Ken Mackay, BA ’67, and Pamela Burton, BA ’68, LLB ’70, LLM ’76, at the ANU Alumni Reunion Long Lunch in October 2015.

Ken Mackay, BA '67, and Pamela Burton, BA '68, LLB '70, LLM '76, at the ANU Alumni Reunion Long Lunch in October 2015.

Love conquers all

It may have taken more than 50 years to happen but love is certainly in the air for PAMELA BURTON, BA '68, LLB '70, LLM '76, and KEN MACKAY, BA '67, as they write here.

Pamela Burton and Ken Mackay studied for their leaving school certificate together in Canberra in 1963. And studying was all that happened.

Pamela, better known as Pam, rejected Ken's offer to take her home from school on his Vespa; she preferred "Garry's old bomb".

Ken promptly moved on to study economics, philosophy and politics at ANU and Pam went off to spend a year in the UK.

When Pam returned to study arts and law at ANU in March 1965, she wandered into the library and there was "Ken from school", as her diary states.

He was tall, good looking and a great mate.

She asked him if he could fix her radio in her room at Bruce Hall. He accompanied her to her room and fixed her radio. Nothing more happened.

They saw each other at ANU functions but Ken was more interested in finding the perfect female navigator for his cross country rallying. Pam was not her.

Half a century later, they met up again. It was the 50th anniversary reunion of the Telopea Park School's Class of '63.

Ken had recently lost the love of his life for 40 years to a nasty blood cancer.

He had lived in New York for the past 25 years working as a banker and financier and now wanted to re-engage with his old school mates.

He joined Pam's table, squeezing out one of her invited guests, but they were hardly aware of each other.