THE K-DOUBLE-H-S CLASS OF 75' / HOW IS IT WE ARE STILL ALIVE?

 

Dedicated to The Class of 1975

from Killarney Heights High School a.k.a. K-DOUBLE-H-S

 

ONE PART

 

It's been 35 years since we were The Class of '75

And somehow most of us still pass off as alive!

Recall when we were all @ That School on the Hill

Before we went on our many ways & whys until....

 

We have collected here for maybe one last time

To replant sapling memories of school bell chime

Amongst our matured, experienced autumnal rows

So some memory seed outgrows our future fallows!

 

Our parents followed the 'Populate or Perish'

Policy pursued by this great big land so bare,

By bipartisan emissions to copulate and cherish

Many children as they migrated from everywhere!

 

Just like we learned to swim the Australian Crawl

In once Rosie Baths whereby Echo Point still lies

Our cities learned to spread 'em out with urban sprawl

Before they got past first floor base to erect high rise!

 

This is how every suburb housed its own histories

Within the total of the newly arrived families' mix

 As each address added its own homegrown mysteries

Just landed at this '50s Hicksville out in the sticks!

 

All guided by a Blinking Light all allone & radiant,

Winking as Warringah & Lady Wakehurst intercoursed

Or ushered up such a steep & rugged gradient

From old Roseville Bridge as if about to be unhorsed!

 

All hoping to work out the alchemy of Alkoomie,

The best Currie recipe, ready to Cook & not spill

What smells good for Melwood & empties out the Goony

Before Arthur's Braille quest to holy Crown of the Hill!

 

All the baby-boomers were parading along Cannons

From an eyrie up in Ryrie to newly released Darley,

Soldier settlers demobbed by civvy Sub-Bourbons

Turning into Starkey in Holdens rather than Harleys!

 

Our population growth kept accelerating all the way

'Till along came Hooker-Rex with a brand new estate

Overlooking both Middle Harbour and Bantry Bay,

Transporting every Irish name they could replicate

 

To complement the rundown Killarney Picnic Grounds

Without mentioning the nearby explosives reserve

That could have supplied the IRA with endless rounds

If they had moved in to this prestige-priced preserve!

 

Now, Hooker Rex was a dinosaur-sized developportunist

Chaired by a Chinaman who was once surnamed Tingyou:

By deed poll did Leslie Joseph Hooker swifter than soonest

Became a Neo-Anglo Realtor & The Castle-making King too!

 

And thus Killarney Heights was rapidly ready made

While Warringah Council was well paid off for its support!

Then Celtic crossroads & cul-de-sacs were swiftly surveyed

Aligned with blocks of land and off-the-fplan designs inwrought!

 

From '62 onwards there srpouted a neonatal community

As unwary buyers bought in to this latest 3 times location!

Many hundreds of families sought its exclusive immunity

As uber-hyped by the relentless marketing invocation!

 

Next Woman's Day offered a fully furnished prize home

That more than a hundred thousand people visited

And land sales soared 'oer hardscrabble scrub & loam:

We moved in direct-indebtedly on every loan first deposited!

 

'Cause Hooker-Rex claimed in all their advertisements,

With the bravado of a sideshow alley spruiker carny,

Proposed new shops & schools & such like enticements

Once sufficient influx filled to the hilt all of Killarney!

 

Yet it was not 'till '67's hippie summer of free love

That K-Double-H-S was lowered upon the highest crests,

For the push of increased demand had came to shove

Education's showpiece atop reduced & rocky breasts!

 

It was not until '70 that our year was first enrolled

As each year's student intake exponentially rose,

Having survived the primaries and not yet very old,

We never expected to meet up here beneath The Nose!

 

Having relished all the freedoms of The Forest

At the opposite end of Sydney to southern Shires

We were consigned to compulsory high school arrest

By the principal beak & bald peak of Alan Meyers

 

Whose purpose seemed solely to discipline and punish

Anyone who broke his 101 Thou-Shalt-Not orders

By methods some described as Sieg Heil Hunnish!

Even to & from home we were captive in his borders!

 

His calendar was not at all Living in the 70's decade!

We must be proper Little Men & Women In Uniform

Even to & from home or go to detention stockade:

All of us were louts who may one day yet reform!

