memories ....

STUDENT REBELLION AT TELOPEA

(OR WAS IT A DREAM?)

I have been telling this story during reunion get togethers.

It concerns a caning I received.

I don't know if it was fifth form or sixth form (if forced I would say the sixth).

At an assembly Mr Forster, the deputy headmaster, told us that we were not allowed to sit on the benches outside the canteen during the first half of lunchtime. We had to sit elsewhere or go to the oval. A number of us, seven in my memory, thought this was a stupid rule.

The next day we sat there in defiance/ protest.

I was sure that Roger Brown was involved. I think Stan Bakker was another, I can't name anyone else.

Mr Forster saw us committing this outrageous act and sent us all to his office.

He called us in one by one and caned us.

The last one in was Roger. Roger said words to the effect that it was wrong, that you shouldn't be caned for such a thing. Mr Forster didn't know what to do and in the end let Roger go with the warning 'well, don't you ever do it again".

The only problem is that Roger doesn't remember this. In fact, he almost denies that it was him. He responded to my question:

"Much as I would like to claim credit for this noble gesture, I have no memory of the event at all. If it was me, the memory is probably repressed through the sheer terror I would have felt facing up to Forster. I do seem to recall a somewhat similar incident when Steve Bisset and I had a non-violent discussion with Mr Rimes about not wearing ties, but I think Steve did all the talking. However, it is fair to say that I am only too aware of the fallibility of human memory even over short periods, and 35 years is NOT short!"

Is there anyone who can confirm that something like this did happen? Can anyone name anyone else involved? Any details?

Can you remember/ correct any of these details (who else was there)?

Brett Yeats

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