Winifred Jefferies, 93 yr old

Hello again from Grafton

It’s official now that the ceremony for the Grafton High School Centenary is over. The school has been here for 100 years and this in itself is quite a remarkable achievement.

Actually, it is quite interesting attending a school reunion as the spouse and not an attendee of the school; a bit like being an observer really. You stand by and watch looks of recognition dawning  as people finally recognise someone they knew as a teenager who is now almost recognisable!

Yes, Geoff attended High School here between 1955-57 so he was quite excited to be going and said to someone today: “Well, let’s put it this way, I won’t be here for the next Centenary!” Thanks for that Geoff. Unless of course there are no major develops that allow people to live to 200.

The oldest person there attended school in 1935 and she helped another person to cut the cake for the official opening. Later, being a pseudo reporter, I went and had to chat to Winifred Jeffries (93 yrs old) and asked for her photo. Apart from being hard of hearing,  she was delighted to be a celebrity when I suggested it and I asked for her photo.

Geoff only met two old school friends but there were lots of people he knew from the days of his boyhood here in Grafton. Another interesting person was one of the owners of the lovely old Saraton Theatre (original owners!) who Geoff knew as a child.

I asked for Irene’s photo also as she and Geoff’s sister were very adventurous for their time going overseas on the lovely cruise liner “The Oronsay” travelling in Europe and America for six months. Tomorrow we will visit the Theatre for old times sake.

The other person of interest was one of the owners of Langley’s Cafe which, we as a family have visited on every visit every year until it closed in 1997. How sad we were the year we came and found it closed! All home-made cakes and pies and what good memories the kids have from the twenty years we spent there.

Lexie Langley told us that the third generation did not wish to continue. And now Langley’s Cafe is just a distant memory of good times and great food tucked away for posterity. For me, it was wonderful to finally meet the faces behind these places that I knew so much about and that Geoff spoke of with fondness.

Now, the official Centenary reunion is over and we have a break before heading off for the Centenary Dinner tonight. Therefore I will leave you with this part of the school song which everyone sung in unison and even I was moved by it but read the words of the first verse and you will laugh. It sounds as if the song was written in the thirties as they sound so “corny” to us now.

“Where the lordly River Clarence

Rolls in splendour towards the sea

Where the stately Jacaranda

Blooms in regal majesty.

There our school, the pride and glory

Of a smiling Verdant land

In the hears of all Graftonians

Foremost shall forever stand.”

In closing, don’t forget that it is Easter Sunday tomorrow and the gap has now closed for finding that New Life shooting up through the earth. Today, I have struggled to keep up my “no sweets or chocolate fast” especially when I saw the homemade strawberry ice-cream (the people grow the strawberries too) .

I must confess I succumbed! Still, I am back on track now but “The Dinner” will be a temptation and I cannot guarantee I will go without dessert either!

Still, I won’t worry too much as I am happy enough with what has gone down this week. I say to you all: do the best you can with what you have available! Use the Grafton High School motto “KEEP STRIVING TO THE END” as your motto too and keep going on.

As I finish my blog I hope you enjoy the rest of the day in anticipation of a wonderful celebration tomorrow for Easter Sunday.

Until tomorrow.