Monday, July 27, 2009

Train Reading - Keith Leopold's Came to Booloominbah

In spare moments during this moving period I have been reading Keith Leopold's Came to Booloominbah: a country scholar's progress 1938-1942 (University of New England Press, Armidale, 1988).

When the New England University College opened its doors in 1938 there were just eleven full time enrolments, eight men and three women. Of the eight men, six were on Teacher's College scholarships. They and their schools were:

  • Lewis Border (The Armidale School)
  • Thomas Harrigan (Marist Brothers, West Maitland)
  • Max Hartwell (Glen Innes High School)
  • Keith Leopold (Maitland Boy's High School)
  • Patrick Thompson (Taree High School)
  • Leslie Titterton (Kempsey High School)

Just a list of names and schools, one private, five public. But they came from all parts of New England. The Maitland boys found Armidale very small. It was also a long way from home - eight hours by train. The Kempsey and Taree boys may have found the distance even longer - there were no train connections here. They either went home by motor coach over the rough roads or, perhaps, by train to Sydney and then steamer.

I will write more on the first NEUC intake a little later. I find it interesting that they did so well in later life. Their story is also a story of a very different world, one about to end with war.

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