We have known each other for a long time. We each have four children and several grandchildren, and we have a common background in church and community service. Hazel (nee Barton) was born at Cheltenham, England, and trained as a nurse at Birmingham. She emigrated to the US in 1957 and married Ron Williams there in 1959. David was best man at their wedding at Northport, New York. David, who came from Tasmania, had been a friend of Ron at Queen's College, Melbourne, and in ministry. After his marriage to Joan Green in Melbourne in 1957 they went to the US in 1958 where David was at Harvard in the Boston area, and they soon met up with Hazel and Ron, initially when Hazel was working as nurse in New Jersey and later in Boston. Ron was at Drew University and then Boston U. We often visited each other at the time when we were beginning our families and Ron and David were working for their doctorates. Ron was also in parish ministry at East Templeton, Mass.
David and Joan returned to Victoria in 1961, where David had ministry appointments at Geelong and Mornington before going to Canberra to teach and do research in psychology and education at the ANU from 1967 to 1976 when he was appointed a professor at the University of Melbourne, as Director of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education. He was also engaged in ministry part time. Meanwhile, Hazel and Ron returned to Australia in 1963 and Ron took up his position as Principal of Rarongo Theological College near Rabaul in Papua New Guinea in 1964. Hazel, besides having a significant informal role at Rarongo, worked part of the time in health administration in Rabaul.
When they were on leave in the UK Hazel began studies for a degree in social sciences which was later completed as an external student of the Western Australia Institute of Technology. They lived in Lae, PNG, for three years in the late 1970s while Ron was in local ministry work and Hazel also worked there before they returned to Australia. During this time Sara and Drew attended boarding school in Victoria. Ron came back to a ministry appointment at Croydon from 1980. He died in 1983 of a sudden heart attack. David and Joan were now living in North Balwyn and had kept in touch with Ron and Hazel, the families visiting each other occasionally in the Melbourne area. Joan especially maintained the old friendship with Hazel in her single years. Hazel did more study in health education whilst working in day therapy centre management and later in HIV/AIDS education and care.
Hazel who had her own home with her family at Croydon moved in1994 to a new house at Parkdale of which Barton was the architect. David returned to full time work in the church in 1989, as pastor to ministers in Gippsland, and then a final parish appointment at Templestowe, before retiring at the end of 1997 to live at Wesburn in the Upper Yarra Valley, an area which Joan and David had known for many years as they shared in the Green family holiday house at Britannia Creek. David has continued some work in the church and his research at the University. Joan died of cancer in April 2001. Hazel was the last person, apart from the family who were present at the time, to visit Joan before she died, and she gave the tribute at Joan's funeral. Over the past several months we have come to know each other in a different way but our previous connections have been very significant in building our relationship as we have a shared history to enjoy.
David and Hazel,
For more recent family news see Christmas letter 2002