a Technical Specialist, worked in the coal and gas industry building infratructure and mining coal.
My final contract was with SEQwater as a demolition expert but with the demise of the Bligh Labor Govt there was no money left to do anything.
I hung up the boots in August 2013 and have been flat out ever since.
We have travelled a liitle during the period above. Went to South Africa on a camping/tour journey , to South America starting in Ecudor and leaving from Buenos Aires. When my wife retires next year we plan to extend our horizons.
Our children are now all grown up. Rebecca went through Uni, holds a PhD in Biotech,lives in Brisbane and is happily married. Shaun lives in Adelaide and works in the fianance world and Lauren, who resides temporarily at home, does Contract administration work. No grand children yet.
Over the last couple of years we have renovated a couple of houses and must now concentrate on our own house which has been a little bit neglected over the years.
I'll find a couple of photos to post, don't normally take photos of myself.
Accountant Married 3The journey started of course in 1965.
But my real journey started in 1968 when I made the best decision of my life and married Del, 46 years later she is still the love of my life. We have three fantastic children, Wayne, Sheree and Scott, now 42, 40 and 38 – all independent free thinking individuals, making their way in life, we are proud of the fact that when we eventuall pass on we will leave the world in (at least) three good hands. By the time of the reunion we will have three grandchildren, Ben, Thomas and Charlotte (yet to be born).
Our life has been defined by family and a sense of place; we have been very fortunate living in a beautiful location, growing with the area, being part of a community and enjoying an idealistic life style.
Our recreation is mainly nature (we have enjoyed trecking and have done the Himalayas, Cinque Terre and some local walks) and the sea with surfing, surf lifesaving, sailing, diving and as the body slowly gives up, fishing and walks on the beach, we are both looking forward to mastering stand up paddle boarding.
We also enjoy good food and wine and have dined at some amazing places round the world.
In 1965 I foolishly accepted a position with the State Public Service – the prospect of my own money and leaving home was very attractive – the down side was a number of misbegotten years working for the Public Works Department, also in those early years after being called up for military service , I served 5 years in the army reserve (then called the CMF) to avoid being sent to Vietnam – I had a particular aversion to being shot at and I wanted to study – anything to get me out of the public service.
I qualified as an Accountant in 1972, admitted to the Australian Society of Accountants as a CPA in 1974 and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia as a Chartered Accountant in 1991, along the way I have picked up the other bits and pieces necessary to make me a good bean counter: – registered company auditor, registered tax agent, registered self managed superannuation fund auditor, external examiner for the Law Society of NSW. etc
The majority of my serious working life has been as a principal in private practice either as a sole practitioner or a partner in a public practice. Currently I am one of four partners in perhaps the largest and oldest privately owned chartered practice on the Mid North Coast of NSW with plans to stop work (note, I didn’t say retire!) at about age 70, in the meantime spending up to four month of the year on holidays.
We spend a lot of those four months travelling - mainly overseas; we have spent time in some interesting places – The french Riviera, Portafino, The Amalfi Coast, the UK and other parts of Europe, the Middle East (in safer times), Nepal, Bhutan - depending on our appertite for comfort or adventure at any point in time.
We plan many more adventures while our health and fitness holds up including the obligatory trip around Australia in the next couple of years – but this one in comfort – our "caravan" is called the Sheraton and our "4WD" is called Qantas.
retired Married 4Hello everyone,
I've been putting this off and off and off......... I have a tortured relationship with computers. However, as it is pretty much the 11th hour I will attempt a brief thumbnail sketch of the last 50 years. I am afraid there is nothing terribly interesting or exciting in my story, unlike some of the profiles I have read.
On leaving school, I joined the Commonwealth Bank at Coff's Harbour and shortly thereafter in Newcastle' As this didn't work for me I left the bank, moved to Sydney and joined the NSW Public Service.
I met my wife Rhonda, in about 1974 and we were married in 1976 at Concord. We have four children ( all sons ). Alastair, Lachlan, Calum and Struan, born in 1979, 1980, 1986 and 1987 respectively. We have no grandchildren yet.
Our lives were pretty hectic in the early years, most weekends spent ferrying kids to various sporting events all over Sydney. My older boys were also keen participants in the Boy Scouts. I spent a number of very enjoyable camping trips with the scouts and some of their parents.
My interests have remained largely unchanged over the years. I still retain my enthusiasm for the Highland Bagpipe ( still play a bit ) and Celtic music generally. These interests have featured in my various travel plans over the years. I am a life member of the Bellinger River District Pipe Band. In 2005, as a civilian member of the NSW Police Pipe Band, I played in this band together with the Police Concert Band at the first " Edinburgh Tattoo" outside of Scotland, at the Sydney Sports Ground
I also enjoyed sport, particularly competition cricket, but later gravitated to activities such as jogging and walking. I completed 3 City to Surf runs and have also done the 7 Bridges walk.
Like most of you, I also enjoy travel. Apart from travel within Australia, my early travels were to New Zealand and cruise trip to various Pacific Islands. In 1995 I took my family and parents to Great Britain and Ireland and we spent 3 months travelling all around there. Since that time I have travelled to Europe and Britain every 2 to 3 years. The highlights for me have been the celtic festivals in France and Spain and the piping in Scotland. I am hoping to continue the travels next year.
