Brisbane, Australia

October 20, Monday, we woke up at 4am to get the 6am plane to Brisbane where we are going to get-together with the Metallurgy Class of ’69. We rented a car, Bob driving on the wrong side of the road…SCARY! and finally found our way to the Aynsley B&B, where Alex and Karen Currie were waiting for us after 45 years. Wow, it was so great to see them again.  Gena, our host, was a fabulous cook, making the extra effort cooking a mushroom risotto for my breakfast. We stayed here two nights and loved it. The first day we explored the South Bank along the river in Brisbane and visited the GOMA and the Queensland Art Gallery. On Tuesday we took the Citycat ferry down the river to New Farm Park, then on our way back we walked around the streets of downtown.

The Reunion began at Lloyd and Sue Akeroyd’s house for a BBQ with Vern and Liz, Dave and Leslie, Alex and Karen and us, only five made it from a class of 17 this time. Then it was on to Binna Burra Mountain Lodge, founded in 1933, surrounded by the Lamington National Park, 75 km from Brisbane. The ten of us spent two fun days together, bushwalking, eating, drinking, reminiscing, 7am yoga classes, and enjoying the Australian wildlife: koalas, birds and pademelons and of course DRINKING! All in all it was a fantastic reunion and special thanks to Lloyd and Sue for planning this one. Can’t wait for the next one in Phoenix, AZ, in five years.

Before we left, Lloyd and Sue took us to the D’Aguilar National Park at the Mount Mee section, where we did some four-wheel driving up the steep narrow dirt roads. We stopped and had a picnic lunch and were attacked by a kookaburra who stole Sue’s sandwich off her plate, aggressive little suckers! We walked through a eucalyptus forest and saw some great views looking out toward the ocean to Brisbane.

Thanks Lloyd and Sue for such a fun day!

We also visited Brad and Louise Holcroft, and their dog Chili, at their beautiful remodeled home in Hamilton. We had met Brad (B-1) on our trip to Nepal in April and we wanted to reconnect again because the Australian hospitality is THE BEST! They are great hosts, so laid back, fun to be with, and prepared the most delicious salmon dinner ever. Brad is a tugboat Captain in the Port of Brisbane, and he invited us to come out with him on his tugboat one evening. What a thrill to watch him operate his tugboat as he maneuvered the 100,000+ ton super tanker into port and helped a large container ship make its way out of port. During the couple of hours with Brad and his crew on the tugboat, we took lots of photos as we were in awe of the enormity of these freighters when one is so close to them, and this 5500HP tugboat had no trouble pushing these massive ships around the Port.

Great evening Brad, thanks for this once-in-a-life-time experience!