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College & OF History: 1975-2000
Into the Third Millennium
Framlingham College...
By John Maulden

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Two OFs receive Bronze Medals at Melbourne Games
Mike Garnett R54-56 and Bob Munro R56-60 were both awarded Bronze Medals at the conclusion of the Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne during March. But sadly not for any sporting achievment, but for work as volunteers, part of the 15,000 strong 'Aqua Army' who helped keep the whole thing running smoothly before, during and indeed after the main athletic events. Bob Munro writes:

The 'adventure' started early in 2005 when advertisements were placed in our local newspapers, on radio and TV calling for volunteers to be involved in the Games events. And during the course of 2005 people were contacted, interviewed and offered any number of roles depending on availability, skill, requirement etc. As a result of all that, early in February this year I had to go to a training session at one of our Trade training colleges, for a one day full-on course to learn the ropes about the particular types of role we were to play in the games.

And during the early part of the training session, a group of half a dozen individuals were called to the front of the 'class' to help demonstrate some of the procedures we needed to learn. One particular individual took my attention, so certain was I that "I am sure I know that chap, where have I seen him before?" kept running through my mind. For fully ten minutes I could not concentrate on the lesson for the day! Then of course, suddenly, the name "Mike Garnett O.F." popped into my head. Now having spoken to complete strangers before, believing them to be someone else, and then having made a complete goose of myself, I determined to make haste slowly this time! Fortunately we were given name badges at the start of the session so all I had to do was get close to "Mike" to confirm my suspicion and check out the name badge.

An opportunity presented itself as we broke for lunch, and Bingo! it WAS Mike Garnett! So I re-introduced myself (we hadn.t met for around twenty years or so), and had a good chat about all sorts of things, including the anticipation of the then upcoming Commonwealth Games. Mike was to work at the State Lawn Bowls Centre, whilst my 'job' was at the Multi-Purpose Venue where track cycling, basketball and some netball were to be contested. So our paths were unlikely to cross during the course of the gamnes, and that proved to be the case, unfortunately.

I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say the whole experience was just fantastic. The City of Melbourne looked terrific, the weather was brilliant, and the people (visitors and locals) were just so up beat and friendly, that the atmosphere around was incredible. You may have seen on TV some seventy or so tin 'fish' on pontoons moored in the Yarra River, and subject at various times to a fireworks display (opening ceremony), and a sound and light show every evening on the hour for ten or fifteen minutes for the duration of the games. Just stunning stuff, brilliantly choreographed and of course all "free" entertainment for the masses.

As volunteers, we were offered complimentary tickets to the closing ceremony, and for my part, it was a thoroughly enjoyable show, and something that I am never likely to see again. Apparently visitors and athletes alike were so impressed with the help and friendship extended to them by the volunteers that it was decided to have a parade through the streets of Melbourne. All volunteers and our (very successful) Aussie athletes were invited to attend. What a buzz that was! I didn't think they would have all that many people cheering and waving us on, but, boy, was I wrong! Exciting stuff, and it felt really good to be a part of it.

Oh, yes. And the Bronze Medal? Well, as a result of our great work, the Victorian State Government awarded all volunteers with a Certificate of Appreciation and the Bronze Medal (which naturally included the 2 x O.F.'s!). Happy memories!

I wonder when the call will go out for volunteers for the 2012 Olympics in London? Any O.F.'s out there with a bit of time on their hands and prepared to put in a bit of time (well, quite a lot, actually), would be guaranteed a unique, once in a lifetime experience.