Wauchope High School class of 54 celebrate their 65th reunion

SPECIAL GUESTS, Bill and Val Walshe with Trevor Walshe at the 65th reunion of the Class of 54 from Wauchope High.
SPECIAL GUESTS, Bill and Val Walshe with Trevor Walshe at the 65th reunion of the Class of 54 from Wauchope High.

It was the beginning of the 1952 school year at Wauchope Central in Waugh Street.

Two young Uni graduates were at their first teaching appointment.

Keith Prince was already established as Manual Arts master and Bill Walshe was the newly arrived English History master. Both were already War veterans, Prince having seen service with the RAAF and Walshe with the RAN.

On this day they were standing together in the Second Year classroom ( now demolished) and overlooking another relic of the past, the school tennis court, when they observed a larger then normal group of male students gathering and then form a distinct circle.

Delma Pittorino, Jill Diffey, Bill, Val and Trevor Walshe, Pauline Marsden, Helen Tarrant, Margaret Palmer, Colleen Mackay, Paul Jones and Mary Schroder.

Delma Pittorino, Jill Diffey, Bill, Val and Trevor Walshe, Pauline Marsden, Helen Tarrant, Margaret Palmer, Colleen Mackay, Paul Jones and Mary Schroder.

They took note that two boys emerged from the ranks, moved to the centre of the student ring, sized one another up, then began a earnest fist fight.

Walshe, the newcomer, became quite alarmed at what he was seeing and suggested to Princey that they should go down and stop the altercation.

Princey, the older hand, watching closely, shook his head. And then said to Bill - Nar, I don't think that is necessary. The smaller kid is winning.

From memory I think he did, I say this because I was there. A First year student. Old school days, eh?

The following year Wauchope marked time as an Intermediate High before a small group of five students began Leaving certificate studies in Fifth Year and Wauchope was officially the state's newest High School.

At the same time a much larger group of two classes prepared to commence studies for the first Intermediate Certificate exam to be set by Wauchope High,

This group, now self entitled the Class of 54, have gathered together to celebrate 45 Year, 50 Year and 60 Year reunions, each organised at Wauchope RSL.

Although numbers are dropping due to the passing of time, most of the Class of 54 members who reside locally in Wauchope, Laurieton, Bonny Hills, Lake Cathie and Port Macquarie have continued tradition, meeting monthly for lunch at the RSL over the past fifteen years.

June was no exception, and to celebrate and mark 65 Years On, the Class of 54 had as special guests Bill Walshe, now 95, and his wife Val, 94. They were brought to Wauchope by son Trevor, himself a proud Wauchope kid having been born here at our local hospital.

The Walshe home has been Forster Keys for 20 plus years following Bill's retirement as principal of Gloucester High School.

Showing he is still capable of taking a class, Bill entertained his former students by reciting in full, and without fault. Paterson's Man From Ironbark.

Good stuff Walshey.

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