TOPICS: Finding old school friends with photos

From Wati’s Facebook page HOW do you reach out to old school pals if they’re not on Facebook?

And if you don’t know their married names? This class photo could hold the key.

Fifty years ago, Halina Paczynski and her friends sat their leaving certificate, now the HSC, at St Aloysius Secondary School. It closed in 1979.

State of Origin streaker Wati Holmwood.

Former St Aloysius students left to right all in 3rd row from the front – 1st Maria Temperley, 4th from left is Halina Paczynski, 5th from left is Barbara Whitcher and 8th from left is Janina Sulikowski.

MEMORIES: Former St Aloysius students Halina Paczynski, Barbara Whitcher, Janina Sulikowski and Maria Temperley. Picture: Ryan Osland

Ms Paczynski and some fellow alumni will hold a reunion on Saturday at Wests New Lambton.

“It’s a sense of belonging,” she told Topics, on why they keep in touch.

“A large percentage of the group were from different ethnic backgrounds, and as we age it’s a support network.”

Many of the girls in the class of ’63 came from Polish and Ukrainian families, and there were pockets of Russians, Germans and Belarusians. They would’ve had the best lunches.

A coterie of old classmates has met up every July for the past 10 years and they hope to get more along for the 50th, which starts at noon.

You can see here how Ms Paczynski and her friends looked in their last year of school. They’re hoping some of their classmates will recognise themselves.

You can email [email protected]杭州夜生活m for more information.

Meanwhile, do other readers (of a certain age) still have their school photos? Would people recognise you from school? Share with Topics.

Origin agony endures

HIS boss has a warped sense of humour, but St John’s Cooks Hill reverend Stewart Perry continues to impress Topics with his noticeboard messages.

The Lord saw fit to reward sport’s least gracious winners with another Origin series win on Wednesday night (apparently seven wasn’t enough). So the reverend posted some biblical advice.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering. Congrats Qld.”

That will be our state motto at this rate. Mr Perry confessed to Topics that the message wasn’t his original choice.

“I was going to put ‘How long, O Lord? How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat?’ from Psalm 94. , But that didn’t seem very pastoral,” he said.

On alosing streak

WHAT more can one say about Wati Holmwood, the greased-up specimen of a man who hurtled across the turf in Wednesday night’s Origin decider?

Well, this: Topics has seen his Facebook page. We stumbled on it in the course of our research.

Needing to know what makes such a man tick, we scrolled down Wati’s wall.

He’d posted several fitness videos, with titles like “Spartacus bodyweight workout #3” and “Super Human Strength Pull Ups”.

It’s unclear whether that’s how he stays in shape. But for those wondering whether Wati’s nude intervention was meant to help the home team or the visitors, there may be a clue.

In December, Wati posted a cartoon of a beefy bald guy in a Blues jersey tearing up a maroon flag. Interesting.

Difference of opinion

THE mystery that shrouds the Herald Lost and Found section thickens by the day.

“Lost,” read a notice, this week.

“One argument – Lemon Tree Passage Barber’s Shop.”

Thanks to reader Janette Shipley for spotting it.

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STABLE TALK: Lees set to top best year

PERSONAL BEST: Trainer Kris Lees is on track to break his own record. Picture: Ryan OslandNEWCASTLE trainer Kris Lees can celebrate a record-breaking season with a win by Whitlam at Rosehill tomorrow.

A win by Beaufort Gyre at Port Macquarie on Tuesday took Lees’s tally throughout Australia for the present season to 107 – a personal best.

His previous top score was 106 winners in 2008-09.

As well as winners throughout NSW, Lees also had success with Express Power in the listed Golden Bracelet at the Gold Coast and with Next The Universe at Doomben last Saturday in Queensland.

Lees was also successful in Melbourne with Soapy Star at Moonee Valley.

Now he is hoping for another Sydney victory with Whitlam which runs in the Flight Services over 1100m tomorrow.

“There looks to be good go forward in this race which will suit him,” Lees said.

“He was slightly disappointing last start but with a stronger tempo on Saturday he might get a good suck up run behind them and hopefully finish it off.

“He has really thrived since his first-up effort.”

Lees, who has trained group 1 stars such as Samantha Miss, County Tyrone and Vitesse Dane, said that there were “no stand-outs in his team right now”.

“What we have now are a good lot of horses which have raced well all season.

“I do have the imported horses Hathras and Award Season which showed a lot since they have come to me.

“The other one that I have high hopes for is Express Power. She is showing good staying potential and hopefully she can measure up in better grade next season.”