Over the years the only regular contact I have maintained with former classmates is with John Samios and Bob McPherson.
Career wise there is nothing of great import to report. As mentioned, I started in the bank and then joined the public service. Whilst in the public service I studied part time. Firstly, Public Administration and later on law. After completing law I left the public service and worked in private practice for a few years - Wauchope and Coff's Harbour.
Due to my wife's mother's terminal illness we returned to Sydney in 1988, and I rejoinded the public sector. I retired last years as a Senior Solicitor with the Department of Finance and Administration. My wife is still working full time, so in some respects it doesn't seem as though retirement has really started.
Whilst I am lacking any major highlights to report, I can say life has been pretty good for me, generally a pleasant and enjoyable journey.
Hope you are all enjoying good health. Best wishes. Ian McGrath (" Puff" -at school and later on at work" Macca ")
Retired Married 3
50 years! Where has the time gone?
You may be aware that in 64 when I matriculated I qualified for a teacher’s scholarship. I was adamant I did not want to become a teacher. So the decision was made to repeat my leaving in 1965 in the hope that I would get a better mark and qualify for an engineering cadetship. Maybe I’ll get another invitation to come back next year for their 50th reunion.
I worked a lot harder that year and duly took up an offer to commence work for the then Electricity Commission of New South Wales on the 14th February 1966 (metric day) while they paid for my Civil Engineering studies at the University of NSW.
I graduated in 1969, and started full time employment with the Electricity Commission in Sydney. I also started a Masters Degree part-time at the UNSW
The following year I married Muriel Bartle who I met in Sydney but came from Mount Tamborine in South East Queensland. (We have World War 3 on Origin nights. Please NSW don’t let it be 9 in a row this year.) We made our home at Normanhurst, near Hornsby, Sydney.
In 1973, I graduated with a Masters Degree in Engineering Science. That same year, we were blest with twin sons, Craig and Mark. Our daughter Angela was born in 1979.
I first began working on various power station design projects such as dams at Liddell Power Station in the Hunter, cooling towers at Wallerawang and Mount Piper Power Station, cooling water canals, tunnels and pumping stations at Eraring Power Stations on the Central Coast, ash dams and coal infrastructure, mine rehabilitation , then raising the dam at Glenbawn and the Barnard River Water Supply Scheme in the upper Manning River catchment.
Later on, my work also took me overseas mainly to third world countries such as India, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand on projects for the planning of both coal fired and gas power stations.
Back in 1990’s with the government becoming more aware of environmental issues with coal fired power, the switch to green energy was up and running in a big way. We started looking at alternative energy sources including natural gas, coal seam gas and green power including wind, solar, hot rock and wave. I had the pleasure of project managing the environmental approvals, design and construction of the first wind farm in NSW at Crookwell, followed by Blayney wind farm a few years later.
In 1998, a slightly different project came my way which I really enjoyed. A colleague was a keen kayaker and used to practice on the Tallawarra Power Station cooling water outfall canal. He approached Michael Knight (the then minister for sport) and the Sydney Olympics committee, as to why white water kayaking should be included in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The original planning for Eraring Power Station on the central coast had made provision for the installation of a kayak course on its cooling water outfall canal. A submission was made and surprisingly granted for a kayak course on the Penrith Lakes in Western Sydney, much closer to the Olympic Games venue. He and I did a 5 day trip around Europe looking at 8 different white water courses in as many countries. With only a small time frame we project managed the design and construction of the Penrith Whitewater Course and today it’s one of the few Olympic venues built in Sydney that continues to be viable. The course was handed over to the Penrith Council to manage after the 2000 Olympics.
In 2003, Pacific Power was sold to the Connell Wagner Engineering Consultancy and the offer of redundancy was available. After much deliberation I took them up and made the big move from Sydney to Mount Tamborine where my wife came from. We built a house on her dad’s old dairy farm which overlooks the northern end of the Gold Coast.
I started my own business up here and did mainly consultancy work for council town planning issues. Basically, I’ve now retired but still have a few clients I still do work for.
In Sydney, I became a Venturer Scout leader for 20 years and enjoyed the great outdoors. Muriel and I were very involved in our kid’s schools, scouting and local sporting clubs. Here at Mount Tamborine I have become involved with Landcare, the Historical Society, Local Producers Association and Residents Association. In fact, I wonder how I had time to work.
In between mowing acreage, tending the garden and avocado orchard and minding the grandchildren, I have enjoyed a second childhood restoring old cars. I have completed a 1974 Mini Clubman (my first car was a mini 850), 1978 XJ6 Jaguar sedan and just recently a 1999 MGF roadster sports car.
Our children are all married and have all moved to Queensland and live close by. We have 2 grand-children who give us a lot of joy.
We bought a campervan 5 years ago and have enjoyed seeing this beautiful country of OZ. We love travelling and being aware that one has to these things while your health prevails, we try and go overseas at least once a year. Life is good and we are truly blessed.
Look forward to catching up with the class of 64 at the reunion in October.
Managing Director Widowed 3
After leaving school I enrolled in Arts-Law at Sydney University. I met my wife, Robin, there. Three of our four first year subjects were in common. In the event I put off the Law component of my studies until after we moved to Melbourne in 1970.