Moving home – treasures uncovered

Packing to move house and down sizing leads to one uncovering a host of forgotten treasures, reminders of special episodes and stories from a 78 year journey.
There’s secondary school Junior certificate recording my less than glorious results along with a copy of Scott’s Last Expedition – a 1951 proficiency prize embossed with the Church of England Grammar School crest. There’s a photo of me with my arm in a sling as a result of a broken collar sustained in a rugby game, the arm tucked uncomfortably into my Churchie school shirt. There is the graduation gown given to me the Rev. Keith Rayner, our parish priest, when he heard I was about to graduate in Arts at the University of Queensland – a gift from a fellow Churchie Old Boy and scholar who went on to become Anglican Primate of Australia. There is the photo of Dorothy and I leaving the Churchie Chapel after signing the marriage register on the 10th August, 1957, passing under an arch of tennis racquets held by friends from my Saturday social tennis group – mostly Salisbury State School parents, including several whose children I was then teaching in my third year in the classroom. There’s an old cricket bat my sons used playing cricket with neighbours kids in the street outside our house, reminding me again of the days I did the same in my youth just a kilometre away on the other side of Sunnybank. There is a press cutting of an article I wrote about The need for Secondary School Camping, which was published by the Courier Mail in February, 1970, a time before school field trips and camps became a familiar occurrence.
There is one of my father’s pipes given to me by my mother after his death, knowing she meant it as a memento of my dad’s absolute dependability. There’s my mother’s own Mahjong set, a pack of Princess of Tasmania cards, a medallion won for my age class in orienteering at the World Masters Games, plus a head-band magnifier used when painstakingly drawing orienteering maps before the days of computer based cartography, and an Abney level used back then for field surveys when contour plots were inadequate. In my map collection I uncover the first black and white orienteering map of my beloved Toohey Forest, and maps from competing around Australia and in New Zealand, Finland, Scotland and Ireland.
Especially treasured, uncovered in amongst the files in a filing cabinet, is a collection of stories and poems written for my grandchildren during their childhood years – at least one composed for each of our annual Christmas gatherings over a dozen or more years as they were growing to adulthood. Nothing is more important than an artistic legacy no matter what the craft, discipline or specific genre.
All this is a snapshot of who I am, what I loved doing, what I valued, and what I strived for. We live our lives forward but examine it backwards as Richard Holloway, a bishop who fell out with the Anglican Church, wrote in his spiritual memoir, Leaving Alexandria.

About rpsimson1936

Retired geography and outdoor education teacher who loves orienteering and writes novels.
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