TONY CONABERE BEGINS
AT GLEN WAVERLEY
(1977, for 'The Lion' magazine)
Whilst not quite so hair-raising
a tractor trailer ride a-la-Lormer, remembered with varying degrees of
fondness by nineteen years of Wesley boys at Chum Creek, the new Headmaster
of the Junior School, Tony Conabere, has shown his own prowess at the wheel
of the school's tractor in recent weeks as he has led the charge in a tree-planting
and path-laying program by the boys out at Waverley.
With Bill Schuster as adviser and
planner - what Third Form general scientist who has faithfully
copied those immaculate blackboards of botanic drawings could disagree
with that choice - Tony has helped with the plantings, and
now, at weekends, with the help of the Conabere offspring, can be seen
doing his fair share of the watering roster.
With similar enthusiasm, dressed
in workshorts and singlet, the Headmaster also turned foreman of a 25-strong
gang of lads when they laid a new path in 34 degree heat during the final
Club Activities Day this year.
Tony Conabere has an enormous capacity
for work, whether the task is doing the housework and minding the kids
on Saturday while his wife, Mim, hostesses for a range of Display Homes,
or whether it is the preparation of a detailed submission to Council and
the Commonwealth Government for an innovations grant, a scheme for the
offering of free places or the installation of closed circuit TV.
Educated at Scotch, he brings to
the Junior School at Wesley his own empathy with spaciousness, beauty of
environment and imaginative use of resources. This, with an active
mind which foresees the vast potential challenging the Wesley constituency
at Waverley and a knowledgeable respect for the school's tradition, leads
him to a firm commitment to the welfare and development of the school in
the exciting years ahead now that the Council appears to have drawn a clear
blue-print for Wesley's growth in the latter quarter of this century.
A cricketer of some note and a "Thirds"
footballer who remembers with some awe Woodlock's, Lucas' and Johnson's
Wesley teams, Tony Conabere has latterly turned to tennis to supplement
his four lap of the Junior School jog each morning. Barely a week
will go by in fine weather without a keenly fought doubles or singles match
with members of his staff on the courts adjacent the Headmaster's fine
old residence in High Street Road.
Whilst this forms one escape from
educational duties to committees within and without Wesley, preparations
for the opening of the new Primary Complex and the multiplicity of other
Headmasterly functions, one parent of a more recent old boy will testify
that, even in the Northern Stand of the MCG, supposedly "getting away from
it all", the teaching goes on; that Ellice, Marcus and Sophie Conabere,
and two of their friends, received detailed and precise tuition in the
appropriate eating of an Australian meat pie and sauce!!