Xaverian College – the Parents/Teachers Association

My parents decided it would be a good idea to join the Parents/Teachers Association. I have no idea what the motivation was but for several years my mum ran the White Elephant Stall both at the Christmas Fair and the Summer Fete that were held annually. The Christmas Fair was held in the gymnasium, the Summer Fete on the cricket field which was in the school grounds. One year all the ladies of the association dressed up as medieval ladies in long dresses and elaborate headdresses and it was a glorious sunny day.

The White Elephant Stall was something I really enjoyed as I got first crack at any  unwanted toys that were sent for sale to raise school funds. I even served customers now and again. I remember that someone had the bright idea of contributing several cases of Heinz Curried Baked Beans which were still unsold at the end of the fete. One lunchtime on my way to Ward Hall for my ‘dinner’ I caught the whiff of something really pungent and not very pleasant. As I wondered what on earth it could be I had a sudden flash of insight that proved to be correct. The curried beans had found their way onto the menu…

I remember that the summer fete was the occasion of the first time I ever became intoxicated. There was a hoopla stall where the easiest prize to capture was the alcohol, being in bottles with very narrow necks of course. I managed to get one or two small bottles of that most obnoxious of all drinks ‘Cherry B’. This was often known as an aid to less scrupulous Lotharios in the sixties in the art of seduction. For me, it proved to be the first time I had felt that my arms and legs were suddenly out of my immediate control. Fortunately, Brother Cyril never witnessed the state I was in, otherwise, social occasion or not, I would have been in his office the following Monday for a taste of the cane.

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