Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

Good-bye to all that

Not since the jizyah tax was lifted has a party been more fervently celebrated than that of the 30th birthday for old boy Anthony McFarlane.  A cast and crew of about 40 made up of Warrane old boys, family and friends, turned out on a glorious, Sydney winter’s day for a magnificent feast to farewell what was a magnificent youth.

Hosted by the ever generous Masry family in their immaculate, manicured gardens the stage was more than spectacularly suited for such a dignified event.

The afternoon of August 8 was not only a cheery affair, it was also without incident. Even during the birthday speeches when the possibility of there being a Jesuit conspiracy behind the canonisation of Mary McKillop was floated, the usually raucous Warrane crowed merely laughed politely, such was the evidence of good humour present on the day.

Games were suggested for the afternoon’s entertainment, however, in the usual Warrane tradition no consensus could be reached.  Some guests thought it would be fun to play charades, this was countered by another faction of guests suggesting that due to the unusual warm weather strip poker would be more than appropriate. The debate threatened to turn ugly when finally it was settled by a commotion  that prevented any organised activities from beginning.  An irate mother began screaming when her child decided to climb the cherub atop the large garden fountain and mimic its position not only publicly exposing itself but also drenching the nearby pudding in a substance slightly more tangy than the original brandy sauce intended for the divine dessert.

Far too many oldboys were present to name individually, however, mentions should go to a number of notables.  Mitch Leach, Dominic Perrottet and David Ramadge were present with their young families in tow. Ian Goon and former Deputy Master (as the position was then known) Richard Vella both took the time out of their busy schedules to drop in a toast on the day.

Of course there were some missing in action, Richard Fowler ended up arriving six hours after the last guest had left which made for a wonderful sing-a-long around the campfire with the Masry family in a memorial ode to what could have been if they had only read the invitation more carefully. Siamak Dubai sent his apologies from his oil drenched cruise liner somewhere in the gulf and Jake Hansen was being held on a trespassing charge (most unfortunate because he was actually caught asleep on the floor of his own optometry practice by a concerned neighbourhood watch member).

All in all a wonderful celebration of life that will only be matched when the Paschal candle is lit at the end of Lent and a feast of new life is welcomed into the next liturgical year.

by Nicholas Santucci (2001-04; 2006-07)