Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Armidale School archive - a trip down nostalgia lane

I am meant to be finishing a post on corporatisation in law. Then Rob Busby, president of the Sydney branch of the TAS Old Boys Union, emailed me to say in part that the school had put up a new series of photos on the school web site in the archives section. Talk about a trip down nostalgia lane. I was completely distracted.

This is a photo of the 1962 TAS second fifteen. I am in the second row, second from the left. Brother David is I think in the front row, third from the left.

I loved my football in part because it was fun, in part because it was one of the things that broke me out of a bullying cycle that made my early years at the school unhappy. I was a fairly serious and dreamy child who loved reading and did not fit in. Once out of it everything changed, so that my last two years at the school remain two of the best years of my life.

I spent over three years in the seconds without ever making the firsts. I was quite big by the standards of the time, around 13 stone, and also quite fast, able to run a hundred yards in full football gear at a shade under eleven seconds. So I was a bit of a battering ram.

But I was also not a natural footballer, so really would have benefited from the skills training available today. In fact, I did not become aware of some field tactics until several years later when I was coaching a team.

I played most forward positions, but my favourite was breakaway because it gave me scope to roam and tackle. I am not naturally an aggressive person, but there was something very satisfying about disrupting the opposition's back line!

The photos will obviously be of most interest to those connected with the school. But an archive like this, if still very incomplete, with photos in date order does provide a broader picture of the past.

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