|Ray and Mary Hawkins as fresh-faced students|
I was elected as Student President at the end of 1962. At that time four or five male students formed a ‘B.O.’ club. This stood for ‘Bachelors Only’. As you can imagine it was a very exclusive club. (For a limited time.)
That 1963 Bible College year began as other years. Principal Stephenson gave the opening devotions. He was a great man and fine Principal. The next day was my turn as Student President. If memory serves me correctly, I said that Jesus was our Master. He had the right to send us wherever. I never noticed any of the three young ladies who had become students for that year. (Oh, really?) Apparently one of them thought the President had the makings of a minister.
Over the next few weeks Mary was teased by her table mates because, apparently, her eyes were often focused on the head table. Being president of the B.O. club made me immune to all such frivolity. (of course.)
Suddenly strange apparel appeared in my drawers. A woman’s sock, Mary's books, jumpers etc. She found similar things of mine in her room. As we exchanged such things a little sheepishly, I began to notice her. My B.O. membership was becoming threatened. I put up stiff resistance.( So you say, Ray!)
Then a health scare gripped college as one of our students became infected. Mary one of three nurses. Each student had to be punctured by a needle at their hands. This took place in a small room with a notice board. The Missionary Committee had a sign, ‘Love’s Labour is never lost – Pray!’ (Excellent advice!) As Mary jabbed me, I pretended to faint – not a good idea for a nurse who apparently knew more about anaphylactic shock than I did. Some guys carried me out, all laughing at our joke. The girls weren’t impressed. The next day someone changed the sign – Love’s labour is never lost – Ray!’ (Had to be the guys.)
Slowly but surely this girl from Toowoomba, Queensland, together with the conspiracy of match-making friends seriously threatened my determination to bachelorhood. (Aw, he never stood a chance.) The end came at a Churches of Christ State Conference session. All students were expected to go, so off we went. Four came in my Mini Minor car. After I pulled up the others hurried inside. Mary had gone in another vehicle and stood nearby as I locked the car. It was what the song ‘Some enchanted evening’ spoke about. You would see her across the crowded room. Well I saw her just down the empty footpath. Mary went inside. Not long after, I entered the church building, saw where the students were sitting, muscled one of them aside who was sitting next to Mary and sat down. (High five, here!)
After the Conference session, the students crowded into a Combi van and took off, leaving Mary stranded so she had to travel back to college alone with me. That was the first time we spent time by ourselves and of course, amongst “other things”, discussed the many embarrassing match-making efforts of the students. Needless to say, I was soon stripped of my presidency of the ‘B.O.’ club!
(Oh yes, they were very soon joined in holy matrimony in case you wondered.) And thank you Ray for sharing forty-nine years later your experience from the male Point of View. Refreshing!
Here is Ray's latest release. It can be purchased as well as Mary Hawkins Australian Baragula Romance series at www.mary-hawkins.com