June 1996 Newsletter - John Langford YHS 1949

John Langford YHS 1949 (brother of Ruth Young) Recalls some of his school years: "High School was like a burst of sunshine after Primary School. Mr Champion was the Headmaster. He rode a bicycle to and from school at negative velocity. Other early 50's teachers I remember were Mr Mee, Miss Hanna (on whom I had a crush) who worked hard to encourage me in the execution of those dreaded English essays due in on Monday morning; the Wynnes, Messrs Stewart, Young, Mitchell, Duffy and Farrelly. In the later years, Mr Ellis assumed command and the teachers that I most recall, or is it revere, are Messrs Lugg, Dawson, Homann and Nicholls. Whilst I matriculated in 1955, Mr Ellis convinced my father that another year at school would benefit me and I did win a Commonwealth scholarship. 1956 was a great fun year together with the fact that Mr Don Lugg, the chemistry master, went off for about four weeks, leaving me to teach the Matric chemistry and organise the practical classes. The combined good teaching resulted in several 1st & 2nd class Matriculation Honours in that subject. Regrettably, one of these Honour students, Terry Stewart, died of peritonitis from a burst appendix just before university commenced. Mr Lugg, who was an excellent Mr Ellis. During Mr Lugg's sojourn, experimentation in the chem lab was intense. I recall when a group after school was studying the interaction of alkali metals with water. I think it was Gordon French (or was it Ken Scott - neuron plaque is a problem) who placed a large chunk of sodium in the bottom of a wet beaker. The beaker disintegrated with a large explosion filling the storeroom with fumes. The other students dematerialised leaving me to explain to Miss Joy Simms that everything was OK. My wife, Beatrice (Smith) attended Moe HS (1955) and later worked in Central Stores as an optometrist. Two of her sisters (Mary & Agnes Smith) and a brother (George Smith) attended YHS also. Mary attended in 1951 now lives in Mandurah and works in infant health with Public Health WA. She did her nurses training (1956) as Nurse Coutts at Yallourn Hospital (there were too many Smiths!) Her husband, Peter Armstrong, attended Tech 1950 and did an apprenticeship with the SEC, died in 1983. Agnes (Nancy) attended in 1957 now lives in Williamstown and works in Melbourne at Esso's head office. Agnes worked in the Yallourn Library on leaving school. My 'brother, Bill Langford, lives in Victoria Park 'WA. He- keeps in contact with Joy Simms and John Tremain, who were YHS teachers in the mid 50's. The Tremain’s live in Geelong and their house is called 'Yallourn'. We keep in contact with Barbara Elliott (Park) and her husband Doug, who live in Kalamunda. She is the only person that I have contact with locally who is from Yallourn and if there are others in this state, I would be pleased to hear from them. We have a large house in the hills area outside Perth with plenty of spare bedrooms. There is a supply of accommodation and a warm welcome to old associates venturing west. Victorians I communicate with include Kerry Prendergast (Hank) YHS 1956 who lives in Sandringham with wife Jo. Hank was active around the hospital in 1956 (his father was the Hospital Engineer.) Other contacts I have are Bob Molloy YHS 1954 and Walter (Robin) Hughes YHS 1951. (John has sent a photo of some lads on an excursion to Canberra in 1954 but it won't reproduce, so we'll keep it for our next booklet - they are Murray Wigg, Max Eakins, lan Lawson, Max Williams, Les Campbell, Gordon French, Bryan Campbell, Kevin Golding and Ray Stalworthy.)