Lees also has another imported galloper in Salon Soldier which has just entered his yard from quarantine.

Salon Soldier, which had good form in Germany, is qualified for the Caulfield Cup.

“I am hoping he can measure up for a cups preparation in Melbourne,” Lees said. “He has gone into work, so his progress will determine our program with him. But I can say he is a lovely type.”

■ Training four winners on the one program does occur, but Kris Lees took that rare feat to a new level this week.

At Scone on Monday Lees had four winners, each ridden by a different jockey.

“I used a couple of apprentices because of their claim and I also had a couple of the usual suspects to ride winners for me,” he said. “It was simply a case of trying to get the right rider to give each horse the best chance.”

The Lees quadrella was: Swanky Beau, ridden by Andrew Gibbons, in the 1300m maiden; Project Compassion, ridden by Dale Spriggs, in the 1400m handicap; Niobe, ridden by Yusuke Ichikawa, in the 1100m maiden; and Fine Bubbles, ridden by Taylor Marshall, in the 1300m class 1.

Those four winners enabled Lees to win the Scone trainers’ premiership by one from Paul Messara.

Lees kept the theme of using different jockeys the next day when at Port Macquarie he scored with Beaufort Gyre, ridden by Shane Arnold.

■ Newcastle trainer Darren Smith hopes a huge drop in class will enable dual group 1 winner Atomic Force to race back into form tomorrow.

Atomic Force, which has won the group 1 Galaxy at Randwick and the group 1 Railway Stakes in New Zealand, will carry 60 kilos after the three-kilo claim for Lester Grace.

Atomic Force runs in the 1100m benchmark 95 at Rosehill.

“Sure he has a huge weight, but I will say the horse is going good,” Smith said.

“He is bright and ready to go so I am expecting a bold showing from him.”

Smith will run Excellent Point and The Gallows in race three over 1200m.

“Excellent Point is working really well and The Gallows has been hampered by wet tracks,” he said.

“Oakfield Comet is nearing peak fitness after two good runs from a spell.”

■ Master Broadmeadow trainer Paul Perry expects a much-improved showing from his imported stayer Ghost Protocol tomorrow.

Ghost Protocol, which won twice in England, runs in the 2000m handicap at Rosehill.

Ghost Protocol was showing promise before he failed on a bog track over 1900m on July 11.

“The tempo of the race meant horses had to be on the pace, and he was back in the ruck and just didn’t handle the really wet track,” Perry said. “The way he is looking I am expecting him to go much better. I think he has shown so far in Australia he might turn out a fair staying type.”

Perry has Wouldnt It Be Nice in the two-year-old.

“He has to take on the top weight (Bull Point) which beat him home last start,” Perry said. “But Wouldnt It Be Nice showed last start he can match it with the better type at this time of year.”

■ The Scone jockey’s title was shared by Dale Spriggs and Robert Thompson.

■ Newcastle’s cups prospect Hathras started on the long road to the Melbourne spring at Broadmeadow on Tuesday.

The former German stayer finished fourth in an open barrier trial at Broadmeadow.

Hathras was ridden by top Newcastle jockey Andrew Gibbons.

“He gave me a good feel and it looks like he will come back better than in his first preparation in Australia,” Gibbons said.

Kris Lees is looking to the listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill on August 31 as an immediate goal then on to the group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on his home track on September 19.

■ Gosford Race Club chief executive officer James Heddo hasn’t had to look too far to find a winner.

His daughter, Taryn played in the NSW under-18 women’s cricket team which won the national title in January.

Last month, 16-year-old Taryn, an opening bowler, was named in the Australian under-18 talent squad.

This week she was awarded a Basil Sellers Cricket Scholarship presented to support the development of players aged 16 to 19.

■ There is an interesting and very different battle going on for the Cessnock trainers’ premiership.

The final meeting for the season at Cessnock will be staged on Monday.

Cessnock’s Jeremy Sylvester is on seven wins, as is Kris Lees, with Paul Perry the nearest chaser on five wins.

Sylvester is also the manager of Ellalong Farm, where horses are spelled and pre-trained. The establishment is owned by Kris Lees.

So Sylvester, who does not have a runner, would have to hope that his employer, who has four runners, does not get a winner.

■ In the jockeys’ title race at Cessnock, Robert Thompson is of course panels of fencing ahead of his rivals.

Thompson has clinched the title with his 12 wins, well clear of Dale Spriggs and Greg Ryan, who are both on five victories.

■ They say nothing improves a horse’s form more than an enthusiastic owner. That may be the case with promising Newcastle filly Fine Bubbles.

