Bottom oval of Takari with Joel Park in background

The older kids in primary school got to play in Joel Park, pictured it on the other side of the oval. There were plenty of fun things in Joel Park, including the remains of a massive fallen tree, known as ‘The Tree’. That is where we used to fight the older kids. In the fore ground is yet another location of what used to be another playground. It was similar to the wooden structures in the park at the end of my street. Now all that remains are a few patches of white sand. We used to take running jumps off the end of this long wooden structure with plastic bags (they had just come out and were something of a novelty to us) held over our heads like they were parachutes. On the grassed area of the oval is where we used to do PE. I distinctly remember the first time I realised adults can be more stupid than kids when my PE teacher laid out cones in a grid formation to test us to see how far we could throw little bean bags. I didn’t understand the task. I kept throwing them to hit the far cones, until I got frustrated with it. I then asked her if I could throw past the cones. She replied with a surprised voice that this would be fine, if I could. Of course I could. And I did, about twice as far as the field of cones she had laid out. I went to fetch my little bean bag with a mixture of pride and shame. Pride, cause I could throw far, and shame, because I knew I had made the PE teacher feel foolish. It was a lesson in not accepting the field of cones laid out in front of me when throwing little bean bags.

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  1. Obviously this was the early signs of your Discus throwing capabilities – where you went on to win the Discus throwing in your years at CHrist Church Grammar School – I think your Year 12 throw at the Private Schools Intereschool Athletics Carnival still stands as the record.

  2. This park was named after my Father-in-law Theodore Henry Joel, past principal of Takari.

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