Simon Downie

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Simon Downie

I came to TPHS in 1964 for the last term of year 2, the circumstance of which is that my father had died the previous year in the property in which I now am, as a result of a fatal stroke or heart attack whilst attempting a bit of dry stone walling. He is buried in the Valon Cemetery.

The 1960s were the days of the 10 pound pom and in the London underground populated by pallid wage slaves on the way to or from work there were adverts for 'come to sunny Australia' complete with images of bronzed people on the beach, anyway my mother Betty Downie [she died in 2007, a great woman in many ways ahead of her times and I believe very welcoming to many of the friends I formed at school] applied, and together we came to Canberra in 1964.

I lived in Canberra and attended TPHS until 1969 repeating 6th form as a result of result of too much partying, fiddling around with an ancient Vanguard spacemaster van, and too little attention to hard slog, 1969 an exercise in humility but probably character building.

On leaving school studied BSC applied psychology at UNSW to1975 taking a year off in 1972 which I spent travelling around Portugese Timor ( as it then was) Indonesia and Malaysia and manged to learn Bahasa Indonesia reasonably.

1975 after years of study driving taxis and partying time to get a job which was in the probation and parole service, another great learning experience dealing with many fascinating people amazing stories and injustice on both sides of the law, and I worked there until 1979. I also bought my house in Glebe which has basically been my home with various prolonged absences since.

Studied master of clinical psychology but never finished the course too much in the way of psychometrics, and I guess I was a left hand foot inside a right hand shoe.

1979 time to travel and through various stages in the pacific travelled to South America where I lived for a couple fo years mostly in Bolivia but other parts as well. Instant family, another story and many returns there.

1982 back to Sydney and worked in dept of Community services, Sydney mission, driving taxis and then rejoined Probation adn Parole Service where I have worked in various roles until retiring 16/03/2012 Vive la liberte.

Other bits and pieces did a MSC safety Science in 1992, always maintained an interest in the area  but not employed in it, extensive experience in OHS committees.

Other stuff - always been a keen skin and scuba diver, windsurfer and passionate about cooking eating and drinking, pottery, poetry, fiddling with things and  trying to work things out.

Memories of TPHS standing arround  in the school yard 'Attention Stand at ease', many great friendships which unfortunately I did not maintain until recently anyway

The sun about to set and have to get back back to my little wilderness shack so more later inshallah.

 

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