Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Friend Henry

Now children, don't take fright. This is not something from a horror movie or Jurrasic Park. This is a recent picture of my best friend from my school (and post school) days- Henry Pook.

I mentioned Henry in my last blog as my fellow enthusiast in all things photographic. In fact, he was more than that to me; he was my constant friend and companion right through our high school days.

Henry and I lived about 15 kms from each other in towns which were beyond the suburbs of Melbourne. We travelled to school on different school buses, and I always felt so happy to see Henry in the school ground on my arrival. I think our close friendship helped us journey through the social aspects of schooling happily.

Henry and I were like chalk and cheese in our viewpoints on life. He was a strong socialist and I a capitalist. He opposed anything remotely connected with the Americans; I supported. During our school days, the Vietnam war was raging, and every morning, we would read the newspaper and debate endlessly about politics...and religion, history and social issues. I found that Henry could always support his ideas because he read books and magazines. Henry taught me to read! He may not have thought I read the right books, but he taught me this valuable habit.

During school holidays, we would spend our holidays together, hiking and camping...with hours of endless discussion. We took train trips, photographed everything of interest, stayed at each other's homes, visited numerous bookstore-of left and right wing persuations, and generally thought life was pretty good for us.

After high school, Henry went on to university, completing a Master of Arts and also publishing several books. He was a school teacher for a number of years but has now moved into a position of director at one of Melbourne's leading colleges. He is also pursuing his Ph.D. He is married to a delightful lady and has children who have obviously inherited their parent's brains and their mother's looks!

Henry and I met in Kuala Lumpur recently when Henry was over on business. We had such a delightful few hours together, reminising about days gone by. He was the best friend I have ever had, and his many positive characteristics had, and continue to have, a profound effect upon my life.

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