More Cronulla High memories

I refer to the previous post. Yes indeed: Brian McCaughan and Geoff McCaughan are in the back row of the class of 1968.

Australia Day honours in the Member (AM) General Division 2009

  • Associate Professor Brian Charles McCaughan (For service to medicine in the field of cardiothoracic surgery)

Cardiothoracic surgeon Brian McCaughan is Clinical Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine. Based at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, he is recognised for his expertise in the management of lung cancers. He is also well known for his involvement in professional matters and for contributions to the improvement of health services in NSW. He has held a number of positions with the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, including serving as Chair of the NSW State Committee. He has held positions in a number of key NSW health committees, including membership of the Ministerial Advisory Committee of Quality in Health Care, and Chair of the Sustainable Access Health Priority Taskforce.

Professor McCaughan graduated MBBS (Hons) from the University of Sydney in 1975 and became a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons in 1982. His international experience includes fellowships at the Mayo Clinic in the United States, and at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York.


Professor Geoff McCaughan

Professor McCaughan is head of the Liver Immunology group in the Centenary Institute. Upon completion of his postdoctoral training at the University of Oxford in 1986 as a CJ Martin Fellow, he returned to Sydney where he developed the basic research programme for the AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital of which he is now the Director. His current research interests include the immunopathogenesis of human chronic liver disease, liver autoimmunity, liver transplant tolerance and molecular analysis of hepatitis C virus.

Not bad from one class in a comprehensive school! But in 1968 comprehensive schools really were comprehensive! We had both ends and the middle. The other end was a revelation to me with my selective school and university background!

But my three HSC classes were a joy. They were also in the first three HSC cohorts ever.

1967 I had the “bottom” Year 12 – or Sixth Form as it was called then. They did pretty well – we were all nervous about it. I remember my first inspection by one Eula Guthrie in that class. Paul Humphries shouted “Fiddlesticks!” at the top of his voice when Ms Guthrie – a bit of a dragon – had taken over the class to demonstrate something to me. Paul later said he hoped he hadn’t got me into trouble. They had all been so good that day. Turned  out she liked it!  “Good to see a responsive class,” or something like that.

1968 is as you have seen. I was suitably humiliated the previous year, I think it was, when another back row person there got his pilot’s licence before I had my P’s!


The girls of 1968

Sometime in 67-68 I was quite ill, actually. I recall saying to one class that if I fell off my chair to just carry me to the staff room! I was in fact suffering from malnutrition, having had hepatitis in 1964 and staying too long on a low fat diet. Some Vitamin B shots eventually fixed me, after one doctor had starved me further by mistakenly thinking I had a gluten allergy. I sure was thin at one point there. Yesterday’s photo must have been post-Vitamin B.

The Class of 1969 were also memorable, especially for debating, which I coached.

Good times and good people. Nice staff to work with too: Jack Morrison, Ken Palmer, Doug Goldstone, Paul Herlinger, Laurie Butterfield, Phyllis Wheeler, Geoff Borny, Debbie Townsend, Beth Kimball from Modesto, California, and who will ever forget Christine Fisher-Webster….

My youth led to one embarrassing moment when the Head of Science came out of his staff room and told me to quieten down. I was not wearing my jacket so he mistook me in my white shirt in a group of students also in white shirts for a pupil.

2 thoughts on “More Cronulla High memories

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