 

Who mourns mornings lined up pimpled, pale & trembly

As ' white shirt' or 'snowy' was summoned by Gunner Pearce

How many times did Peter Humphries cop it after assembly,

But all Gunner's fusillade could not target us or pierce

 

The glaring glasses of The Nose as he took the rostrum

And berated us for infringements of his high standards

While we tried not to smirk in his face of flaring nostrum

Until dismissed again as AB&D cellblocked laggards!

 

We were the sons & daughters of sandstone ridges

Instead of the Sea-Eagles peninsula home gamed turf

Yet still we whined & whirled about like sandfly midges

In dumped denial of being insulated from famed surf!

 

And thus the carefree Carthage of our childhoods

Was caught by pubic wars of Roman overgrowth

And addled essences tripped-trapped us in adult woods

Squeezed between being Christians or Pagans, or Both!

 

Who guessed high school would be such a norm bringer?

So ow did we endure term after term @ Killarney Heights

Even when we felt like giving it away with the finger!

O let weekends never end & get study out of our sights!

 

We were as directionless as Mr Turner in Geography

And suspected Mr Ormsby was as innumerate in Maths!

No code-breaker could ever deciper our Calligraphy

As The Nose snared us on his straight & narrow paths!

 

We all languished at English with languid Mr Walton

And were so primitive at Modern History with Mrs Bates

Then we transformed any elements into messy molten

Mass in igNobel Sciences with Mrs Dickson or Miss Bates!

 

And did we ever attain any real athletic dedication

That could match the posed physique of Vince Basile

'Specially as other Let's Get Physical kind of education

About which we knew much less than we desired to feel!

 

Hey! Does anyone remember Mrs Howard, Jeanette,

Who quit teaching us when hubby John entered Parliament?

And if we had known he'd become The PM & National Nose yet,

Would we have changed the whole course of our government?

 

For we could have an impact on affairs of state still,

Should Tony Abbott ever lead this Mad Monastery,

Because he'd rather have the PM's Lodge in Forestville

Than commute to a cold cryptic Canburied cemetery!

 

Now I'd like to welcome the Deputy to our Headmaster,

Mr McMahon, who, by the way, was never ever related

To Billy's Big-Ears or Sonia's thigh-high fashion disaster

After John Gorton had been so Liberally superannuated!

 

While in the saccharine music hive of Mrs Bee, Mitzi,

We tone-deaf teens sucked soothers of untamed rock

As antidote to old fogeys' favourite ditties so ditzy,

And to plug The Nose's nasal spray with earphone block!

 

What became of other chalkies we can still name

For instance Mr Lees, or Mr Mackey, or Mr Alagich?

How many other memories must we inflame

Now that we're scratching at this nostalgic itch?

 

Mrs McSully ruled the library and a squad of prefects

Mr Pursehouse just grimaced and looked bemused!

We provoked the teachers and probed for any defects

Knowing that The Nose knew nothing, not at all amused!

 

We keep asking what happened tos & where they're ats?

Is even older Mr Kirby at his lathe turning metalwork?

Is Mrs Barry guiding Golden Girls on gymnasium mats?

Did any of us heed the quaint career advice of Mrs Quirk?

 

If we threw paint, or stacked cracked pots in a kiln,

We must have been as surreal as Mrs Williams, Camilla,

But no-one else had the stage presence of Mr Ross Milne

Directing us at the fashion parade &/or theatre thriller!

 

And in '74 he organised a cross country expedition,

With Miss Susan Richards, right across the Western Deserts:

Where we got so stranded in a mallee of malnutrition,

Lords Of The Blowflies sizing each-other up for desserts!

 

Now Ross is nationally recognised for many years effort

In the Rock Eisteddfod and Schools Spectacular!

He's given generations of performers his full support

With extravaganzas that were more than extracurricular!

 

That's more than enough of them, now how about us?

What did we make or break through, all at each's-other's,

Jammed on Route 56 @ the back of the old school bus?

No, not any of our older / younger / sisters / brothers!

 

ONE PART MORE

 

That's more than enough of them, now how about us?

What did we make or break through, all at each's-other's,

Jammed on Route 56 @ the back of the old school bus?

No, not any of our older / younger / sisters / brothers!

 

We circled restlessly round the weathershed bureau,

Feeding on each-other's variety of virtue and vice

Around the playground and under the flickering fluro,

By teenage bile & terror while pretending to be nice!

