Connections made at Big Brother Movement Reunions 2017

“The event was worth the journey from Qld”.

“The best BBM event I have ever attended…”

Storms, high winds and low temperatures resulted in attendance numbers being below expectations but feedback was, without exception, positive.

Sunday, November 5th saw ex Little Brothers, partners and extended families sharing stories, reviewing pictures and other memorabilia in the Heritage Room at the former Big Brother Movement Training Farm.

Proceedings opened with a ‘Call of the Years’ inviting LB’s to be introduced as their arrival year was called. Thanks to Dave Tindall, Fairsky 1963, for conducting an Icebreaker Trivia quiz before the traditional sausage sizzle lunch. Questions tested LB’s memories on a range of BBM related facts and resulted in the team led by Steve Noble, Strathnaver 1955 taking out the trophy.

Monday, November 6th was something different with a conference-style event held in the Lavender Room of the Kirribilli Club on the harbour.

The ‘Call of the Years’ was repeated before winding the clock back to 1963 with a short video. This was followed by a presentation summarising the work done by volunteers to document the BBM archives and reinvigorate the LB network.

Another short video took a timeline view of the arrival years of those present and reminded them of both world events and what was happening in Australia in the ‘Years of Their Youth’. Number 1 singles and catchy jingles of the time provided a light-hearted trip down memory lane.

Melanie Stray, BBM Ltd CEO reflected on how the life-changing opportunities we LB’s were given as young men on the cusp of adulthood has evolved into the current awards scheme before introducing Tim Eyes, our BBM Youth Support Agricultural Awardee from 2010. Tim gave an interesting presentation on how his award contributed to his successful career as a farmer and contrasted his ‘overseas experience’ with those of LB’s making their way to Australia at a similar young age.

Peter Howell, Fairsea 1966 recounted his experience in organising a local reunion in Perth, WA which has been adopted as a template to assist others similarly inclined. Steve Noble, Strathnaver 1955 will do so in 2018 in Melbourne and encouraged those present to mark their diaries. Steve’s fascinating story of his early years in Australia, a rewarding career in commerce and developing a successful business suggests his organisation of this Melbourne reunion guarantees success.

Dave Tindall, Fairsky 1963 told a story about how a chance encounter with a UK tourist in Cuba led to him researching the story of Michael Smith, an LB from 1950, who was tragically killed in a road accident. He illustrated the sort of interesting material available in the BBM office to bona fide researchers while recounting Michael’s story and drawing parallels with his own experience.

The event wrapped up with an informal dinner in the Watergrill Restaurant where more stories were shared and promises made to keep in touch.

Footage of the presentations and further information will be available in the coming weeks.

16th November, 2017

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