The final tally was 38 attendees proudly wearing their 50th anniversary caps to the Botanic Gardens, Floriade, War Memorial, and brekkie at the Oaks Brasserie
(The caps had the twofold purpose of giving everyone something to help them remember the runion, and to allow the organisers to spot them as they wended their way through the various outdoor venues.)
The closest thing to a formal event was the banquet at the Ginseng Chinese Restaurant at the Hellenic Club, Woden, where we noted the absence of some of our old friends who had hoped to attend but were unable to - Margaret Dwyer (nee McKenna), Roger Stanley, Brian Smith, Keith Bain and Pam Kruger.
It seemed that too many of our former colleagues had shuffled off this mortal coil and we miss them: Dave ‘Dubbo’ Kesby, Bill Bergen, Dave ‘Kurt’ Argent and Bill Wilson, gentlemen all.
The smaller number at this get-together and the compact venues allowed people to catch up with old friends they had not had a chance to chat with on some earlier occasions.
It was great to see our man from the Top End, Mrs O'Brien's little boy Rory, make the trip down, but he must have missed the last-minute email warning of a sudden return to winter in the southern states.
(Shorts and thongs were not much protection against the chill winds and snowfall on the hills around Canberra on the last day of the reunion, but Rory was stoic.)
It was a long trip for some visitors but every State and Territory was represented except Tasmania. Quite a network.
We, the organisers of the Canberra bash, were pleased that everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we were happy to be able to do our bit in exchange for the great efforts of others who worked so hard to ensure everyone had a good time at Port Macquarie, Sydney (twice), and Brisbane.
No decision was reached about the location of the next reunion but Adelaide, Newcastle, and even the oft-maligned Gold Coast were bandied about in some conversations. This is in the lap of the gods for now...
Thanks to everyone for making this an anniversary to remember.