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THE TWO OF US

The following stories were penned by 1969 College Captain Phil Carter and his lifelong mate from the early years of the Bundoora Campus Mick Boyne.
Both were reunited following Phil's recent road trip to New South Wales where he caught up with Mick and talked about old times.
In providing this accompanying image of himself with Mick, Phil said: “We had a great time, just chatting about the events of our own lives, the wider world, and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Sapphire Coast”.
Now read on . . .

Phil’s story.

Early this year I was aware that Mick Boyne’s retirement date was coming up, and was hoping to get up to Pambula Beach (where Mick lives), or thereabouts for a catch-up. Unfortunately I was not really clear to take off until June 11. When I rang Mick on the Queen's Birthday Holiday to say I was ready to take off the next day, he had been retired six weeks, and had started to renovate his house! So, on the Wednesday I arrived in Eden and Mick said come straight on - only another 20 minutes or so to his place. I had lunch with him and his wife, Kathy, who hails from Canada. Mick had done some homework for me on places to stay, and I decided on "Tathra beachside" where I had a Studio Shack for ten nights for a very reasonable rate. Tathra is a lovely place with a great beach, however it is a step down in size from places like Bermagui, Merimbula and Eden. The Tathra Hotel, Country (Golf) Club, and Bowling Club are nice places to eat at night. The Wild Orchid is a very nice place to have breakfast/lunch.

We had two pretty full days together doing a guided tour of the surrounding area. Mick knew the area like the back of his hand, and with pristine beaches, large waterways, National Parks and rural towns of some note, it was good fun. My hobby is photography, so I proceeded to take plenty of shots, and I am very happy with the results. My new nickname is "Paparazzi" for this reason. His is "Pepperoni" which stems from his love of hot and spicy foods! Mick coined both those names and always seemed to be able to coin a phrase or term that would stick with people. I stayed a couple of extra nights in Merimbula before heading home and, with the 'Pies playing the Dogs on the Sunday afternoon, we watched that match together at the RSL to finish off the trip with a win! We are both keen Magpie supporters.

For me it was a great chance to reconnect with one of my closest mates from school days at Parade. Mick had come to Parade Prep. at Alphington for Year7 with his great mate from St Pius (West Heidelberg), Graeme (‘Harry’) Price. The three of us journeyed through to Matriculation, via three years at the East Melbourne site, for the very first year at the Bundoora Campus. Footy, cricket, athletics we all did well in, and Harry was a swimmer good enough to represent the school as well. I must mention Mick's ability as a cricketer; he was an outstanding medium/fast bowler. There was one ACC match in which Mick took 15 wickets and we won that match outright, which was unheard of in those days. In late 1968 he was selected to train with the Victorian Schoolboys' side at the completion of the school year. While he was 12th man in the match against an Indian schoolboy team, the man who kept him from playing in that match was Rodney Hogg.

After deciding that the University of Melbourne was not for him, Mick set off and, in short, toured the world for ten years or so. The standout story for me was his experience in Northern Island, where he and Kathy had a hire car. They stopped in Belfast in the main street to have a bit of a look around. Before they had gone far, the cops were all over them. It was in the seventies, and cars were not allowed to be "left" on the side of the road, as they often had bombs fixed to their undersides! Local knowledge eh.

Mick and Kathy settled around Cobargo in the eighties and have two children, Lucas and Jessica. They moved to where they are now, in Pambula Beach around 20 years ago.

One of the things that I know is true and that I really value, is that whenever Mick came home for a visit to Melbourne, he always made the effort to catch up with me. Whenever that happened, it was just like the old times. To me the period immediately after school, when we were both finding our feet in the wider world, seemed to cement a friendship for which we had formed a solid base in the years at Parade. My recent holiday to the Sapphire Coast confirmed to me the value of friendship. I think it is much underrated in the world these days.

 

Mick's story

In June 2019, Phil took the long and winding road up the Princes Hwy to visit his old mate on the charming Sapphire Coast of Southern New South Wales. These two Old Paradians met in 1962 at the Preparatory College in Alphington and have remained best mates over those 57 eventful years.

Due to rennos at my house in Pambula Beach, Phil booked himself into a beach shack at Franki Js’ Caravan Park in beautiful Tathra. He took in the sights, snapping away with his camera and decided to arm himself with a firm stick after being closely examined by a huge buck roo on one of his walks.

“Paparazzi “ Phil (loves taking photos) and “Pepperoni” Mick (loves spicy food) toured around together, taking in all the beautiful waterways and countryside that is on offer in this pristine backwater of NSW. Lunch and photos (but no spicy food!!) were enjoyed at the Seahorse Inn south of Eden where Phil took a shine to Barmaid Sonya, who was prepared to ask the chef if he could do vegies instead of salad as per the menu. He thought that it was fantastic that she would even ask and flabbergasted that the chef concurred. Nothing like country hospitality!

A visit along isolated dirt roads to Green Cape lighthouse had to be aborted due to a shortage of fuel in Phils’ Toyota Kluger and after a short Caucus meeting, it was agreed that the closer Saltwater Creek would be a safer alternative. “Paparazzi” was in his element snapping roos and wallabies (“take the photo and then move another two steps closer in case they bolt” he whispered). The fuel issue became a bit more serious as we turned right instead of left off Duck Hole road and used up more precious fuel. When we finally made it back to the highway, Kluges was telling us there was no fuel left and we still had 20 kms to the nearest servo at Eden. It was the most tense that we’ve been together since we wrapped our arms around each other while practising ballroom dancing at the Old Bluestone Pile back in 66 before an upcoming dance with those CLC lovelies!!!!!! Kluges was only firing on vapour and “Running On Empty” by Jackson Brown was humming in my head. Just made it to Eden.

We watched our beloved Pies scrape home against Footscray (still their proper name) at a club in Merimbula after taking in Rocketman at the cinema. Last time we saw a movie together was back in 68 where we watched Jesus Christ Superstar in Sydney. We’ve always had a similar love of music and I attribute my hearing loss to Phil dragging me along to watch Billy Thorpe playing at white hot volume in the confined city basement of the Thumping Tum disco in the late 60’s.

Anyhow, I won’t turn this into a War & Peace saga, so will let you move on. It was so good to catch up with Phil and every time we get together, it’s like those 57 years are just numbers and we’re still mates with the same interests. He lets me know what all of our old school mates are up to and is passionate about Old Paradians. Thanks for your time.

Pepperoni