As is often remarked by the Warden of Convocation at our Ordinary Meetings, Convocation receives much correspondence, more often than not by email these days. Much of it is pretty standard about address changes or the like, or recently some comment about Forrest Hall and contemporary topics.
Occasionally the Warden receives a note that demonstrates just how strong and valuable is the UWA graduate network. In the lead up to the recent Ordinary Meeting I received two such items of correspondence and thought them best shared.
Caitrin-Jane Anderson, BSc '87, Flemington, Victoria is a long way from UWA but she wrote:
"10 years ago, the Black Saturday bushfires rocked Victoria. Shortly after, I received a letter of condolence from Convocation. It was an unexpected yet touching act; that made me feel more part of the greater UWA community than anything else before or since. I would like to extend my thanks to whomever thought to send those letters. This is not a question on notice, but if it could be noted in the minutes, I'd be grateful."
It was included in the meeting and we are grateful that Caitrin-Jane appreciated our thoughts. We loved hearing from her.
Closer to the meeting I received the following from Astrid Boggs, BA '13, NEDLANDS, WA
I am really looking forward to our meeting tonight as I have felt for all our meetings. I have loved being a member of Convocation and it gives me a thrill. I wish I could persuade my four children, who all went to UWA if not the whole time then for part of it, to also come to the meetings. So far, no luck. They seem to associate it with older people.I am writing this time because I have cancer and it has grown and spread and I think my time on earth will only be a few months. I thought I would let you know what pleasure it has given me and also being a mature aged student was the best thing I ever did. I am not scared of dying so it is not a depressing subject for me but I do like to be open about it.
I will see you this evening."
Astrid and I did see each other on that evening and both of the above notes were projected to the screen so they could be shared with all who attended.
After the meeting Astrid and I got together for a while and the time together was beautiful and special. She is an absolute delight. While she has not yet won the battle with her children and Ordinary Meetings, we are seeing some younger members attending and that is good.
If you are a younger graduate and reading this then look out for the next Ordinary Meeting. There are some amazing people there and you could meet several of them. I'd be delighted to say "Hello".