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June 7, 2012

Just another night at Camp 6 at Loloho


Christmas 1970

From left to right: Neil Jackson, Bechtel Head Timekeeper, already well into his drinks but still some time before he would turn ugly and disagreeable, who eventually finished up back in Melbourne where, having inherited his auntie's million-dollar-mansion in blue-ribbon Toorak, he was surrounded by a whole lot of cats and empty bottles and neighbours who were trying to have him evicted; Peter Goerman, Bechtel Senior Auditor, sitting on the donga's most important piece of furniture, the beer fridge, and wondering how he'd finished up in this company of alcoholics and misfits; Bob Green, recently married Bechtel Timekeeper, whose young wife back in Australia would write him one long, multi-paged letter every day which he would receive by the dozen each mail-day, and then spent all night in his donga replying to them. Of course, such mental torture was too much and he only lasted a couple of months before returning to Melbourne.

A friend who was also there in the early days, posed the question, "Why did we all look so fabulously happy and healthy when we were there? Could we re-capture that if we went back there?" He answered his own question when he continued, "Actually, camp life is camp life and ... it is a real pleasure to be part of it and it never changes. I have had the opportunity to experience it in recent times and it is fun and brings back a lot of memories and really makes you feel young again, although when you try to leap over tall buildings like you used to, you hit the wall halfway up, but it's the trying in the right atmosphere that makes you feel good."