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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 3, September 2017
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Gerry Jacobson
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


Old Boy

It's a big weekend of rehearsing the Requiem. Four choirs together, about 200 people, including the L. choir, where I sang for many years. Still some of my contemporaries there, white-haired now. But no old girlfriends.



Arrive at the Grammar School for rehearsal. Walk into this red brick quadrangle and my hair stands on end. What's going on?

a quadrangle
of ivy-covered buildings
out of time
ghosts walk the lawns
old boys and cricket captains

Something deep? I go into the Hall to sing and see the walls covered with wooden boards—Dux of the School, Vice Captains, House Champions, Scholarship Winners. Deo Ecclesia Patria . . . God Church Nation.


who is Gerald—
is he my lost child
of long ago . . .
so where did he leave
that blazer and tie

It comes welling up and crowding in. Those teenage years at a school much like this one. Kid from the slums in an upper-class milieu. Little Jew boy in a big Christian world. Wild rover in a straightjacket. Fifty years on, has nothing changed? What was that motto on my blazer? Serve and Obey. I didn't. I don't.

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