Brian Keighran - Words of Wisdom
Brian Keighran was born in Albury in 1934. He's been married to Marlene since 1957, has three daughters, 12 grand-children, 3 great grand-children and 3 more currently on the way. His career has always been in education where he spent 52 years, some of those at Orange Public School and later at Orange Christian School. Earlier in his life golf and tennis were among his pastimes but today wood-working and gardening are more the pace he wants to travel.
Tell me about your first teaching role?
It was a school at Apostle's Yard Bridge, one teacher (me), 27 kids including 5 kindies.
How did you go about courting Marlene?
Some mates suggested I come along with them to a Saturday night dance at Narrandera, they said we'd meet some good sorts. I met her there and was attracted to her immediately. I was an Aussie Rules player at the time and I recall the band that was playing was the Blue Rhythm Orchestra.
What's the secret to a happy marriage?
Being prepared to give and take, accept each other for who they are and be prepared to forgive.
What advice would you give to parents for bringing up children?
Love them, they're all different, they have their own ways of doing things. Encourage them to develop their skills.
What are the most important lessons you've learned in life?
Be honest about what you're doing and why you're doing it. Do your best at anything you tackle.
What did you love about the "good old days"?
They were predictable, consistent year in, year out. Today the world changes so quickly and it's hard to adapt.
What is your favourite childhood memory?
Going out camping with my father in our spring cart. We used to set rabbit traps to make a few bob. Rabbits were important at that time, even though a pest.
What big events were most memorable while you were growing up?
The Second World War started when I was 5. When the war ended, I got to ring the school bell, something that didn't happen during the war. That has always stuck with me.
What are you proud of?
I was proud of the way I progressed through the Education system. Back then advancement was based on a merit system with inspections about performance being a big part of the process. What other staff thought of you also came into it.
Was there anything you particularly liked about your job?
I enjoyed the team spirit that existed in the schools where I worked.
Who is the person who influenced your life the most. Why?
My mother. She was a practical, no nonsense lady with a firm grip on living life effectively. Apart from her, my grand-father. He was an old-time blacksmith and used to light the forge just to let me pump the fire.
What life advice would you pass along to your grand-children?
Plan ahead, consider the pros and cons when deciding on important decisions, especially where money or commitments are involved.
Given your time over again, is there anything you would have done differently?
No, I'm pretty satisfied with my life.