Several months ago I had the wonderful opportunity to take a drive with my Brother to the town in which I grew up. It ended up being one of those beautiful days you spend with someone that you love in which you don’t feel the need to really say much. The experience seemed to be enough, and for me everything seemed to move in slow motion as memories came flooding back to my mind.
Warragul is about an hour out of Melbourne and is the country town in which I spent some of the happiest years of my life. It is situated in the Gippsland region of Victoria and is surrounded by dairy farms and beautiful mountains. Here is a typical photo from the countryside surrounding Warragul:
Pretty, isn’t it?
Although leaving Warragul at the young age of 14, the memories of my time spent there distinct and etched in my mind. One of the places I often remember is Warragul North Primary School, and I was delighted to see that it had changed little since i graduated in 1993. My brother and I spent an hour or so wandering through the grounds (it was a Sunday but we still felt weird) taking photos and remembering good times past. I thought I would share some of these photos below.
The ‘covered way,’ as it was known in 1993 (sounds like an exclusive brethren cult), was the principal rallying point for all school assemblies. The principal (Ken Wilson at the time) used to stand on the stairs in the picture and espouse policy and procedure doctrine designed to minimise the amount of fun a student at WNPS could be expected to enjoy . Ken and I had a strained relationship. You will here more about this in my next blog but suffice to say Mr. Wilson did not appreciate the porno magazine-for-hire business that me and my group of friends were operating in the school yard.
The ‘breeze way’, pictured below, was the corridor leading to the toilets. It was the scene of my first fight, and right where this photo was taken was where Graeme Gannon gave me a detention for allegedly kicking another student. I managed to use creative rhetoric to talk my way out of a further detention- a skill I have used repeatedly throughout life.
This last photo I took through a glass window, hence the reflection. The poster depicts the four school teams. I was in dampeira (blue group). We were the misfits and underdogs in school sports events. Kind of set the tone for the rest of my life I guess.
It’s amazing how a simple journey to a site of childhood significance can be so healing, and can help remind perspective about the things that are ultimately important in life.