A STORY WORTH TELLING
ABOUT JAMES FLETT
(1978, for 'The Lion' magazine)
Martyn Smith, Lay Chaplain at Glen
Waverley, has provided the following chain of co-incidental events:
1967: David Kings, currently
Chairman of the Alumniís Central Committee, finds a "one copy only" etching
of L.A. Adamson, by J. Flett, whilst rummaging through a cast-off
folio in the back of a small, old shop in Little Collins Street.
He purchases it, frames it, and, in 1975, hangs it in his Assistant Housemasterís
office in the Boarding House at Wesley.
December, 1976: Before
leaving the Wesley staff to take up general practice in Shepparton, Kings
presents the etching as a gift to retiring Housemaster, Martyn Smith, who
is about to take up the position of Lay Chaplain at Wesley, Glen Waverley.
January, 1977: Smith
is glad to hand the etching as a focal point in his Junior School office.
9th June, 1978: Mrs
Brown of Glen Waverley, who has no connection at all with Wesley,
rings the Lay Chaplain because she has heard that the school has some kind
of service organisation; sheís heard "that the boys do jobs
for people." She tells of a seventy-four year old neighbour who has a
large property and needs some work done. He is an author and an artist.
His name is Flett, Jim Flett!
Martyn Smith continues: "Incredulous,
I heard the name repeated and looked up at the unique and valued etching
not three feet from my face. I assured Mrs Brown that we would help
her neighbour and made arrangements to visit him.
"I had the etching with me on Wednesday,
14th June, when I knocked on Jimís door at 4.30 in the afternoon.
Sure enough, it was he who had etched it! He still has the
plate, he thinks. Furthermore, he has other drawings of Adamsonís
school ... and of Stewartís.
"He also etched a better known portrait:-
a stern Adamsonian profile, copied from the painting in Adamson Hall.
Geoff Andrews, current Boarding Housemaster and Paul Greenaway, Development
Director, have copies hanging in their rooms.
"Jim reckons it will take a while
to find all his Wesley works but, in the meantime, twenty-four Wesley boys
from Grade Five to Form Two, have been helping to cart the wood, cut the
grass and mend the fences."