I joined the Brisbane West Rotary Club in 1971 and almost immediately was introduced to International House because all of the members of the club were honorary members of the International House Council. We also held one of our weekly lunch meetings there each year to further our relationship with the college.
That same year I met Bert and Muriel Martin because they always attended the Brisbane West changeover functions in July each year and I soon came to know that Bert was one of the founding fathers of International House as well as the 'father' of our Rotary Club. Bert was the district governor's special representative who guided the club through its early years.
Rotary occupied a lot of Bert's time in 1965. Besides his commitments to his own club, the Brisbane Rotary Club, Bert was busy with the opening of International House, and it was the year the Rotary Club of Brisbane West was chartered. Ivor Cribb, the first warden of International House, was a charter member of Brisbane West and kept members informed of events at the college.
So International House has always been a part of my Rotary life in Brisbane and it was a pleasure to be asked to write the history of the college to celebrate its first forty years.
My first-hand knowledge of the college has been added to through discussions with many people. When it became apparent that Bert's illness was terminal, I visited him on a number of occasions before he died and he was most insistent that 'I get it right'. Others who played major roles in helping me get it right were Ivor Cribb, Neil Holm and John Boyd, each of whom has also provided a written contribution to the history.
And there were many others, friends, former students and members of the Board of Governors, who added to my knowledge. Continued promotion of the project in the college newsletter, Update, resulted in offers of help and many of those who made contact went on to contribute to part 2 of the history. As well, the college archival collection will be enhanced by the addition of photographs and other memorabilia which were donated as a result of those appeals. The names of these most welcome helpers are recorded in the reference list.
It has been both a pleasure and an inspiration working with the management group which has monitored the project. Dr Neil Holm, Dr Peter Wicks, Mr John Boyd, Mrs Rasma Yelland (nee Lee), Mrs Tina Heybroek and Mrs Barbara Fell have always been positive in their support Barbara Fell did the research which led to the production of the various schedules that are included in the appendix to the history.
Finally I should like to thank my wife, Beth, for her help in reading and editing the typescript.