Class of 1977

Paul Say (1977) reports on the success of the Class of 1977 at the recent GPS Gold Challenge:

Thank you very much to the 50 fifty-year-old Spartans (spanning leavers from 1975 to 1978) for your support in taking SHS 1977 to a glorious and hard fought victory in the GPS Gold Challenge last Saturday. After copping Sydney High sledges for the last 4 months (okay, 33 years) victory was sweet and our win will be sung of for many years in measures loud and long.

Despite some tasks severe we excelled in the cricket, tennis, touch, athletics, swimming, and debating. We were undisgraced in the golf, rowing, and basketball (well golf and rowing anyway).

The battles began last Friday in the golf where our team of 6 was one of the smallest in the field. Diabolical pin placements and some snooty arrogant opponents did not stop Ian (thin calves) Stone, Max (intercepts) Denton, Andrew (Rob Parella) Whitford, and Peter (skip) Sulman from achieving a very credible 4th and ensuring we remained in contact with leaders.

Despite being the only sport we trained for, our intrepid eight was less than spectacular. In the first race our tactics of going out slow resulted in us being cut off by Newington and Shore with the course not long enough for us to make up ground using our expected power finish. In the repechage Newington broke the start and with an effort nonetheless sincere which we almost caught them on the line. After much debate we elected not to protest as Newington had agreed to tow our boat back to the sheds. Big efforts by the engine room Ian (big daddy) Smith, Tony (rip off) Reid, Michael (titanic) Hyatt, and Dave (CU) Morrow. A huge Thank-you to Andrew (massage time) Bowey for being captain of boats and coordinating the logistical nightmare that this sport creates.

1st VIII 1977
1st VIII 1977

Dave (hammy) Cohen came all the way from Adelaide and paired up with Bruce (cameo) Ramsay to set up two out of two wins in the cricket. Captain Gino (king) Cardillo did an admirable job in motivating a team devoid of many school cricketing superstars and including GPS veterans such as Dave(the likeable) Miller.

The less said about the basketball the better other than it was probably the funniest sporting event I have ever seen. Captain Dave (spike)Musgrove rallied around boys young and old to take the court. Playing on worn out knees Dave was top scorer with a shooting average of 3.8%. Not sure where we finished in the field and not sure anyone wants to know. Congrats to SHS 1978 who took the winners trophy in their competition.

Tennis all-stars Rob (superfly) Scott and Simon (aces) Drake were more than ably assisted by Peter (kung fu) Lee, Anthony (don’t call me Mark) Herron and Ronnie (hitman) Chalmers. Facing much larger teams and highly skilled opponents the guys rallied around to 8 wins 2 draws and 6 losses.

Which brings me to the touch footy. We won this event outright and without having our line crossed in three matches. Captain Brett(on the Mark ref)Wilson led with a tireless effort. Paul (dummies) Galea’s stats of 3 tries, 13 touches, and 6.5 metres gained speak for themselves (the basketball equivalent of not moving from under the hoop). Despite losing key men Cohen and Chalmers in the semis, the team ran riot to smash Scots 3 nil in the final. High retains the trophy won by SHS75 in 2008.

Buoyed by the glorious touch win but suffering huge personnel losses (hamstrings, quads, and groins)captain Michael (muscles) Halmy scrambled together anyone still walking. Leading by example Michael sounded once more the strain ran a solid 3rd in the 2k run after being kept honest by David (daddy) Nehl. Yours truly surprised all (including myself) in the 60 metre dash with a scintillating 2nd place to Ron Ross from Riverview running in spikes, no less! Thanks to Terry (fatzy) Fitzpatrick 75 for helping out in the 3k relay where the team hobbled to 5th place.

Camped in lane 8 at the swimming pool the High boys used the support of a now swelling throng of vocal supporters sensing a boil-over. Swim captain Ross (peter pan) Smith remained confident that his decision not to invite Graeme Brewer along would be vindicated. So to the sounds of “we’ll go with our own cattle” Ross took on the task severe and continued his icebergs winter swimming form to guide a motley crew to a sensational third placing. High was more than competitive in all events with Russell (papillon) Goldberg continuing on his good form from 33 years ago and Musgrove finding redemption. Pandemonium struck when the team won the prestigious novelty relay after Grammar lost a flipper mid race and had to return to the blocks.

The cloisters rang again at the dinner where Adrian (doc) Cohen brought the house down with an exceptional debate arguing that GPS schools should go co-ed. Adrian’s physical and mental images of swimsuit clad supermodels (Elle, Megan Gale etc) overcame other school efforts including Newington’s curious decision to showcase their only (official) sex change alumnus, Nicky Haines (aka Rick Haining). Not only did Adrian have to single-handedly carry the weight of both 77 and 78 but he was up against the best that the GPS schools could offer. Carried out with no fuss and wearing a jacket made of unobtainium, no less!

About 400 men and as mentioned one gender bent gent went into spontaneous rhapsody when SHS 77 were announced the 2010 winners over Shore School. Appropriately celebrations spilled well into the morning at the Longy hotel. Trophies for the 1977 Overall Winner, 1977 Touch Footy, and 1978 Basketball will now sit proudly (albeit lonely) in the school trophy cabinet. We look forward to 2012 when alumni 79 and 80 go into battle and we overcome them year by year in the name of Sydney High (sorry).

Special thanks Arthur (Snoz) Santorinios and Richard (disco) Luxford, Simon (the crab) Della Marta, Cyrus (its the thought that counts) Yuen and the entire SHS 78 team for the generous support and sincere congratulations. This was definitely a victory for all of us with the real reward being the comraderie and laughs on the day. In conclusion I quote Tony (atlas) Pople from SHS78: “That was fabulous. Bizarrely, I spent Sunday wanting to do it again. My highlight was the team cross country with everyone pushing through the pain barrier. Bugger the result, the smiles and cheers were worth it. Thanks everyone. I’ll be teary-eyed for weeks to come”.

Kumate Kumate Kara Kara

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