21 October 2012

Austin College 40th Anniversary

Austin College at the University of New England is having its 40th anniversary celebrations this weekend.

This certainly brings home the passing of the years. When I lived in Handel Street in the 1950s to mid-1960s, in the red-roofed house with the pine trees out the front in the photo below, there were no buildings on the north side of the street, except for a house on the corner of Elm Avenue – the university leased the land to a local dairy farmer. When I left Armidale in 1966 there was no Austin College, although I well remember Robbie Austin as a prominent local medico and a long-standing member of the University Council. Even Earle Page College was still just the aggregation of the residents of the "Top Huts" near Booloominbah and the various houses that the university leased in the town.

The land in the foreground has long been completely built up - Duval College (before I left), Earle Page, St Albert's, Drummond & Smith and Austin Colleges all being located along there. That's progress, but I rather liked it the way it was when I was a small boy and there was nothing between me and Dumaresq Creek but a barbed wire fence and a few dairy cows.

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