David Mitchell

Profile Updated: March 23, 2017
David Mitchell
Current Occupation (if any) & Previous Occupations:
Now retired from public service but now community volunteer and activist (tree hugger).
Name of Spouse/Partner:
Margaret
Yes! Attending Reunion
School Years: Which years did your time at Sloane cover?

1950-1958

House: Which House were you in?

Turner

Were you known by any other name or nickname at school?

Mitch

School Memories?

Arrived at Sloane from Peterborough Primary across the bridge in Fulham. First year in Gilliland's 1B and from then into the A stream with form masters such as Bill Berkeley, Lummy Lumsdaine, Tom Wilson and Harry Little. Struggled with Latin with Percy "the Plank" Pledger until Joe Gorman took over in time to sit for my O levels. Progressed into 6 Arts with Joe Gorman and Hank Harrison as form masters, leaving after successful A levels and went on to study for a BA at Queen Mary College, London and then into the business world as a personnel manager before leaving the UK for Oz in 1969.

Loved school at Sloane, particularly football, athletics and cross-country. Captained athletics and Turner House for a couple of years and in my final year was Vice-Captain of School deputising as Captain whilst Bob Bainbridge was hospitalised for a while. Some excellent teachers and, looking back, some fairly non-conformist mentors not least of which was "the Old Man", Guy Boas who had me worked out fairly well. In my final school report he wrote that I needed to control a tendency to argue with those in authority. I never listened which slowed my ascent to the topmost echelons of the public service but has made me an effective community activist in my retirement.

I look back on my days in Hortensia Road with considerable fondness although not always sweetness and light. Bunking off to see the Blues play some Hungarian mob on a winter's afternoon only to be called to the front of assembly the next morning and a subsequent caning. Going into the main hall one morning to find the entire stage area draped with panties, bras and other female flimsys, the result of an overnight raid by the Carlyle girls. Or, on a more serious note, the day a boy went beserk during the lunch break and battered his way into GB's office with a fire extinguisher. It all happened at Sloane!

There was a relief teacher who taught some French in the mid 1950s and who, according to the Fulham Chronicle, was convicted of importuning young boys onto his house boat on the Thames. His sudden disappearance from School was explained by dear old Harry Little to the effect that he was visiting his sick mother in Manchester. He was actually doing a stretch in Strangeways.

In mentioning Harry Little it's essential to comment on Harry's Drawers which comprised a huge case full of sweets, primarily sherbert lemons. At the end of each lesson Harry would hurl handfulls around the classroom which we boys would catch like performing seals. Harry's proud boast was that no boy who studied French under him failed at O level. He probably supplied the examiners with allsorts!

What has happened in your life since you left Sloane?

After graduating from Queen Mary College, London, with an Honours degree majoring in politics and history I worked as a human resources manager for Philips Electrical and Nestle. Migrated to Australia in 1969 having been recruited in the UK to introduce equity programs into the South Australian Public Service. Worked in Canberra and Adelaide eventually becoming a political adviser at both state and federal levels.

Retired from the service in the late 1990's to run employment programs for the disadvantaged. Become a born-again environmentalist and since 2000 have chaired a number of community groups including the two largest on-ground rehabilitation organisations in Australia and serving on a number of government boards and committees. In 2013 I became a member of the Order of Australia for outstanding service to environmental conservation and to volunteering through my work as a community advocate.

Where did you live when you were at Sloane?

Beltran Road, Fulham and
Mitcham Road, Tooting Broadway

Which Primary school did you attend?

Peterborough PS, Fulham, SW6

What is your full address?:

21 Orange Avenue
Golden Grove
South Australia 5125

Hobbies/Interests:

Environmentalist and community activist.
Politics and Premier League football.

Teams: Do you support any sports teams?

Chelsea FC, Belgrave Harriers, Port Power (Aussie Rules)

Music: What music would you like played at your funeral?

