Jeff Pittam

At the THS, I was in the T (academic) stream for 3 years; then I moved into the G (general) stream.  See photo left: me in my THS uniform in 1957.  I left school in 1958, and I become an apprentice at the British Timken.  After that I was an engineering draughtsman.  I married in 1964, and in 1969 we went to live in Brisbane in Australia.

The period 1970-76 changed me dramatically: a few months after we arrived in Australia, my first wife left me.  So I was in a new country, in a new city, and I had no friends or family there.  I thought, I could do anything.  Now I loved going to the theatre.  So I started acting as an amateur, and in a few years I married again.

My second wife and I went back to England, and I wanted to show her the country.  We got jobs as billers in a circus – the Sir Robert Fossett’s circus.  We went all around England and Scotland.  It was a wonderful job, or a long holiday.  In 1973, we came home to Brisbane, and I then got a job as a professional actor in Twelfth Night Theatre, also as a radio actor in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), and I did modelling.  See photo 1 below.  At the end of that decade, I started studying again.

I got my BA at the University of Queensland (UQ), and in 1986 I got my PhD.  As an academic, I worked at the Brisbane College of Advanced Educated (BCAE) as a drama lecturer.   Also I married again.  My third wife, Cindy, is also an academic (UQ).  In 1989 I was back in UQ, lecturing in communication, and I became the Head of English.  See photo 2 below.  In November 1998, I had a stroke.  I had no language: I couldn’t speak, read or write.  So I wasn’t an academic now.  UQ retired me.

Three jobs in my life: engineering draughtsman; actor; academic - really, three different lives.  Then my fourth life began: rehabilitation.  This took seven years: 1998-2005.  My language is back now.  After that, rehabilitation and beyond, I do cooking, photography, writing & volunteering at a Brisbane hospital, working with people who had strokes.  See photo 3 below.

 

Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov; I played Kulygin
Me as Head of English (UQ) in my office
Me with Cindy at home in 2007


The Tower Revisited  - The website for former Pupils of the Technical High School, Trinity High School & Trinity Grammar School, Northampton