Monday, November 18, 2013

Go Grafton

It has been announced that Reverend Dr Sarah Macneil will become the 11th bishop of Grafton, NSW.
Dr Macneil is a former Dean of Adelaide and archdeacon in the Diocese of Canberra-Goulburn. She is presently Senior Associate Priest at Holy Covenant in Jamison, ACT.

The news agencies are getting everything wrong.  Dr Macneil will be the first woman bishop in Australia to lead a diocese.  Not, of course, the first woman bishop.  There are 4 other women bishops in Australia in the dioceses of Perth, Melbourne, Canberra-Goulburn and Brisbane.  However they are all assistant bishops.
I was under the impression that the General Synod of Australia had not yet approved women as diocesan bishops due to the continuing opposition of Sydney and some others preventing a 2/3rd vote in favour.  Apparently this has been overcome.
It is customary for bishops to be consecrated by the provincial archbishop, in this case Sydney.

Jensen declined to even attend the consecration of Bishop Genieve Blackwell in Canberra-Goulburn and she was consecrated by the Bishop of Newcastle.
It will be interesting to see what the newly installed archbishop Glenn Davies does.

If he also declines, he can change his name to Canute.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Every 10 years my senior class of 1973 holds a reunion. Even though I moved 3000 km away I did not want to miss it this year. I do not know about 2023.
Besides teaching them Geography, I also led the Travel Club which during 1972 raised money for 66 students and 10 teachers to go on a month's camping trip to New Zealand.

The Travel Club was started by another teacher in 1965 (to Central Australia) and at the end of 1966 (my first year of teaching) I joined it for my first visit to New Zealand. I still keep in touch with some of those students.
In 1967 we went to North Queensland, in 1968 to Central Australia and Darwin then I took over and led another group to NZ in 1969.
In 1970/71 we went to Tasmania and in 1971 to North Queensland again.
Then followed this 3rd trip to NZ and it was the biggest group. At the end of 1973 I took the following year group back to Tasmania and then, to the annoyance of many parents, I set off on my own trip to Asia and Europe in 1974 and the club folded. Such trips would probably be impossible today due to the red tape demanded now. 

Anyway I flew to Sydney 2 weeks ago, stayed with my sister and joined one of the students, Graham, in a hotel for the weekend. Graham and I became very close and later I was best man at his wedding. We drove to the Southern beach suburb of Cronulla for afternoon drinks on the Saturday followed by a dinner/dance then back again on Sunday morning for a breakfast cruise of Port Hacking. I am told over 80 ex-students attended and there were over half the students from the trip to New Zealand.

Here is a photo of those in the Travel Club who were present at the dinner. I am holding the blackboard.

Then there is a photo taken of the original group in New Zealand in January 1973. I am on the far right back to van, aged just 29.
You will have to click on the photos to see them properly