 

Such were the crammed class glass cages of Killarney:

We stirred & starred in our version of the Troubles

And wanted to kick not kiss the ass of Stone of Blarney,

While each conspired to burst open each-other's bubbles!

 

Marching season on an oval as bare as Co. Kildare,

Or fending off the Irish famine with Block C's Canteen,

We teased, we tricked, we dared, we cared never to care,

Impatient to escape between fifteen going on eighteen!

 

Now all settle down and allow yourselves to layback

While I remind you of those characters from our year!

And although I'm surely tempted to extract some payback

I have to lampoon myself as much as anyone else here!

 

When I mention you please stand up and take a bow

So that we are all reminded of and reunited with you!

Even though there's not time enough for everyone now

I hope that you enjoy this portrait of being with you!

 

And if you're disappointed that you've not been mentioned

Then further redrafts will soon make sure that you're included!

Whatever is said here is no more or less than well-intentioned

Although some of you might come to wish you'd been excluded!

 

My family lived in a fibro farmhouse & barn at 6 3 4 & 6

Warringah Road and Dad Jock was a Hooker's sales agent

Who could have sold your family land and homes of bricks

As more neighbours all squeezed in to the same easement

 

Many years before that tacky television serial:

Like Chez Delmas, Keates, Lean, Mann and Horsefield

Who become playmates both imaginary and for real,

Resisting anyone else with our Forestville Force Field!

 

Somtimes local families would pack up and move away,

Taking Stephen Smith right across the Adelaide Hills,

Or Paul and Lisa Bouten down beside Port Phillip Bay,

While we daydreamed gazing out from class windowsills

 

Beseeching providence to free us from The Nose

And when no divine intervention was forthcoming

We began to test the boundaries and to expose

High School as farce propped up by faulty plumbing!

 

Comedy became our way of getting to stand up

For Laurie Grant's garrulous gargoyle ridicule,

Mark Mulroney's harpoon quick wit never letting up,

Sheenagh Francis's accuracy at mimicry so cruel!

 

Stephen Clarke's setting alight of subversive sparks,

Stuart Gibson's cheeky chipping away at all pretense,

Christine Cutter's precociously chopped & diced remarks,

Linda Henry's Yankee-doodling imitation of being so dense!

 

Steve Sanders was perpetual motion as he mucked up!

Rob Fakes' reptile den of zany toys his Dad had imported,

Ian Minus' scheming as he so surreptitiously sucked up

Anything of any use while somehow avoiding being reported!

 

Julie Dillon had wide-eyed putdown weapons with her pouting!

Andrew Condell & Mike Monaghan were Irish opposing magnets!

Michael Dorph made mental mischief instead of gloved bouting!

Anne Simmonds outran everyone, even The Nose's own dragnets!

 

Colin and Bruce, a pair of K/C-able Guys beyond their years

Which reminds me of the Bruce who's always had the Power,

& another Bruce, who, laughing like a drain, belied his Peers!

For everyone's a comedian when school's dreary and so dour!

 

Heaps of guys and few girls followed the surfing vibration

eg Barry Hough, Greg Seymour, Michaels Alexander & Gray,

While Smokey Dawson dreamed of flying cowboys in formation

And David Gallagher was most eloquent in his delinquent way!!

 

Roger Smith and Grant Flowith traded riffs in rocky union!

Peter Whipp advanced through levels of the martial arts!

Ross Liddell and Tol Wilkinson team-tagged in comic communion

And Gary Hain impaled all of us on his spiky verbal darts!

 

Now Stuart Kidd wasn't kidding after having seen the Light,

No, not that blinking one which had by then been long gone,

It was left to others to roam out guided by naughty night:

We lost underage moths drawn to the hue & zap of neon!

 

We sulkily subsisted on the daily gruel of schoolyard goss!

Who was cooler than Oh Wow? Who was Innermost not just In?

Constant speculation of who'd we'd next writedown as a loss

Was balanced against the ledger of who's most likely to win!

 

In the throes of youth's fast and furious insurgency

A compulsion for the core subject's hormonal rushes

Overwhelmed us with rash impulsiveness and urgency

While provoking incendiary and unrequited crushes!

 

So some of us found fellowship at our local churches

While some of us dropped out, as The Nose had predicted,

And went off on wanderlusty and idiosyncratic searches

That should have had us summarily expelled &/or convicted

 

Whenever we went & hung out at the RSL Youth Club

Playing pool by day or taking chances at dance nights

When bands like early AC/DC made it the rubbery hub

For sweaty, heavy-petty, little-deaths-by-dual-delights!

