I drove to Armidale Friday for an Old Boys' reunion at TAS (The Armidale School). I took my camera and took a lot of photos; a few were okay, although I had difficulty balancing light on a very bright day. This is a photo from the rugby. Downlands College from Toowoomba (red stripe) were visiting as part of the weekend.
As you might expect, I cam back with many possible stories, some of which I may even write up! This next photo taken in Big School is a shot of my group. People had travelled from Hong Kong, Canada and the US for the reunion, as well as from different parts of Australia. Few people who go to school or university in Armidale stay there. Their subsequent journeys are part of the changing fabric of life in Australia and well beyond.
I suppose that it's inevitable now, but in both Armidale itself and among the TAS group I learned of deaths that I had not known. Australian writer Gwen Kelly, Jim Burling, Rennie Barnes. That added to my sense of refection; I will record some of that too.
All of us were struck by the changes in the school, changes that also reflect the changes in Australian society. The last photo is of the TAS Stage Band. The school has a very strong theatre tradition.
We sat in the sun, drank beer and talked, listening to the music and the more distant sounds of the cheers and war cries from the nearby sporting fields. I was glad I had come, even though getting away had been a bit of a battle.