Urban Designer - Vernacular Architect - Maritime Planner - Owner-Builder - Servant of Piglet - Educator - Author - Revolutionary - Peacenik - Tour Guide 

Tony Watkins

 ~ Vernacular Design 

Across Europe to Pax Romana Print E-mail

Image A telegram arrived in London from Paul Neazor to say that New Zealand had been voted onto the Directing Committee of IMCS. Could I take up the position and get to a meeting in Switzerland the following week?




With no money the only option was to go by bicycle. It was a day's ride to get to Dover, with a lunch stop in Canterbury. I slept in the cemetery for the night and caught the boat across the Channel the next day. From Calais it was a pleasant run across France and Belgium to Germany and then the Rhine River led south to Basle. Fribourg was only a few mountain passes further on.

The joy of cherries hanging over fences on the way down the Rhine and sleeping under hedges made for a very pleasant week indeed.

Others came by plane or train. I found I was speaking a different language in more ways than one. In the meetings I discovered that different nations thought quite differently, and that translating the words gave scant clues to their line of thinking. It was June 1962 and I was becoming involved in my first revolution. The Second Vatican Council would send shock waves around the world. It never occured to me that there was anything unusual in New Zealand being in the thick of it.

It was a wild ride.
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