40 years of co-residency

At the College’s recent celebration of 40 years of co-residency, Margot Foster, President of the Union of the Fleur De Lys, reflects on her own experiences of College life and what has been achieved. Read her celebratory toast here.

Men and Women of Trinity: A Toast.

January 1976. Hot. Damned hot. Google reminded me recently of how hot that summer really was. I’d endured, as had we all in those days, the wait from the end of school to Christmas and then to early January when HSC results were dispatched. By mail. I was at Anglesea, as usual, and had to endure one extra day of pain and torture as my results were redirected from Camberwell whilst the landline rang hot with other people’s news. Relief. I got enough marks to get into law at Melbourne Uni no thanks to the parents who thought doing biology would keep my options open despite the fact science was never my strong suit, as the marks proved. The Web of Life textbook and I never understood each other very well. A toast to me for getting this far.

Mail came from PLC inviting me to join the old collegians association. I remember Dad writing a cheque for the princely sum of $17.00 for life membership. At the same time he asked me if’ I’d like to go to Trinity College – after all uni was going to be the best years of my life. This was a little out of the blue because he’d refused to let me go to Geelong Grammar when it went coed – he hadn’t enjoyed it one bit and his few memories of his years there included weeding the oval with John Landy when the gardeners had all gone off to war and being in class with Rupert Murdoch, apparently then a declared communist. As an aside he said he had been a non-resident here when doing medicine but I declined his offer. I didn’t tell him the prospect was too scary for a shy girl from PLC, an outpost in suburbia.

For first term I schlepped to uni on tram and train but soon enough met a whole lot of Trinity people doing law and moved in in second term as there were vacancies aplenty. The rest is history. A toast to Dad for a good idea, albeit with delayed execution.

For five years I enjoyed what we have all enjoyed and shared:

  • new friends, late nights
  • a spot of drinking here and there
  • no smoking
  • College balls and uni balls, College spor
  • sharing a study in Cowan or Jeopardy which proved a short-lived bad idea for most people
  • moving up the room hierarchy to a Behan suite with fireplace, via Cowan and Upper Clarke, the pinnacle
  • sharing showers and loos
  • running late to lectures albeit they were five minutes from bed
  • gossiping with a little bit of bitching but we didn’t know much about bullying,
  • Juttodie with wet sacks and heavy bricks on the Bulpadok as it is properly called, 
  • Elliott Fours on Albert Park Lake 
  • early morning swims in the Beaurepaire
  • the redoubtable Artie, Arthur Hills, and his sidekick the gardener Frank Henagan long before Frank became iconic
  • academic gowns over shorts and t-shirts 
17 Oct 2014