Two photos, six graduates and 50 years
The chance to re-enact a photo taken fifty years ago brought all remaining 1956 Electrical Engineering Honours graduates back to the University of Adelaide last month.
The 1956 Graduates' Golden Jubilee Reunion provided the ideal occasion for the graduates to reunite, reminisce and re-enact the photo taken on their "special" graduation 50 years ago.
The seven original Electrical Engineering Honours students - Brian Chase, Robert Bogner, Roger Smith, Terry Wollaston, Henry d'Assumpcao, Bernie Wadsworth and Keith Breynard - didn't graduate at the same time as other students from their year.
Honours Supervisor and the Head of Electrical Engineering at the time, Professor Willoughby, wanted the group to do extended work on their theses, so their graduation was delayed until July 27 of 1956. The seven had their own graduation ceremony, and their own group photograph to mark the occasion.
The photo shows a small assemblage of students holding the parchments earned through their years of study, fresh-faced and ready for life.
In the 50-year intermission between photos, lives have been lived, careers established, marriages built, children and grandchildren born.
A lot may have changed in five decades, but for Brian Chase, who hadn't seen his fellow alumni since graduation, recognition wasn't a problem.
"I recognised everyone as soon as I saw them - they haven't changed much at all, just look at the photos!"
It was a reunion that Brian was initially worried wouldn't happen at all. After reading about the upcoming Golden Jubilee in the University's magazine, Lumen, Brian was concerned the University might not be aware of their unique circumstances.
"When I read about the Reunion I wondered, did the University know about our special graduation? So I got in contact with the University and we started to get the names together, and we found everyone who was on the list," he said.
After making contact with all remaining graduates (sadly, the seventh member of the group, Keith Breynard, had passed away) all six came to the Jubilee, travelling from as far afield as the US, as well as from interstate, to attend. Taking Keith Breynard's place for the photograph is Carlein Gurr, who was Professor Willoughby's secretary in 1956.
"It was just great to see everyone again," said Brian. "The day went remarkably well, it was very pleasant and well organised."
This year marked the 21st consecutive Golden Jubilee Commemoration, which has proven one of the largest and most successful events in the University's Reunions Program.
Story by Lana Guineay