Story One
Reunion 16th November 2003

Matt Waixel, John McConnell, Neville Mitchell


Crown Casino
John, Matt and Neville
Crown Casino
Crown Casino
Lunch at Crown Casino
Yar5ra Cruise
Yarra Cruise
Golden Grape Estates

Neville Mitchell

Yesterday, I had a wonderful reunion with two of my old school buddies from RAAF School Penang, Matt Waixel and John McConnell, along with our lovely wives and my daughter Sally.

The day was meticulously set up by Matt Waixel, and we had a fantastic time talking about old times and reminiscing about the good old days of Penang, and what we have all done since.

We all met under the "Elmer Fudd" statue at Crown Casino in Melbourne, then went on a Yarra River wine tasting cruise. This was followed by lunch at Crown Casino, eating Asian cuisine as we used to do together in Georgetown, Penang. I can tell you, tears flowed freely as we hugged each other like long lost brothers under "Elmer Fudd".

I haven't seen Matt since 1972 when we met at the Melbourne Recruiting Centre as we joined up into our respective military services, the Army for Matt and the RAAF for me. I last saw John around 15 years ago, and believe me, he hasn't changed one bit. He is exactly as I remember him.

Cynthia, I owe you a huge debt of gratitude. You have brought to me such a great feeling of joy and happiness through your website, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You've made an old guy very happy indeed.

Best wishes to you,

Neville Mitchell

Matt Waixel

Just to let you know that John McConnell, Neville Mitchell and myself finally teamed up again after 31 years. It was great seeing them again. We had been keeping in touch by email over the past three weeks.

We all met at Crown Casino by Elmer Fudd statue (photo above). John was the only one who has not gone grey. An intro to our partners and the stories began over a cappuccino. Listening to us talk, you may never have guessed that so many years had gone by without us meeting. It was old home week and it was as though we were still in Penang.

An emotional time as we instantly remembered our closeness as school friends.

We took a leisurely stroll to Victoria Harbour, laughing and remembering all the way. A cruise on the Yarra with plenty of wine (thanks goes out to Golden Grape Estates for the excellent wine and boat trip) (photo above).

Lunch at Crown (photo above) before we departed back home with vows of keeping in touch and sharing the odd bottle of wine and port.

It was a fantastic day as we all remembered bits and pieces of our time at Penang and filled in the gaps to bring us all up to date with what has happened in our lives since.

My sincere thanks to you for your site, for without this, we may never have crossed paths again.

Matt Waixel

John McConnell

We had our "mini reunion" last Sunday in Melbourne with Nev, Matt and myself and it was a brilliant day.
"Blokes" are pretty good at hiding their feelings, but tell you what, there were a few wet eyes, even the girls got on like a house on fire which was terrific.To meet up with two old friends again after about 30 years was just magic. We have all made a promise that we are not going to lose contact again.

I don't know how I can ever thank you Cynthia, because if it wasn't for you and your brilliant web site none of us would have found each other.