My Friendly Valentine

Posted on February 14, 2020

Happy Valentines Day! The Friends’ School has always aimed to foster an inclusive and caring community, with many of our alumni expressing how many good friends and memories they have from their time with us. Some of those friendships blossom into something more, with several Alumni going on to marry and raise families together.

To celebrate Valentines Day, we reached out to these alumni to hear their tales of romance. Here are just two of their stories:

David Nettlefold (1950) and Elizabeth Prince (1965)
Elizabeth Anne Prince. Her Dad Bill was a traveling Salesman, her Mother Joan, a teacher at The Friends’ School, hence Liz being a student there. Both parents passed away before their fortieth birthdays.

Liz wanted to play Hockey as a young girl, but her Doctor (a family friend) suggested, due to her body frame, that she take up swimming, so the story begins.

I had a swimming school at the Hobart Olympic Pool and Liz’s mother brought her to me to join my squad. This skinny little Gal with big feet immediately showed signs of having some ability. Three years later she became State Junior Backstroke Champion. Sadly her Dad having passed away, and having lost her mother Joan, Liz left Hobart to live in Melbourne with her uncle Jack and we lost contact.

Years later, I was in Hong Kong on business staying at the Hong Kong Hotel. I arrived back at the Hotel around 5pm, my last night in town. I was about to walk in the door when I heard a voice call, “David”. Looking around, here beside me was that skinny little Gal with the big feet who had developed into a stunning young woman with blazing red hair. She explained she had just returned from the UK after three weeks with her girlfriends and was on her way back to Melbourne the next day.  “Do you have a drink?”, she enquired. To which I replied, “Yes”. We met in the Gun bar at 6pm and never left each other’s side for 47 years at which time she broke my heart and succumbed to Breast Cancer, so the story ends.

During those 47 years I started my own Outdoor Advertising Company which became National and moved into the Asian Pacific region to develop my businesses throughout that region. Liz, with me through those journeys, enjoyed the challenge of learning the Asian languages, she became fluent in Bahasa and Thai. Upon returning to Australia we built and opened an International  Resort in the Yarra Valley, I hated it and returned to my Outdoor business and Liz ran it for three years. Finally, because we needed more time together, we sold the Resort.

Elizabeth Prince (5th from the left) in her Girls A Hockey Team at Friends’

Ian Edwards (1958) and Pam Chapman (1958)

We, Ian Edwards and Pam Chapman, became close friends in our last year at Friends’, both studying Physics, Chemistry and Biology, which enabled us both to study Pharmacy. Our relationship blossomed at this time. 

After we finished our course we were married and we both obtained jobs managing pharmacies in Launceston. 

We worked hard for two years then travelled by ship to England where we bought a motor caravan and travelled in England, Scotland and Wales for three months, then in Europe for another three months. 

When we returned to Hobart we did pharmacy relieving work and twelve months later we had the opportunity to buy the only pharmacy in Kingston. 

Life in Kingston has been good to us and has included significant community involvement.

Ian has had a long association with St John Ambulance including being Commissioner for Tasmania.  Jean Yates gave the initial encouragement to become a St John Ambulance cadet.

We have three wonderful daughters all of whom attended The Friends’ School and two of whom were Head Girls. We have eight grandchildren and they have all attended Friends’ with four still attending. Only one is still in Morris, so this year will be our last Grandparents’ Day!

We have maintained contact with many of our school friends and very much enjoy the reunion lunches. We fell in love 60 years ago at Friends’ and we are still going strong.

Ian and Pam on their wedding day