Tales of the ’60s: The class of 1964 reunites

A reunion was held in July this year for the Class of 1964, with 18 alumni and unofficial patron Sir Anand Satyanand attending the celebrations at Government House.

A group photo of the reunion attendees

Some answered questions for us about their fondest memories, their careers following Law School, advice they might have, or something surprising. Here are some snippets.

Bill Falconer

“I didn’t practise law until briefly in my late 50s—but a legal education was invaluable in informing my otherwise diverse careers, though I was careful to employ lawyers rather than do my own lawyering.”

His best advice? “Being a lawyer is not necessarily the object of the exercise. Rather, the objective should be to know what you enjoy, and to achieve things doing it. This may or may not be as a lawyer.”

Roger Clark

“My fondest memory is of the quality of the Faculty, in particular, Colin Aikman, Ian Campbell, Don Inglis, George Barton, Don Mathieson, Shirley Smith and a young Ken Keith in the last year of my LLB. In terms of teaching styles, Ian Campbell was a terrifying exponent of the Socratic method; Don Inglis was a master at it also, but less terrifying. Shirley’s early departure into private practice was a great loss to the Faculty. She was a great role model in a school with very few women students and I vividly remember her struggles with child care.”

Sir Douglas Kidd

“It unlocked the door to a range and number of opportunities and career paths of which I haven’t as yet finished!”

A career highlight? “Being unexpectedly elected to Parliament (in a marginal seat) in 1978 after the sitting Member resigned, and serving 24 years as a Member.”

John Shaw

“I can’t do better than adopt John Henry Newman’s observation about the benefits of a university education: I hope it gave me a clear conscious view of my own opinions and judgments, a truth in developing them, an eloquence in expressing them and a force in urging them.”

Geoff Thompson

“My career veered wildly from a term in Hong Kong as a Crown litigator to developing political interests, to becoming an MP and President of the National Party, to partner chair of some significant private firms. There is still great value in securing a quality degree—good marks set a good foundation for whatever career path you choose.”

David Carruthers

“Advice to others… Take any opportunity to do different and other things and have as much fun as you can whilst doing so. Towards the end of my life it is clear that it is the things you didn’t try that rile, not what you did.

And surprises? “Many. One is that I was petrified of speaking in public and I now do it more times almost than eating.”

Maurice Rowe

“My first thought regrettably was a vivid memory rather than a fond memory. It was of me one dark evening on the steps of the Hunter Building attracted by a blazing fire across the harbour in Roseneath where I was flatting at the time. I could see that it was in the vicinity of our flat, and I was trying to decide whether it was the neighbour’s property on the left or the one on the right of our flat, but I was unable to decide which. When I arrived in Roseneath Crescent someone rushed up to me and told me that it was our flat which was on fire. I can remember my complete surprise at the time, as that possibility had not even occurred to me, and I guess I then learnt that I was an optimist by nature. For better or for worse, I still hope for, expect, and strive for the best outcomes!”

Brian Smythe

Best advice? “Maintain a broad interest in local, national and international affairs, and an awareness that strict application of the law can, if not tempered with reality and sometimes a drop of mercy, result in injustice. Adversarial advocacy appears to be fading in favour of more balanced attitudes.”

“Musical performance was always my second string. These days I enjoy playing banjo in a Dixieland jazz band with other enthusiastic retirees. I also do a weekly stint with the Citizens Advice Bureau, which keeps my remaining legal experience intact.”

Sir Kenneth Keith

“My advice would be read and think widely, well beyond the law. Don’t get stuck in a narrow rut.”

A career highlight? “Participating in significant constitutional reforms; judging here and abroad; but probably first and foremost teaching, with many able students going on to a wide range of great careers.”