Childhood memories

Behan was the newest building, and had several "improvements" over the older buildings. One of these was a coal-fired boiler in the basement, which heated the water for the showers. It was the duty of the freshmen to stoke this in the evenings on a roster, and if they forgot, and the Behan students had cold showers the next morning, they were extremely unpopular. I don't remember whether the studies in Behan had fireplaces, or whether they were also heated from the boiler.

I don't remember how our showers were heated, but there was no manual labour involved, so I suppose there must have been gas-fired boilers.

There were rose beds outside Behan on the side facing Royal Parade, and early one morning a student in a ground-floor room heard a thump among the roses, followed by moaning. When he investigated he found that a student in a top floor bedroom (who was rather under the weather) had needed to go to the toilet, but decided that the official toilets were too far away, so he had tried to let fly out the window. Unfortunately he had miscalculated, and had fallen among the roses, causing himself significant injury (something like a broken leg, I think).

And Behan, of course, was named after former Warden Sir John Behan, who had retired and was living in Coonara Springs near Olinda. His wife was a leading light in the Olinda Church of England Ladies Guild, and on one occasion the ladies were feeling rather rash, and decided to have a 'naughty jokes' session at their next meeting. Everyone understood that as Lady Behan would be there the jokes couldn't be too naughty, but they neglected to tell her this, and she told what was presumably a Trinity joke brought home by Sir John ('Old Jock Behan' of the ribald unofficial College Song)*.

My mother was unable to go to that meeting, and never did find out what the joke was, because although everyone told her about the scandalous joke that Lady Behan had told, they were all so shocked by it that no one was prepared to tell it to her.

* The students had ribald versions of many of the hymns sung in Chapel, and many popular songs. However they only sung these when they were drunk, so I can only remember scraps of a few of them. However the (Unofficial) Official College Song went, in part:


The Warden said when he was full "Why do we need a College Bull?

I feel that it is quite redundant, my sexual urge is quite abundant!"


Old Jock Behan came another gutser, came another gutser in the Bullpaddock. ...

 © Roger Riordan 2004-2019