School’s back after 40 years

A SAMPLE of Albury’s first HSC “guinea pigs” will get together next weekend.

Next Saturday, a reunion will be held for the first St Thomas Aquinas College (now Xavier High School) class to have completed their higher school certificate.

Co-ordinator Peter Quick said the HSC was introduced in 1962 when he was in form one (year 7) and that his class was the first to go all the way through school under the new system.

The reunion will mark 40 years since their graduation in 1967 and all but six class members will return to Albury for a formal dinner and tours of their old school buildings.

“There were 26 in our class, three have died and three aren’t coming,” he said.

“Some of us have kept in touch and others haven’t seen each other since the day we graduated.

“It will be a great chance to catch up, tell the tales of our lives and embellish a few stories.”

Mr Quick said much had changed since his school days.

Back then there were boys schools, girls schools and trade colleges and before the HSC, students only had five years of high school.

“There was a bit of apprehension because the higher school certificate was completely different to anything we’d ever had before,” Mr Quick said.

“The teachers basically made it up as they went along. Some hadn’t even finished (university) and were learning everything just before us.”

After graduating many went on to become public servants, one of the most successful being George Thompson who became the chief of staff for Senator John Faulkner and later for Opposition Leader Mark Latham.

Another student, Gary Brown, worked as a defence adviser at Parliament House while Charlie Waterstreet became a lawyer in Sydney and wrote a book, Precious Bodily Fluids, which charts his childhood in Albury and is “quite humorous”.

“Because it was a Catholic school there were quite a few who studied to be priests at the seminary, which is now the Lavington Sports Club,” Mr Quick said.

“Interestingly, not one of them went on to be a priest.”

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