A FEW MEMORIES OF GARRAN HALL I lived in Garran Hall during 1966 and 1967 when I was completing 2nd and 3rd year of my Science degree. As Garran had only opened in 1966 I was among the first students to live there and everything was new.

Ian Loiterton hard at work

Ian Loiterton hard at work

There was little if any landscaping around the residential blocks. I was one of the small number of students who owned a car and it was common practise to drive our cars up over the gutter from the road and park quite close to the door of the block you lived in. I was in the block closest to Daley Road. Three meals were provided in the dining room each day. There was a formal dinner each Sunday night and all students were expected to wear an academic gown. I paid a fee of $8 when I first came to live at Garran Hall in March 1966 and this included the hire of an academic gown. Once or perhaps twice each year students were invited to sit with the Warden and others at the high table. There was a small laundry on each floor with a washing machine. Off the laundry was a small drying room and clothes were draped over large horizontal pipes and left to dry. I have often wondered if the white coloured lagging on those pipes may have been asbestos! Housekeepers made our beds each day and cleaned our rooms and changed the sheets each week. Students were only permitted to stay in Garran Hall during each of the university semesters unless additional lodging fees were paid. The rooms were often used in the mid-year break to accommodate visitors attending conferences or other activities at the ANU or elsewhere in Canberra. Perhaps this is still the case today. Personal possessions had to be packed up and placed in one of the storerooms during this time. In the May/June semester break in 1966, however, I decided to remain in Canberra to study. I had to pay an additional $2.60 per day for each of the 17 days I remained in Garran Hall. This rate per day was higher than what was charged during the semester. I note that today each room has a telephone and dataport to enable computer use, and there are computer labs, photocopiers and printing facilities. There was a shared telephone on each floor during my time and of course such things as computers and photocopiers had yet to be invented. Electronic calculators did not exist either and we had to rely on slide rules. There was one television set (black and white) in a room on the ground level below the main administrative area. It was a popular place to gather on a Friday night for the weekly presentation of The Frost Report and it was generally a case of standing room only. It was a satirical program hosted by the late David Frost. There were 28 episodes produced during 1966 and 1967 it gave many people a start in television who later went on to become well known and successful in their own right. Among them were Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Marty Feldman, Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Those students such as myself who owned cars had to perform most repairs and services themselves and this was undertaken on the grounds of Garran Hall, usually where we parked not far from the building. On one occasion a fellow resident and friend of mine changed the engine oil in his car and during the process spilt a great deal of oil on the ground. He unknowingly walked in the pool of oil before proceeding to go back to his room on the third floor. One of the housekeepers noticed the oily black footprints all of the way up the three flights of stairs and along the top floor corridor before abruptly coming to a stop outside the door of his room. Needless to say the incident was reported to the Warden and he had to pay the cleaning bill. Students with cars, motorbikes and motor scooters would mostly drive to lectures rather than walk. We would even drive between lecture venues, in my case between the Physics and Geology buildings and to the Hayden Allen Tank. University Avenue was a main road through the university in those days and was open all the way from Bruce Hall to London Circuit. On one occasion in 1966 or 1967 a dance was held in the main dining room. The band was The Bitter Lemons headed by the late Paul Lyneham. Garran Hall resident Nick Ardnt was a member of this band. I was a member of the Garran Hall rugby union team in 1966. The Garran Hall Colts were soundly beaten by the Bruce Hall Butchers, 16 points to 3. Sadly Garran Hall was awarded the wooden spoon in the competition that year but as it was the newest and smallest of the halls, great things were never expected. Garran Hall Colts Rugby Team 1966 I have fond memories of Garran Hall and my time there. A number of lasting friendships were made over my two years in residence. It was a comfortable and convenient place to live and we were well looked after by all of the staff. Ian Loiterton Garran Hall 1966-1967

Woroni (ANU, Canberra) 18 July 1966

Woroni (ANU, Canberra)
18 July 1966

Back Row From far right  Ian Loiterton, Bob Grocott, Alex Olah

Back Row From far right Ian Loiterton, Bob Grocott, Alex Olah


2 Responses to Ian Loiterton – 1966 – 1967

  1. Avatar of Bob Bob says:

    Hi Ian,
    Stumbled upon this by pure chance. Had lost contact with everyone from Garran pioneers 1966. Left early 1967 when my father was diagnosed with cancer then passed away in July. Returned 1968/1969 and only been back again August 30 this year ANU Open Day with my youngest daughter(15). Great memories recalled visiting rooms and totally revamped self-catering Dining/Rec facilities.
    Dislocated my thumb in first tackle of that footy game but most importantly helped salvage team pride by scoring our only try from an intercept. Always pissed that Woroni described it as ‘dark horse try in closing stages’. At least the girls in Garran were impressed and helped me for next couple of weeks while thumb was in a splint.
    Cheers, Bob Grocott

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