Bob Hawke and me

Bob Hawke and I went to the same high school. One difference was that he tried very hard to get into it (it’s detailed in his biography) whereas I had no idea what a ‘scholarship’ was or where the school was or what it meant.

I hope he had better teachers than I did. Mine were pretty ordinary – like the high school teacher I myself went on to be – lacking any advice whatsoever or imagination about whatever else I could have done. A schoolteacher was about the last thing I should have aspired to be.

Bob was in favour of unions. I never liked having to be a member of a union, and especially not being told that I was required to go on strike. Despite such orders, I think I somehow never missed a day of being there for my students. For me, that was the point – doing that job – not how much we got paid.

Bob’s father was employed by a religious organisation. Religions – organised or not – were not of any importance in my family, thank God! Bob never gave it up – like alcohol, which he got right back into as soon as he could.

We didn’t have much in common.