TOPICS: Waratah Public in a class of it's own, Central Coast fail and the car park with no cars

TRANSFORMATION: The evolution of Waratah Public's class of 1968.

TRANSFORMATION: The evolution of Waratah Public's class of 1968.

A WORLD-famous harpsichordist with his own recording label, an IT worker who brought the London Stock Exchange into the digital era and a volunteer who spans the globe providing aid.

These are among the amazing life stories generated by a second wonder class of Waratah Public, which was officially named the “Opportunity Class” for gifted students.

It comes after Topics last week revealed a quest to track down three members of Waratah’s class of 1967 for a reunion.

But it appears the class of ’68 beat them to the punch.   

Belmont’s Dianne Davis told Topics she rounded up her old classmates two years ago and – like everything in life – the chance encounters snowballed into a chain of events.

The teacher, Brian Yee, was found the morning of the reunion buying bread rolls at Westfield Kotara, while the husband of another classmate bumped into one of the organisers in the emergency ward of John Hunter Hospital. 

Even today, the Waratah students meet in the most unlikely of places.

“Just this morning two of our classmates chatted in Changi Airport [in Singapore] while one was boarding a plane for Canberra and the other awaiting his flight to Munich,” Dianne said.

So what came of the OC class of ’68?

One member, Peter Watchorn, has a lengthy Wikipedia page detailing his life as a leading harpsichordist, with a recording label in the United States city of Boston.

Dianne said the musician played at their reunion and was instrumental in having a harpsichord built for Christ Church Cathedral in the ’80s.  

Another classmate, Ros James, started her career as an IT worker, helping to put the London Stock Exchange on the internet.

She later had a career change to archaeology. 

“The other classmates have been involved in a wide range of professions including teachers, service personnel, doctors and health professionals, engineers and IT,” Dianne said. “Two of our number are researchers and professors at the University of Queensland. There are also some involved in community matters – one receiving an OAM for services to the community and another working for a volunteer organisation in both Africa and the Solomon Islands.”

At their reunion in 2015, the wonder class got together for one more class photo, just for old times sake.

Dianne said it was a group effort to track everyone down.

“But once we got one, it revealed more clues to find the next one,” she said.

The class of ’67 was also well-credentialed, boasting a leading Californian economist and German baroness.

Sign of the times

FAIL: A billboard trumpeting the Central Coast backfired when Newcastle prevailed.

FAIL: A billboard trumpeting the Central Coast backfired when Newcastle prevailed.

IT will go down as the stunt that backfired. 

The Central Coast Mariners engaged in some gentle sledging at the weekend, telling motorists on the M1 that “the best road in Newcastle is the one out of it”.

No doubt hundreds of Newcastle Jets fans would have seen the billboard as they headed to the season-opener in Gosford.

The only problem? Central Coast lost spectacularly, going down 5-1 to the Jets.

Nice try, Central Coast.

It was all roads to Newcastle at the weekend.

Car park with no cars

OFF LIMITS: The popular Steel Lane car park was closed to the public last month.

OFF LIMITS: The popular Steel Lane car park was closed to the public last month.

LAST month, one of Newcastle’s last free all-day free car parks was barricaded off behind a rusty steel fence, erasing about 40 spaces from the city centre.

The cited reason for the closure was light rail work. Four weeks later, Steel Lane car park is still empty. Not a construction worker in sight, but those who usually park there told to go elsewhere.

Novocastrians get fired up about parking, and a busy car park that gets prematurely closed is probably why.

C’mon. Use the car park, or give it back.