Whiter Shade of Pale by Procul Harum
Anything by the MJQ

David's Latest Interactions

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Apr
06
Apr 06, 2017 at 1:11 AM
Mar
25
Mar 25, 2017 at 9:50 PM
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Mar 25, 2017 at 12:28 AM

Posted on: Mar 23, 2017 at 5:14 AM

Stay strong guys. Tuned into SkyNews this morning to see the carnage in Westminster. Proud to be born a Londoner and to see plenty of jutting chins and stiff upper lips. Not much you can do about misguided nutters I'm afraid except never let them win. With you in spirit and thinking of all those impacted by a senseless act. Mulga Dave

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Mar 09, 2017 at 8:20 PM
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Mar 04, 2017 at 12:43 AM
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Feb 24, 2017 at 11:51 PM
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Feb 13, 2017 at 3:22 PM

Posted on: Jan 30, 2017 at 11:32 PM

Aynsie and others who played football for the OC's in the early 1960's. For a while we were coached on Wednesday evenings by Jimmy Wilson who played a few games as a professional for Chelsea in the 50's.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Wilson_(footballer,_born_1924)
Training was in the school gym and usually preceded by a "bridges" run along the embankment. Jim's dad Andy who had a more distinguished football career owned a newsagents at the Putney Bridge Road end of New Kings. Just a few dim memories from my addled antipodean mind for your delectation (or not). I also seem to recall a Fulham and Scotland goal keeper, Ian Black, coaching the school side in the 1950's. Perhaps Aynsie or Dollar Johnson will be able to shed more light? Ooroo, Mulga Dave

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Jan
26
Jan 26, 2017 at 10:00 PM

Posted on: Jan 26, 2017 at 12:53 AM

Cobbers all, just for the record it's Australia Day here in Oz (26/1), when we commemorate the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove and the establishment of a penal colony. It's become increasingly controversial and politically fraught of late with some protesting that it insults the indigenous inhabitants and was more an invasion than the beginning of a nation. Regardless, for many it's a day to be a proud Australian, to remember our origins and heritage and enjoy some sun, good food and convivial company. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie; oi, oi, oi ! Mulga Dave

Jan
14
Jan 14, 2017 at 12:10 AM
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04
Jan 04, 2017 at 8:29 PM
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Dec 26, 2016 at 11:57 PM
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Dec 21, 2016 at 9:39 PM
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Jan
04
Jan 04, 2017 at 6:12 PM

Posted on: Dec 17, 2016 at 12:23 AM

Tiny, Aynsie and other Old Cheyneans, now that the Mighty Blues are back on top of the EPL, the Aussies are finally winning a cricket match or two and it's only eight more sleeps to Christmas here in the antipodes, I thought it about time to return to the airwaves and wish you all the compliments of the season and the very best of fortunes in 2017! Unfortunately for the past couple of months I've been wrestling the black dog and finally with the help of the shrink, a caring and supportive wife and family and flushing the medication down the toilet I'm back on the horse although still at a canter rather than a gallop. Not sure if it was Brexit, Donald's election or the Aussie whitewashes in rugby and cricket that triggered my melt-down but whatever the cause it put me in a bad place for a while. Anyway, onwards and upwards as the bishop said...................................sorry folks but I promise to improve my sense of humour in the New Year. Meantime all the best to you and yours, value what you have and treasure your friends. Ooroo, Mulga Dave

Sep
27
Sep 27, 2016 at 10:19 PM
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Nov
06
Nov 06, 2016 at 8:43 PM

Posted on: Sep 21, 2016 at 10:02 AM

Message for Brian Haynes - Aynsie, good news from the programmers (well maybe not so much 'good' as 'better'). I went to the top and got a positive response. Someone has been delegated to look into our problems immediately and although no promises have been made things are at last moving in the right direction. I'll keep you posted.

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Sep
28
Sep 28, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Posted on: Sep 21, 2016 at 5:24 AM

Aynsie and Co, sorting through my accumulated debris ready for downsizing (the house that is) I came across a couple of boxes of vinyl 33's. An eclectic collection but lo and behold I came across a pristine, almost mint, copy of a 1973 CBS copy of "Closer to it, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express". Just thought you might like to know as I gather the old Baggy is till going strong in the USA. Still recall his Winifred Attwell renditions at the Friday solo sessions. Cheers, Mulga Dave

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Sep 12, 2016 at 12:46 AM
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Sep 02, 2016 at 12:38 AM
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Posted: Jun 30, 2015 at 6:47 AM
Posted: Jun 30, 2015 at 6:43 AM
Posted: Jun 30, 2015 at 6:47 AM
Posted: Mar 09, 2014 at 6:00 AM
President, Trees For Life,
Friends of Parks,
Friends of Cobbler Creek
Posted: Jun 30, 2015 at 6:47 AM