The brothers’ final year
I moved to De La Salle from St. Joseph’s primary in 1969, the final year under the De La Salle brothers. Brother Wilfred was head of the school with Brother Gerard as deputy head. I also remember brother Adrian and brother Alise (my spelling may be inaccurate here). My form was 1X and we were situated on the top floor of the wing overlooking the cricket nets and a tarmaced play area. It was a pretty intimidating atmosphere for a small 11 year old boy.
Remembering our teachers
We had some very kind teachers including Mrs ‘Nobby’ Clark who taught English, Mr Malley-Smith who taught science, Mr O’Sullivan the P.E. teacher and Mr ‘Crusty’ Kerr the very deaf maths teacher. We also had some teachers who were pretty fearsome there was Mr North who would send one of the boys down to the drinks dispenser for a cup of something, read the paper and put his feet up on the desk for many of the French lessons he was supposed to be teaching. I remember Mr Sadek, Mr Duffy and Brother Gerrard. There was also a very odd music teacher, Mr Langridge, who used to play Schubert on the piano while we all sat in semi-circles in front of him as if he was a concert pianist. Other teachers included Mr Lawson who taught English and was reputedly younger than some of the upper 6th, and the highly perfumed Mrs Horsfield.
Rigid discipline maintained
Discipline was instilled and inflicted in equal measure. We all wore the school uniform and our shoes and appearance were inspected each morning. We were punished if we had been playing football before the bell went in the morning and our shoes were scuffed. It was not uncommon, in class, for us to be the target of projectiles such as sticks of chalk, rubbers etc, aimed from the teachers’ desk. Often, offenders were stood at the front with the blackboard rubber held at arms length, until ones arm dropped and a ruler would descend across your knuckles. I have never missed that school and was glad when the brothers departed.