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May 2006



HOWARD RALPH [Tarago NSW] - I am two weeks post major surgery for removal of an aggressive carcinoma and am finally in a fit state to start doing something other than complain about everything. It feels as though I was suddenly dragged from my beloved anaesthetic work on the south coast to glorious Sydney to undertake yet another assault on my unwilling body and less willing mind.

This being my first trip to the ‘confuser’ for several weeks, I decided to start at the most important, The Mail, and then progress to more mundane matters if there is any energy left.

Each time I survive one of these events, and arrive at some distance on the other side of the trauma, I reflect on how fortunate we are in Australia to have available the very best in medical care. Despite the constant miserable denigration from some media and some in the Government, and the routine attacks from the legal [so called] profession to satisfy their voracious appetite for money, the medical system remains one of the best in the world. We are indeed fortunate.

All of this means that I am looking forward to the next reunion and to seeing all of you special people again. As I said before, my preference for the event is anywhere, anytime. Best wishes to everyone.



COLIN HUGGINS [Albion QLD] - Henry, I hope in his wisdom, has entrusted me with giving you a report of our meeting with Kerri Hamilton of the Sofitel Hotel and an up to date of where we are in relation to our reunion in October 2007.

The dates for the third Class of 1962-63 reunion are 12 - 14 October 2007. I believe we have now decided on the three most important agenda items and, as Henry and Kerri observed I do cross my Ts, dot my Is and tick my squares!

The Friday meet and greet will be held in the Chez Bar and Bistro on Level 1 at the Sofitel from 6 pm onwards. An area will be reserved for our group with tables for those wishing to dine. There is no hire charge and no pre-payment for this function. Drinks will be ‘buy your own’ from the bar. This area is soon to be refurbished so it will have a new look by 2007. The meal selection is a la carte at about $15 – 30 for an evening meal with a blackboard selection.

The official dinner on the Saturday will be held in the Montpellier Room which sits up to 80 comfortably. The hire for this room is complimentary. This at present is the only payment in advance. The Sofitel will draw up a booking contract and a deposit will be made. Henry and I will pay the deposit, however anyone who wishes to contribute will be only too welcome to do so.

Should numbers be over 90 then we have been offered The Terrace Room (again complimentary), which is located on the lobby floor behind The Sidewalk Café Restaurant.

Kerri will forward to me a booking code for Sofitel accommodation. Room costs on the 10th - 21st floors is $195 per night for single, twin or double. This price is the October 2007 costing. In other words, this is in cement. Anyone wishing to go further up into the clouds will be advised of the costs.
I will contact Rachel (Novotel) and Felicity (Ibis) and arrange similar bookings with their properties and get their 2007 costing for weekends. The Novotel presently is $137 per room per night, single, double and twin from all floors to the floor below the top, which is the executive floor.

I did the short stroll through the tunnel from Central Railway. The walk from the Sofitel to the Novotel using this route takes three minutes at a very leisurely pace. There is a lift on the Wickham Terrace end of this tunnel, which takes you to the street.

This concludes what has been done so far. Now we have the fun part of planning the various activities. Henry has squarely put the golf business in the hands of Les Lyons and, should he get starters, we'll get the golf club. I’d say we are now in easy street, with the major hurdles overcome.

Henry and I enjoyed a sample of the midday fare at Chez. We were most fortunate in obtaining a table. We got their last but were still there as the hordes were trotting in at 12.30pm. Whatever Henry had, and it was certainly something that I would never order, must have been good as he almost ate the plate as well. My fish dish was very tasty. The charming supervisor, Sharma, looked after us very well. Gentlemen, watch your hormones when you meet this person. She is a combination of the naivety and sophistication of Audrey Hepburn and the impishness and sauciness of Shirley MacLaine. I am always intrigued with the straightness of the seams of her stockings, from ankles to the hemlines! Ladies just supply your husbands with blinkers!

Peter and Margaret Lewis will be in Brisbane for a wedding in June and I will be seeing them. On Friday 23 June we intend to leisurely do the trek from the Ibis to Sofitel to Novotel to BowThai. I'm sure they will be impressed with all my escalators and lifts for Ageing Asopians. I'll keep trekkers up to date with their arrival date should you wish to join us. We will be having a meal somewhere along the trek.