Recently I enjoyed/endured the opportunity of a lifetime: walking the Kokoda Track with my son (Matthew) along with 29 other Year 11 students, staff and dads who are connected with the School. Four of the dads were Old Trinity Grammarians from the 1979 and 1980 cohorts. The walk was as much about the history of Australia’s efforts to protect its mainland borders as it was about the physical challenge of walking the distance. We all read many books before leaving, but nothing prepared us for the emotional reality of being at precisely the same locations where our troops achieved and endured so much.
For most of the walk the parents remained as inconspicuous as possible, respectful of this being an adventure predominantly directed at the boys. The trek provided a very special opportunity to experience difficulties and hardship with our sons. On several occasions I witnessed the ‘passing of the baton’ as son demonstrated he is a young man, physically the stronger of the pair, helping dad up or down those steep, slippery slopes. There was also a rekindling of that special mateship between the OTGs that can only come from growing up at school together.
From this firsthand experience of watching the boys outside their comfort zones in the jungle of Papua New Guinea, it is easy to conclude that Trinity Grammar can be proud of the fine young men it is nurturing and preparing for adulthood. The boys showed great maturity, humility, organisation, empathy and respect for their fellow trekkers and the local people who served as our porters.
Our adventure sparked interest in the formation of an OTG bushwalking group and Richard Harrison (OTG 1980) seeks expressions of interest from others interested in joining like-minded OTGs on future walks. Walks are likely to occur in March/April and November to take advantage of the warmer weather. Destinations will include The Cathedral Ranges and circuit walks such as Ned’s Gully.
The first walk is proposed to take place the weekend of November 25 to 27 to The Cathedral Ranges (for old times’ sake and because it’s the site of the traditional 'Squeaker's walk'). Approximate driving time from Melbourne is one hour 50 minutes.
If you are interested in joining such a group, please register your interest with Sharon Kendall at email@example.com or phone the Development Office on 9854 3600.
At the June meeting, our immediate Past President, Tim Sharp (OTG 1994), retired from the Committee. I thank Tim for all his hard work and hope I can keep up the momentum started by him and previous Presidents. Tim served on the Committee from 1994 to 2016, demonstrating great passion for his old school. One of his lasting initiatives is the popular OTGA CBD Lunch held biannually, which provides an opportunity to hear from interesting speakers in an intimate environment. The next OTGA CBD Lunch will take place on December 2 and I thank Luke Power (OTG 1997), in advance, for agreeing to be our guest speaker.
If you would like to keep up to date with OTG community events and news, I encourage you to ‘like’ the Old Trinity Grammarians’ Association Facebook page, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/oldtrinitygrammarians/. The page has recently undergone a refurbishment and is continually updated with events of interest to the OTG community. We encourage you to go and check it out.
David Baumgartner (OTG 1979)