My local memories: dropping in - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views


The local bayside high school I attended had a two-storey brick building with a bell tower on the roof. There was a traditional dare for the larrikins among the Year 12 boys to carve their initials in the bell tower. This was strictly forbidden, and the bell tower was later removed.

Our classroom was on the top floor with a manhole into the forbidden ceiling. A few boys decided to carve their initials in the bell tower. At the end of the period before lunch, desks were placed on top of each other to form a ladder, some boys climbed through the manhole, then the desks were pulled down until a prearranged time when they would open the manhole and the desks would be set up again to get them down.

When the time came, they didn’t return to the manhole, the next class began, and no one knew where they were. The problem was that when they closed the manhole, they had no idea where to exit and got lost in the dark ceiling. It so happened at that time that the principal’s office was temporarily also on the top floor. One of the boys was wandering around the ceiling when he fell through and landed on the floor in front of the principal sitting at his desk. The principal cooly looked up and said, “Nice of you to drop in”.

They were caught so red-handed; everyone just roared laughing. They had to pay for the damaged ceiling, but otherwise were unpunished.

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