 

Where we had no use for dull equations of algebra

While concentrating on new anatomy & physiology,

Mechanics of Zippos & zippers, geometries of the bram

And the neurochemical reactions of getpistemology!

 

Then we got ambitious & went up to The President

Or we charged & collided hard & fast in The Antler

And so strayed away too restless to stay resident

In times left way behind by time's grownup dismantler!

 

So by 75' we thought that we were way past ready

To take on the wide world past Chatswood to Dee Why!

We were chafing to hit and run the staid and the steady

Even though it took us years yet to really see why!

 

Double Jay had just become the Hero of the Dial,

From Vietnam the US and Aus had just evacced,

Richard Nixon was pardoned of Watergate trial,

So we dismissed school just after Gough was sacked!

 

There are those of us who went on to forge careers,

To play for country, company, club, calling or cause!

And there are those of us who ended up in arrears

Or took unlikely choices that'd make anyone pause!

 

There's the Orchadian horticulture of Peter Eygelshoven,

The Cape York Adventures with John Charlton & Peter Fuller,

The Oz Relationshipping Agency of Ann nee Neuvonen,

And who else went on to be a chalkie as did Sharon Muller?

 

And some of us asserted our assorted multicultures

While others sorted out the lifelong marital conundrum

So Sue Van Loon now blends Geoff Broadfield's viticultures

And Julie Salmons has become as one with James Lendrum!

 

Anne, promoted to Sargent's rank, became a Netball nemesis!

Ross Anderson played the piano, Geoff Smith fronted his band,

Jo Maconachie & Pete Coombes inhabit the same parenthesis:

But I would be arrested for giving Julie any more coloured sand!

 

And so we each diverted along all directions in diversity;

We travelled, worked, played, loved and mostly coped

Everywhere we ventured, whether abroad or at university,

And nearly always found justification for what we hoped!

 

Yet some of us have already too soon dearly departed

And more of us, for whatever reasons, have been damaged.

There's not nearly time enough for such details to be imparted

Except to say of us who are still here -  we survived & managed!

 

Sometimes we wonder about those who have disappeared

Even though we fanned out ahead to try to find them!

Well, who knows why they haven't responded or reappeared.

There are those who won't look back, but we don't really mind them!

 

We are the ancestors of today's turbulent Schoolies

No matter what we achieved as scholars or fixed as tradies,

And we're a long way past the used-by date of toolies,

Although it's still a tossup in between Heaven or Hades!

 

If our young selves could only see us all so middle-aged

We would seem to them as if we are from science fiction

Just as if we had a chance to go back to being teenaged

We would burn up & out in our own adolescent friction!

 

There's one thing that I still don't really comprehend!

Why, in a high school as themed as any Irish pub has been

Is its motto an Old English homily largely unkenned!

'Sylle aefter faerelde' - well WTF is that supposed to mean?*

 

Now, I, who was once and then again, the Farmer Danks,

Have since ploughed my own plot into the Danksta Downunder,

And just have to give it up to you all with a calmer thanks

For how K Double-H S has turned us out - & is it any wonder?

 

No more of Narrabeen There Done Thats sorta strife!

Crashing Cronullabores will never know what they missed!

We always meant to sort out the Forest Facts of Life

From the leprechaun fantasy so we could all the more exist!

 

This is not Barbara Streisand warbling The Way We Were!

Does it really matter who was well-behaved or truant?

This was and is our lives at large, or, if you prefer,

One potted version of us - now it's nearly time to exuent!

 

It's been 35 years since we were The Class of '75

And somehow most of us still pass off as alive!

Recall when we were all @ That School on the Hill

Before we went on our many ways & whys until....

 

We have collected here for maybe one last time

To replant sapling memories of school bell chime

Amongst our matured, experienced autumnal rows

Some memories go deeper than superficial shallows !

 

Launched @ Balgowlah Golf Club on Saturday 18 September 2010

for our K-Double-H-S 'Class of '75 Reunion!

(c) 2010 Danksta Downunder a.k.a. Hamish Danks Brown

 

* 'Sylle aefter faerelde'- To each according to his / her conduct

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"G'day",

a mighty work, there is no doubt.

"Hurrah, Hurrah"

we poets shout.

"onya"

Jim.

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