January 1997 Newsletter - Dr John Lewis YHS in 1954

Dr John Lewis, who is now senior lecturer at the Hong Kong institute of Education. John started at YHS in 1954 and his younger brother, Bruce, commenced YHS in 1955. John wrote the following: "My memory goes back to the war years when I was just two or three years old and recall towns people lining up for ration stamps at the Primary School. I remember lining up with my mum (Alice Lewis) in 1947 in order to enrol in the 'bubs'. My first teacher was Miss McKenzie. Miss Williams was our teacher in Grades 5 & 6. She was fairly strict and had us doing lots of parsing of sentences. We sought respite from this by trading footy swap cards and by reading the 'Lion'. At High School, we were streamed into ability groups - something which I think was a social and academic disaster. Those were the days when Science was supreme and if you got into the 'A' stream, you were supposed to study the 'harder' Maths and Sciences. The other streams did things like Commerce and English Literature, but these subjects were never a central or valued part of the 'A' stream diet during my years. I remember David Dolman putting his hand up to study English Literature when we were in Form 6 and we were all shocked. We explained such behaviour away by our knowledge that he had only recently transferred into the school and so really didn't know what he was supposed to study. There were many good things as well. A lasting joy for me has been the memories of the Gilbert & Sullivan operas, organised by Val Pyers. I was a hopeless singer, but having the chance to be part of the chorus in many of the school productions allowed me to enjoy music in a real way. A few years ago, l viewed a D'oyly Carte production of 'HMS Pinafore' in the UK and the overture had barely begun before I was swamped in joyous memories and tears. I felt very thankful to Val Pyers and other staff who led me there so many years ago. Other memories include the house sport, with long treks down to the ovals to play cricket or hockey. Mass marching on the school oval under the watchful eye and raucous voice of Mr Cass; the egg appeals; the boys' assemblies where our uniforms and locker keys were inspected; and the wagging of school in order to roam around the bush near “the Latrobe River. My classmates included Jimmy Wallace, Ron Rawiller, Malcolm Porter, Daryl Raggatt, Ray Stewart, Geoff Wigg, Robert Lawton, John Gould, Pam Adams and Heather Sturtz. I have sadly lost touch with all of them. After leaving school, I married Margaret Marshman of Hopetoun and we have a son and daughter and two young grandchildren. I started off work teaching in primary schools, spent six years in New Guinea, worked with the Education Department again and later taught in various Universities in Victoria, the UK and now in Hong Kong