08 May 2009

Mike Ford

1954-59 - 'En Avant'

School Memories 1954-59

Racing on pushbike to Greta Railway Station to catch the Singleton train to Victoria Street Station.

Keenly contested handball games on the quadrangle -- pinching balls and throwing them over the assembly hall.

Lining up for delicious cream buns at the tuckshop.

Playing marbles (big ring and pot holes) on the dirt area near the woodwork and metalwork rooms.

The strong rivalry in all sports against the enemy ie. Hamilton Marist Brothers', Newcastle High School and Newcastle Technical High.

The athletic carnivals at Robins Oval and swimming carnivals at Maitland Baths.

School Cadet Band and annual camps.

Enjoyable play days (over 2 or 3 days, I think!) and school dances.

Can't forget some memorable teachers: Moreland, Smith, Ducrou, O'Hearn, Ms Jones, Evans (DP), Brownlea, Plamer, Ingram -- all come easily to mind.

Life Since School

After leaving school in 1959, I first worked in the Bank of N.S.W at Branxton. Whilst on a training course in Surrey Hills, Sydney, I received a late teaching scholarship to Armidale Teachers' College (1960-61).
My teaching career began in a small two teacher school at Garah where I spent an enjoyable three years (1962-64) teaching lower division classes. This appointment changed a naive, inexperienced student teacher into a more mature person and exposed him to the 'real' world.
A further four years (1965-68) at Cessnock West Primary School brought me closer to my home town of Greta. This school was where I met my future wife Margaret, whom I married in 1967, and also where I started a B.A. Degree at Newcastle University.
My primary school teaching was completed at Telarah Primary School where I spent some two years (1969-70).

In 1971, I transferred to Maitland Boys' High School and spent a wonderful fifteen years at the 'school on the hill'. During this time I managed to complete my B.A. Degree and attained my 2nd list and became the proud father of a daughter, Catherine and a son, Mark.

When Rutherford High School opened in 1985, I transferred across and spent four happy years in a school eager to 'establish' itself. My final years of teaching was spent at Singleton High School (1989-2000), as the Head Teacher in the Social Science Department.

I retired in 2000 after thirty eight years of teaching. When I think of the many colleagues and students I've been associated with over this time, I feel so privileged to have been involved in teaching -- it certainly has enriched my life. I'm comforted by the saying, 'To teach, is to touch a life forever'.

Retiring Years

Proud Pop to five grandchildren.

Marg and I have caravanned extensively throughout Australia -- 'grey nomads'.

Enjoy all sports, especially 'golf' -- member of Kurri Golf Club and Branxton Vets Association -- play 2-3 times a week.

Have holidayed to New Zealand, United States of America, Tasmania, Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island -- we hope to see United Kingdom/Europe and Canada one day.

A fanatical St George Dragons Rugby League supporter.

Marg and I deliver Meals on Wheels and are regular blood donors.

Have been an active mason for over 40 years and belong to the Maitland Walking for Pleasure Group.

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