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Republican changes in Australian values


The deferential headmaster
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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One other anecdote from that, I think is perhaps relevant to the theme of these things. At one place we went to a school that had newly been built. There was a headmaster there and he'd been asked why is it that when you come into class you lift your cap to the boys and you say, 'Good morning, boys', and they say, 'Good morning, sir'? And he said, 'I do that because for all I know there might be a future Prime Minister amongst these boys'. And that's actually not so far fetched as it seems because some of these towns were very small but Robert Menzies, who was perhaps one of the best known of Australian Prime Ministers and the Prime Minister during the war, he was from just such a school in Jeparit, where we stopped for a day, near Warracknabeal. And it shows that one should treat all these people with respect; they might just be people of importance, and even so of course, whether they're Prime Minister or not, they're going to be doing valuable things.

Norman Greenwood (1925-2012) was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University before going to Cambridge. His wide-ranging research in inorganic and structural chemistry made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world.

Listeners: Brian Johnson

Professor Brian FG Johnson FRS, FRSE, FRS Chem, FAcad Eu, FAS. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Edinburgh 1991-1995, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Cambridge 1995-2005, Master Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 1999-2005. Research interests include studies of transition metal carbonyls, organometallic chemistry, nano- particles and homogeneous catalysis. Professor Johnson is the author of over 1000 research articles and papers.

Tags: Jeparit, Warracknabeal, Robert Menzies

Duration: 1 minute, 17 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011