Fine Bubbles made it two wins and four placings from just nine starts with a good win at Scone on Monday.

She is raced by good mates and well-known Newcastle businessmen Ray Robinson, Ian Haxton and Allan Cox along with Yarraman Park Stud principal Arthur Mitchell, Sydney race tipster Ron Dufficy and trainer Kris Lees.

While the celebrations were in full flight after the win, the future of Fine Bubbles just kept getting bigger.

“It was only a win at Scone, but by the time we were finished celebrating Allan Cox wasn’t worried about the Melbourne Cup – he reckoned she could win the Davis Cup,” Robinson said.

■ Highly promising Wyong galloper The Bodyguard has been sold to Hong Kong.

He goes into quarantine today before heading overseas.

The Bodyguard was trained by Tracey Bartley when he bolted in on debut on his home track on July 4.

The Bodyguard was ridden by Nash Rawiller and was never going to be beaten in the 1200m maiden as a $2.10 favourite.

On the same day, Rawiller rode Curfew, which won by over six lengths in a maiden.

Trained by Darren Smith at Broadmeadow, Curfew was narrowly beaten at Wyong yesterday.

Curfew was an odds-on favourite but did not get an easy run and despite trying hard in the straight was just beaten.

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Anthony Callea’s new album Thirty

ANTHONY Callea didn’t want a big party to celebrate his 30th birthday.

RETURN: Australian Idol star Anthony Callea will perform in Belmont next month.

Instead the singer, who placed as runner-up on the 2004 season of Australian Idol, chose to mark his third decade with an album of songs that have inspired him throughout his life.

“I haven’t put an album out for a while so I wanted to put an album together and I thought turning 30 was a good excuse to celebrate that milestone,” Callea says.

The album (titled Thirty) includes covers of Cheap Trick’s The Flame, Heart’s Alone and Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross, along with two originals, My All and I’ll Be The One, and a couple of Italian songs to pay homage to his family background.

“This album was probably one of the easiest albums to put together and I say that in a really good way,” Callea says.

“I’ve lived with these songs for so many years and I wanted to record songs that have somewhat influenced me over the last 30 years.

“These songs have been part of my life and I’ve sung a lot of them live but I’ve just never recorded them so it was a great opportunity to sit down and go ‘OK what are the songs that really have spoken to me and captured me’.

“It wasn’t about recreating these songs at all. It was about just putting my stamp on them and hopefully I’ve done that without playing around with them too much.”

The album was recorded in Callea’s home town of Melbourne with all of the strings on the album recorded live.

Releasing the album spells the beginning of a new partnership with ABC Music who released Thirty after Callea approached them with the project earlier this year.

“It was a bit daunting – totally,” Callea laughs.

“You want to do this thing so badly and you want these people to come on board and so it’s like you need to sell it to them.

“I’m so glad that they understood what I wanted to do with the album from word go.”

Callea, who has been chosen as one of the acts to perform at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle on December 1, is touring the album with a run of dates in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

The singer says he owes a lot to Australian Idol, conceding that the show was a huge stepping stone in his music career.

“I still get to wake up everyday and say that I’m a singer so it’s pretty cool,” Callea says.

“I don’t have any regrets whatsoever. I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing right now if it wasn’t for that show.

“It gave me an amazing launch pad and it taught me so many things and I walked away with so many experiences and lessons learnt from that show.

“I was young – I was 21 – and I can only speak from my experience but the hard work definitely starts as soon as that show’s over.

“At times it did get a little bit overwhelming but if you don’t get lost in the hype of the show and just remember why you actually walked into that audition room in the first place then hopefully you can keep it all together.”

As well as the tour, Callea is also appearing in a production of Grease The Musical which kicks off in Brisbane next month.

He says his partner of five years, House Husbands actor Tim Campbell, offers him plenty of tips for the stage.

“I’m the first one to put my hand up and say ‘I’m not really the actor, I’m more the singer’ [laughs], so living in a household where one’s a singer and one’s an actor, it’s great,” Callea says.

“I can give him singing tips and he can give me acting tips, so it’s a fair swap. I’ve saved myself $100 an hour!”

Anthony Callea performs at Belmont 16 Foot Sailing Club on August 3. Bookings online at 16s杭州夜生活 or phone 49450888.

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All Stars warm to task of building from scratch

Preparations: Brett Emerton training with the A-League All-Stars before Saturday’s clash with Manchester United. Photo: Anthony JohnsonThe A-League All Stars appear all smiles in front of the cameras as they prepare for their historic clash against Manchester United but there was a tense undertone throughout the squad on day one because of long-held and bitter rivalries, says Thomas Broich.

