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