The right place at the right time

In 1967, as a 12 year old boy at Gosnells Primary School, attending the local Salvation Army Church, due to my parents being members of that Protestant outlier, I never envisaged attending any high school other than the local Armadale High School.

But sometimes time, space and events all interact and determine outcomes.

In my case, Trinity College was to join the PSA in 1968, the year I was to begin my high school years. I could run fast enough to have caught the attention of the local papers, and Trinity was perhaps looking for some sprinters and some diversity. In short, Trinity, through the Principal, Brother Carrigg, offered me a scholarship for my high school years.

This was a brave choice by Trinity, as I was not a Catholic, and a very exciting venture for me, albeit a bit overwhelming. I well remember my mother telling me which bus to catch on day 1, then arriving alone at the College, and being marshalled into Brother Coughlin’s classroom.

And so commenced a wonderful 5 years for me.

I say wonderful because the school, including the many Christian Brothers and lay teachers accepted me completely into the school family. I must say, regarding my running career I repaid the College in Year 8, but thereafter slowed down pretty quickly. So I think I was the winner out of the scholarship transaction!

I certainly had many highlights at Trinity; the way I was accepted into the school, the great friends I made at the College, the quality of the education I received, and the great honour that was accorded me in 1972 when I was appointed the College’s Captain and Head Boy. 

As I was leaving Trinity, the winds of change were strengthening in respect of the teaching model of the College, and, I assume, the governance model. And I am sure the changes have been positive.
Eventually, of course, one’s school years come to an end. I left Trinity thinking I knew everything about life, but in fact knowing very little! But the ground work had been done and I credit much of the ground work to my Trinity education. After a few years of meandering, studying here and there, prospecting for gold, I finally settled down and became a Chartered Accountant, and have been privileged to enjoy a long and pretty successful career. But my greatest achievement in my life has been to have a long and rewarding marriage to my wife, Olwen, and to father a wonderful daughter, Emma. I credit so many of those achievements to my education at Trinity for giving me the tools I have needed as a husband, father, and a member of society.

However, I will never forget the wisdom, kindness and dedication of the Christian Brothers.

Regarding personal and career success, it is true to say that my Trinity years changed my life and only for the better. Like many others, I think of those 5 years as some of the happiest and most exciting of my life.