The Brisbane Roar playmaker said many of the players struggled to put aside their personal grudges from club level upon arrival in camp, which threatened their ability to gel as a team. The expectation that past feuds would be forgiven or forgotten was not immediately adopted by all, and the 32-year-old German held early fears for team morale because of the initial difficulties in communicating.

“We’ve developed some rivalries over the years, and the first few days felt a bit strange, all of a sudden we’re meant to be friends and take on the biggest team in world football,” Broich said. “But we’ve done well, we’ve overcome those past experiences and we’re really getting along well now. We’ve played some grand finals, and some red cards and penalties were handed out. The guys are really competitive, and before that we didn’t really know each other. Well, some did but I didn’t really know anyone. But, that’s changed over the week and we’re really getting on well now.”

The atmosphere around the lunch table on their first day together was not only quiet, but tense as the likes of confrontational striker Besart Berisha broke bread with several of the hard-nosed defenders he might have left a lasting impression on. Conversations between past grand final opponents and other adversaries were initially forced, but through the rigours of training they became more natural and jovial. Talking after their fifth day together, Broich said the excitement of playing against the English Premier League champions helped them settle past scores and strengthen team unity.

“Yeah, compared to now it definitely was [tense], it took us a while to warm up but it happened really quickly,” Broich said. “We’re really getting there, it’s looking better every day at training. It took a while to get to know each other and develop a football understanding, but we’re travelling quite well and I’m really looking forward to playing Man U.”

Despite the cold start to life within the All Stars, Broich believes it is an event that must become an annual fixture and not simply because of the profile of the showcase. With some of the best players of the league training together for a week, the standard of football for that period will trickle down to each club as players return.

“I guess even for the clubs it’s going to be really beneficial because of whatever you learn here, whatever experiences you get here you take it back home to the clubs. You might act a bit more professional, you might take a few things like a diet that one of the boys is doing back home or some things at training that we’re doing. It’s an education process as well,” Broich said.

The non-attendance of some of the league’s biggest names, notably marquee players Alessandro del Piero, Shinji Ono and Emile Heskey, made some people sceptical about the timing of the All Stars event but Broich hit back at critics, saying he was proud to be among the league’s elite.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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WORD OF MOUTH: 20cc vintage collectibles

RETRO MAN: Self-taught aesthete and part-time carpenter Mick Williams runs 20th Century Collectables. He has a particular fondness for pieces from the 1960s. Picture: Ryan OslandEASING into one of Danish designer Sigurd Ressell’s signature Falcon chairs, Mick Williams stumbles over superlatives for his vintage and industrial furniture collection.

“The ’60s are my favourite era by far – manufacturing and design was just beautiful, spacey and atomic-y, it was just a bright spot . . . it’s timeless,” says the Lower Belford-raised carpenter.

Williams’s love for the old was sparked in 2001, when he returned to Sydney from travels abroad and met his partner, Shanthi Herd.

“She had a lamp that was very retro, almost Mambo style, and I thought, ‘wow, that’s cool’,” said Williams.

In 2003, the couple moved to Newcastle, by which time Williams was collecting retro items – when not working on high-end construction projects.

“I ended up with too much so I started getting rid of it on eBay, and soon I realised I was doing pretty well from it,” he said.

Two years ago Williams launched his online business 20CC, or 20th Century Collectables, specialising in mid-century artefacts, plus earlier industrial numbers.

He also returned to carpentry to top up his income. Past jobs include building luxury pads for media executive Sam Chisholm and former tennis ace Pat Rafter.

But since establishing a showroom at the Centenary Antique Centre in the CBD a year ago, he’s whittled back the woodwork to focus on his happy obsession.

Williams has an eye for “good designer stuff”, including sleek Scandinavian furniture, but also appreciates quirkier pieces, from an imposing Hollywood motion-picture spotlight to a helicopter fuel tank from the Vietnam War.

“I’ve got a birthing table which I’m a bit shy to bring out, it’s really grisly . . . it looks like it belongs in a Marilyn Manson video,” he laughed.

Williams loves art deco, industrial lighting and Italian designers. A self-taught aesthete, he hopes to put down his trade tools once and for all to focus on all things vintage.

“I love the quality of the way things are built, coming from construction, that really does it for me.”

For more information go to 20cc杭州夜生活 or pop into Shop 27 at Centenary Antique Centre, Centenary Road, Newcastle.

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