Email from J P Chris Kenyon [1954–1960]

My eighty-first birthday in three weeks time.

Took to wondering what happened to Heath (though I did know it had somehow been absorbed by the school further up the lane).
Googled Heath Grammar School, and the memories came alive.

So the 1954 1A class, as far as I can remember was:

I was academically adequate, but put more energy into School plays, and establishing cross-country as a regular school sport.

I played Mephistopheles in my final play. At the dress rehearsal I appeared on a darkened stage to a flash of gunpowder (Walter Ronald loved that), but the smoke enveloped me and my voice, bringing a long pause to the session. So, a large fan was installed above the stage, and on our opening night, I again appeared from the darkness. The smoke quickly cleared and all seemed well. But then, trying to deliver my lines, I noticed a thick cloud slowly rolling across the audience who couldn’t stop coughing. Fans can blow and suck, depends how they are wired!

Tishy was an affable character. He told long stories to a fascinated class as we waited for the school year to end. He also got us cheap tickets to the concerts at the Victoria Hall. And I learned enough French to be able to converse with locals on later (2000 onwards) visits to France.

Our headmaster was not averse to punishment, often for late comers. I came late one morning and joined the queue outside his office.

‘So what’s your excuse Kenyon?’ WRS asked.

I replied ‘Sir, the reason I was late is my mother is in hospital, and I had to get my young sister to school.’

He said, ‘Sorry to hear that. Don’t worry about being late until your mother is better.’ The man did have a good heart.

I’m still leading a life which interests me. Professions? Pilot, academic (adj prof), film producer, TV quiz master, architect/builder, consultant, writer, and creator of Heutagogy, the latest approach to learning.

Left Halifax for Edinburgh university, thence to Zambia (where I met Stan Watkins at a New Year’s Eve party), thence to Australia, from which I made lengthy forays to California, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Thailand. Several working visits to New Zealand. And I’ve been an Aussie for the majority of my life.

My wife and I designed our current house (passive solar, eco-friendly) in 2011 and I built it (30km from Canberra) in 2012. We have 18 acres of tranquility and, yes, kangaroos outside the house every day.

A special hello to Treasurer Duncan Turner – a gifted fives player. We had similar girlfriends – a long time ago !