Sunday the morning after, and a few of our number made an early exit from Auckland/Devonport. Victoria Street in Devonport hosts many cafes and restaurants, and these began to be patronised by small groups as the morning advanced, swapping even more stories!
Sunday evening the remnants gathered again at the McLeod’s house for a ‘rolling BBQ’. Initially unsure of what that meant, it became obvious that it was the name for mountains of sausages, steaks and chicken legs plus copious salads all provided by the hosts. And, of course, washed down with wine, beer etc. Initial doubts that it was too much proved unfounded. Even by this time, the stories weren’t exhausted – or perhaps we were rehashing some of them? Can’t remember!
The visitors thinned out on Monday, with the last ones departing Tuesday, all with memories of yet another terrific reunion.
The event was so well organised by our Kiwi classmates – thank you. The contribution of Tony as lead organiser, and his family – Mary and their children Catherine, Antony and Rachel, ably assisted by the perpetual motion Piper – as hosts was fundamental in the success of the reunion. Again, our heartfelt thanks to Tony and Mary for opening their lovely home for us to share.
A selection of photos has been added to the Gallery in a new page: Reunion in NZ – 2017 at this link
Please pass on any suitable photographs of this event or our time at RMC, or any other appropriate occasion (previous reunions, catch ups etc).
Members of the class began to dribble into Devonport and Auckland from Thursday. Many opted to stay at the Esplanade Hotel, where the dinner is to be held on Saturday night. There were a number of accidental and planned catch ups, sometimes in places far away from Auckland.
Friday 8 December.
Our first organized event was at Mary and Tony McLeod’s house in Devonport, where they put on drinks and nibbles for the 51 participants and quite a few others from family and associates, including Ken Cooke, who had been the NZ Exchange Officer in our time. The great fear was not being able to recognize people from 45 years ago – but although there were a couple of minor moments as new hair (facial) and no hair (cranium) created some initial uncertainty, it was all ok. The babble continued for about four hours, with continuous food platters and liquid refreshments and of course some photo bombers prevailed. The hosts were indeed generous.
Saturday 9 December.
Tony organized a guided walking tour of the North Head Historic Reserve (basically artillery batteries built to defend against invaders, including the Russians, Germans and Japanese, none of whom came).
The tour was well attended by classmates and a few wives, with others relaxing with a coffee – catching up with whomever chanced by. The town band was playing Carols outside the Library and a different Christmas tree had been positioned next to the NZ Christmas Trees (Pohutukawa trees). Little groups formed to share lunch at the many excellent cafes and restaurants.
1800 hours and it was drinks in the bar pre-dinner: ‘Is this a conference?’ asked a bewildered customer as he tried to buy a drink. ‘No, it’s much worse – it’s a reunion’. We were moved into the dining room, transferring a rising babble of conversation and laughter that never seemed to peak.
Few speeches, wonderfully short, toasts to the members of the class, to their partners and to those who have passed on. The meal was excellent, the wine flowed, the stories and memories poured out, possibly embellished, family and work histories updated…..
Hotel staff were excellent, managed by a very competent young woman who gave lots of cheek. Phil Newman remarked to her that she reminded him of his daughter. She replied that he reminded her of her great grandfather!
The night ended at Cinderella time as the Hotel Esplanade called last drinks. There will be hoarse voices, possibly a few sore heads, but great memories to add to the store.
Mary and Tony have opened their house again this Sunday afternoon for a ‘rolling BBQ’. It will be well attended, although some have already started on their return journey.
The hospitality provided by Mary and Tony has been generous and exceptional, added to the planning and organizing of the various events. A huge and heartfelt thanks from all of us attending to them both.
An updated Attendance List as at 14 September is at Attendance List as at 14 September
The list of intending attendees as at 7 June 17 (now 37 starters) is at this link: RMC Attendance List as at 7 June
The list will be updated – occasionally! Please let Tony know if you intend going, and any other information, so that he can hold information as the central point of contact.
Tony McLeod has provided a program (as at 17 January 2017) at this link: 72classreunionprgm-sheet1.
At this stage, Friday 9 Dec – Sun 11 Dec 2017 has been pencilled in by our NZ Classmates for the 45th Reunion to be held in Auckland NZ next year.
The envisioned program is:
- Friday – evening drinks and casual dinner in Devonport (North Shore of Auckland Harbour, ferry to/from CBD).
- Saturday – possibility of a walk through some native bush in the Waitakeres (West Auckland), or a wine tour on Waiheke Island (Hauraki Gulf), or a visit to TiriTiri Matangi (a native bird reserve on an island in the Hauraki Gulf), or a snorkel dive at the Marine Reserve at Goat Island (North of Auckland), or some other activity which anyone may care to suggest, golf?-hilly or flat, tour historic gun emplacements on North Head and Fort Takapuna, the list is endless.
– in the evening a dinner at a nice restaurant in Auckland CBD
- Sunday – possibility of a rerun of the Saturday activities.
Tony McLeod is the point of contact at this stage, and will keep this page updated. Please let him know if there`s anything else which you may wish to include. He’ll do more research and post appropriate links so interested people will get a better idea of what each of the activities entails.