JB: Mike and I met as first year civil engineering undergraduates at Adelaide University in 1973. After getting to know him, Mike seemed to me an easy-going, knockabout bloke from the country who enjoyed a beer. It was a long time ago!
MF: True. First year however was a large mix of new people for me as lectures in some subjects were a mix of faculties with purely Engineering components bringing us together several times a week. Living in a university college was ‘home away from home’ so I don’t really recall meeting John until second year- practical’s, survey camp and the like.
JB: We attended the same lectures, concrete laboratories and other three-hour ‘prac’ sessions where we would have, worked together.
MF: Through that second year I sat up the back of the lecture theatre whereas he was paying attention at the front.
JB: I’m not sure that statement is correct, it was much more towards the middle. I wasn't THAT conscientious.
MF: Let’s just say he performed well in results, me not so. Accordingly, I left Adelaide Uni in 1975 and transferred to the University of SA in northern Adelaide. I did however keep in close social contact with my year group and that was actually when I recall meeting John. He was linked up with some of my closer friends.
JB: After Uni, our careers diverged and we both 'emigrated' from South Australia to eventually find ourselves in Sydney where we socialized again with a group of Adelaide 'expatriates' and began to work together professionally.
MF: By that point it was the late 80s. John came across to me then as professional, considered and far more widely experienced than I. More sophisticated – into ‘developments’ where as I was into ‘delivery’.