Robin Pryor - 1962

Personal background:

The details are from my Melb Uni diary for 1960, the year I commenced my BA at Melbourne, majoring in Geography and History; in late 1963 while doing a Dip Ed I was invited by Prof John Andrews to become a Tutor [later Senior Tutor] as a "homegrown" graduate of the new courses; having only a BA [not Hons], I did an MA Prelim by thesis and coursework, then an MA by thesis in Geography, supervised by Len Brinkman and Tom Perry. I subsequently did a PhD in Population Geography at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, taught Geography at James Cook Uni, then was Research Fellow in Demography at ANU for 6 years. In 1981 I was ordained in the Uniting Church, and while leaving academia behind in the formal sense, have continued related interests in a variety of ways, including since "retirement" in 2006. That's my own brief background, but what I thought worth recording is as follows:

Formation of MUGS

Alex Safran and Robin Pryor had studied Geography together at Melbourne High  School in 1959, and enrolled in Geography I at Melbourne University in 1960.
10/3/60 - the two had coffee together in the Union and talked about the need for a "Geography Club" alongside all the other options.
11/3/60 - Robin & Alex met with Katrina Sutton of the SRC to discuss the procedures for establishing such a club. She advised about constitution, application to SRC for recognition etc.
16/3/60 - 9am Geog 1 lectures commenced; 2pm Geog Pracs commenced, Lab fee one pound.
17/3/60 - 11am we called a meeting in Geology Theatre 1 to discuss formation of a Geography club. Considerable interest shown, so Robin & Alex began procedures for recognition.
21/3/60 - Wrote, stencilled and duplicated 60 copies of MUGS Constitution
22/3/60 - Inaugural meeting for establishment of MUGS, in SRC Board Room. Constitution adopted.
28/3/60 - Elections for office bearers of MUGS [names not recorded in diary, or Robin's memory] but Alex and Robin were probably sharing key roles of President and Secretary as they continued to organise events etc. for several years.

Activities organised by MUGS in its first year included:
- Weekly Study Group, for those wanting extra discussion on lectures etc. - Staff not involved directly, student-led sharing of questions and resources.
- 18/5/60 First MUGS lecture [name not recorded, but from outside MU]
- 1/8/60 MUGS organised Antarctic series: two midday films, two night-time lectures by ANARE personnel including Philip Law
- 15/9/60 First AGM of MUGS as required by Constitution

A few subsequent diary jottings re MUGS

11/3/61 - MUGS field trip to Mornington Peninsula [outside coursework] 18 attended
16/3/61 - MUGS lunchtime speaker
28/3/61 - MUGS lunchtime speaker
June 1964 - Robin Pryor spoke at MUGS meeting "The Geographer as scientist"!
30/7/66 - MUGS Dinner Dance

Staff in the 1960s who were my teachers, and later my colleagues 1964-1968

Prof John Andrews, Arthur Willcock, Tom Perry, Victor Prescott, Ross Cochrane, Geoff Robinson, Eric Bird, Len Brinkman, Geoff Missen, Bailey Canados, Ken Fairbairn. Fellow Tutors with who I am still in contact are Ian Bowie, Bill Logan, and Lesley Potter [formerly Key].


I have just wanted to illustrate a little of the inauguration of MUGS by two cheeky Freshers early in 1960 ! I have not had any contact with Alex Safran for probably 45 years.

With best wishes