A London Reunion of 1952-'53 Alumni

By Dick Wilson

Five old-timers from the 1952-'53 generation of Berkeley I-Housers met in England in July for an informal reunion. John Conroy came with his wife Una from Australia, Terttu Puhakka from Finland, and Celeste Macleod (née Lipow) from California, meeting the two British participants, Basil Hoare and Dick Wilson (accompanied by his wife Sally) in the UK. John is a Professor of Mathematics in Sydney, Terttu has retired after a career in fashion, Celeste is writing her second book on Australia, Basil is a retired agricultural consultant with FAO and ADB, while Dick is writing a book on modern India.

They began with a few days in a beautiful Sussex village, went sightseeing in Chichester and saw Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Finally they conjoined for a dinner at the Royal Overseas League in London's Mayfiar, where Professor Pat Merivale from Canada joined the party.

Dick reminisced about losing the Presidency of the I-House Council to his Japanese rival because he (Dick) voted for the Japanese student while the Japanese student voted for himself, an early lesson in differing political cultures. He went on to recall the many I-Housers with whom he stayed in various Asian countries afterwards on his way home including Ted Shingu and Akiko Mori, Francois Junod and Alauddin Aljouburi, Lim Chit Soo and Brian Sutton-Smith.

The Conroys, Terttu, Celeste and Basil then adjourned to Paris for more cultural activity exchanging memories of the many fascinating individuals at I-House that year from China, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Iraq, Pakistan, USA, Australia, Philippines, etc.

The I-House year was, we all agreed, a high point in our early lives when we did not have to learn internationalism because we lived it every day. If only the world could be run like I-House!

Above: From far left (clockwise) Celeste Lipow MacLeod, Dick Wilson, Pat Merivale, Sally Wilson, John Conroy, Terttu Puhakka, Basil Hoare, Una Conroy.

International House alumni gathered in Rome. From left: Paolo Manfredi (1996-’97), Executive Director Joe Lurie, Ada Perniceni (1996-’97), Guido Giodano (1995-’96), Sergio Iavicoli (1994-’96), and Donna Rosenthal-Lurie (1968-’70).

Terje Jacobsen and Ulf Westerby organized a dinner with alumni from the Golden Age (post-World War II). From left: Haakon Ramstad, Bjorg Myhrer, Mrs. Ulf Westerby, Executive Director Joe Lurie, Terje Jacobsen, and Ulf Westerby.