Staying overnight at Fairbridge is a great experience. Lois Elliott hosted John Galsworthy, Gladys Mares, Christine Downs, and Stuart Law & myself, Gordon Stuart, with fine country & Fairbridge style and hospitality in her home, “Elliott’s Nest”, the Saturday night before Founder’s Day. We enjoyed dinner in Pinjarra and, before this and subsequent to the dinner and into the late hours, exchanged many recollections of Fairbridge life over assorted beverages! We were joined in all this by Sean Fairbridge, grandson of Rhodes Fairbridge (and therefore great-grandson of Kingsley & Ruby Fairbridge) who is over from the U.S.A. and I hope he enjoyed the impromptu partying! A million thanks to Lois Elliott and “Shadow”, her dog, who enjoyed all the attention.

What a wonderful walk around Fairbridge at night, torch in hand to avoid the big puddles on the roads, and to see all the cottages brightly lit and occupied.

Founder’s Day was a little wet this year but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the many people who made the trip. A big crowd was in the Church (it was almost full) to partake in the service and hear the addresses by Mr John Collett (Chairman of the Board of Fairbridge W.A.) and Mr Sean Fairbridge who delivered a eulogy for his grandfather, Rhodes Fairbridge. The service was conducted by the Rev. Don Finlay and the lessons were read by Old Fairbridgian Mike Barnett and Mrs Eve Bryason of the Old Fairbridgians, Molong, NSW.

Afterwards and back in the very elegant renovated Clubhouse, Fairbridge W.A. board members, Old Fairbridgians, their families and visitors were made every welcome by the O.F.A. President and Committee members.

So many old faces there and so little time. During lunch I was privileged to say hello to the O.F.A committee members, evergreen Alwyn Bridges, Mike Barnett, Bob Mitchell, Mark Anderson, Norm Heslington, Norm Henshall etc, and was especially pleasant to see John Lane again in the crowd! It was nice to welcome and meet again Mr Geoff Steer, an old Glasgow boy, who was visiting from Sydney. The Clubhouse was packed and I think the O.F.A. committee would be well pleased with the turn-out this year.

For the second year in a row we have had some of the Fairbridge family at the gathering. This year, Sean Fairbridge’s “pilgrimage” from the U.S.A. again brought us all closer to the family. He is staying (and working!) in the Village for a week or so and I think his participation and presence will be inspirational to all who are associated with Fairbridge. A very pleasant young man. I hope our pre-Founder’s Day evening didn’t lead him too much astray!