08 May 2009

Ashley Pepper


Maitland Boys High School – 1955-1959


Most of my memories of MBHS are associated with the hostel (Hinder House) where I lived while at school. My best friends were Alan Spinaze, Hugh Spencer, Geoff Westbury and Dick Carter. Teachers I particularly respected also lived in at Hinder House; Russell Hodge, headmaster at both hostel and school and Garth (Bottle) Green who was also my maths teacher for all five years. I thought he was a great teacher and responsible for my liking of maths and career choice of engineering.

I vividly remember some incidents at the school:-
• Chemistry class when teacher Clem Ellis put Tom Kiever’s silver coin in nitric acid with Tom watching apprehensively as the vigorous reaction took place;
• Physics class with teacher Ian (Inky) Petit when all students held hands in a chain connected to a Ford coil. There was quite a fuss when Inky suddenly ramped up the voltage;
• Music teacher Miss Forbes walking across the quadrangle during a school assembly and the wind blowing her dress up - quite a distraction for the whole assembly. She had terrific legs.


1960-61 Trained as primary teacher at Newcastle Teacher’s College
1962-64 Appointed to Railwaytown (Broken Hill) and the Bulli Primary Schools. Started part time study in Science/Engineering at Broken Hill and Wollongong colleges of University of NSW.
1965 Resigned from teaching and started work as technical officer with Hunter District Water Board
1969 Married Lorraine. Have 5 adult children (all daughters} and 5 grandchildren with one on the way
1970 Completed Bachelor of Engineering degree at University of Newcastle after studying two years part time and two years full time as an employee of HDWB
1975 Studied full time at UNSW for M Eng Sc degree in Public Health Engineering after receiving a post graduate scholarship.
1974 -96 Worked at HDWB (now Hunter Water Corporation) in Sewerage and Design Sections working on a variety of projects involving pipelines, reservoirs, structures, water and sewerage treatment, becoming an A Grade Engineer in Design Section in 1978. Most significant projects include:-
• Design team leader for raising and strengthening of Chichester Dam
• Project Manager Dungog Water Treatment Plant and Anna Bay Water Treatment Plant
• Project Manager George Schroder Pumping Station Amplification
1997 -2002 Principal Engineer in Hunter Water Engineering (consulting group of HWC). Most significant projects include:-
• Conceptual design, replacement of Chichester Gravitation Main - Tarro to Shortland
• Conceptual design, Newcastle Stormwater Transfer System
• Hydraulic Design, Cessnock Wastewater Treatment Plant Amplification
2003-08 Retired in 2003, subsequently undertaking some consulting work for HWE


• Family
• Building and renovating which at our present house is ongoing (much to Lorraine’s dismay).
• Am a keen cyclist and walker. Highlight was 26 day trek in Indian Himalayas (Kashmir). Magic!
• Enjoy touring. Lorraine and I have traveled many times to SA, Vic and Qld .
• Classical music. Learned the saxophone (alto) while at Broken Hill and enjoy playing with my violinist friend at church once every month.

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