WEEK 4 - A FAMILY MEMBER
There is one member of my family who I miss so dearly everyday and that is my Nanna
(Marjorie), she was like a mother to me and honestly she was one of the nicest ladies that ever existed in the whole entire world. I've always aspired to be like her, she lived for her family and would have done anything for them.
These are her own words about her life that she wrote in 1993 -
"I was born in 1912 at Leichhardt. Mother had 7 babies at home with a midwife. Her name is on all the birth certificates. We lived in two different places in Leichhardt.
I would like to have my horoscope chart done, but i don't know my time of birth. It was in the evening because my brothers say it's the only time they were allowed to go out and play in the street after dark - because I was being born in the house. I had Belinda's Chart done. I leave the radio on all night and listen to a midnight show where people wrote in and want to find a man or a woman, or find out about something - and I heard about horoscopes on this show; so I sent in and got Belinda's done. Some things come true with them - like Belinda having two homes. She lived with her mother, and stayed with her father sometimes.
We moved to Narrabeen when I was 11. Before that I went to Orange Grove School. My sister and I used to go to the reunions every year. When they had their 100th anniversary, we saw all the old rolls, and saw our names on the enrolment. Whenever there was an anniversary or reunion, the kids used to put on a show. It's surprising when you mention it, how many people know about Orange Grove.
The schools then were run on English ideas, and you were promoted halfway through the year. We went to Narrabeen when I was in 6th class. Narrabeen was very different - just a teacher and a headmaster. I got a medal for being DUX of the school when I was 12.
After 6th class, I went to Manly Domestic Science school. I passed the exams to go to Cleveland Street - I would have had to get busses and ferries and trains there in 1924. But I had whooping cough, and I couldn't go straight back to school. Mum asked me what I wanted to do and I said Shorthand and typing, so I went to Manly Domestic Science. I had to leave school at Manly at 15:00 to get the 15:10 tram to get back to Narrabeen.
I remember spending quite a bit of time sitting in the sun at school because I used to get terrible coughing fits. I left school when I was 15 to goto Business College at Manly. We had 9 subjects for the exams and I only failed Geography. I know why I hate Geography - because I hate travelling.
I got an A in History and English, and I remember the Art mistresses name - Miss Paully - I couldn't draw a thing. They used to put the exam results in the herald had to do cooking and sewing. I don't know why they don't still have domestic science schools. My Diane would've been better to do that. She wanted to leave school the day she was 14 and 10 months - so why would she need to study science? It was so silly.
I hate cooking - the cooking teachers were always cranky devils. I told my husband Joe I couldn't cook when we were married. He said he would teach me, but he didn't - he cooked himself.
He'd come home from work at midday, and we'd go shopping to the butcher and the greengrocer, then pick up the girls from school later. We always had either steak or chops, we hardly ever had chicken even though we had chooks. But Joe wouldn't chop their heads off. He'd give them to the man next door. And the we'd go and buy our chicken from the shop. Joe was very gentle - he wouldn't tread on an ant. Big men are often gentle.
He wouldn't smack the girls. We had spoiled girls - but his whole family were spoilers.
When I was 15 I got a job for a couple of weeks as a temp in York Street. After that I went back to college. I looked very young when I was applying for jobs, so mum told me to put my age to 16, so I did.
I think that short hand typing was interesting because you could see what was going in and out of the office.
But in the 1930's there were really no jobs about.
My sister's boyfriend - a man he was - was a cabinet maker. Just when Winslow House was built in Angel place, he was doing the fittings there. He asked if they wanted any girls to work in the office. So I got a job in a small debt collector's company. They wound that company up, and became an accounting company.
It was a bad time for the accountant to be starting his business. then they started working for the bankruptcy court. He was a good boss. I was with him for 17 years.
When I said I was leaving to get married, he said I could still work there after I was married.
After Joe and I were married, Joe took his discharge from the navy. I went back to work for a couple of months. Then we got a job as caretakers in a block of flats in New South Head Rd in Double Bay, opposite Cranbrook. My boss was upset when I left work. He had trouble finding someone else to run the office.
There was another woman who sublet an office from Charlie, and other people used to sublet, but he did't think they were any good at running the office. They didn't think I would get married. We were a happy office - I liked my working life.
I was 33 when I got married and Joe was 35.
I had had other boyfriends. There was a boy next door when I was younger that I kept on a string, and I had another boyfriend who used to play competition tennis. The boy next door asked me to marry him and move interstate with his work, but I didn't want to do either.
I used to have a boyfriend from Five Dock - a bank clerk - who used to come over to Manly where I shared a flat with a girlfriend. I discovered that his mother used to open his mail and read it. You wouldn't want a mother-in-law like that, so I sacked him. We used to go upto the Blue Mountains a lot. I always did the booking. One weekend he said that he would do the booking. When the letter said that there would be shared rooms. The girls shared with the girls and the boys always shared with the boys. But she thought that he and I were sharing a room - and he didn't even put her right about it. So i got rid of him.
I met Joe on 21st March, 1942. He was on leave from the Canberra, which was sunk while he was on leave. He was up at Katoomba at the Sans Souci where I used to go every year. He was up there with a friend and his wife.
My girlfriend and I used to check out the talent up there but I wasn't interested in Joe at first because I had a friend overseas in the war. Joe got his friend's wife to get friendly with my friend Peg. One morning before breakfast, Peg said to go for a early morning walk. This was unusual as she usually didn't want to go. I realised later it was a setup as we ran into Joe and his two friends as they were coming in the gate - Peg was in on it. We all had breakfast together, then on Saturday night we went to a party. I went to the pub with Joe in the afternoon. A friend's mother had told me that if I was in a pub and didn't know what to order to ask for a Pimms. Joe nearly died when I asked for one - he never let me forget ordering like I knew what I was doing.
At the party on Saturday night, they asked me to sing. Joe sat me on his lap and I sat evil. he tried to take me to his room but i said NO. I said I would let him kiss me goodnight. We had a lot of fun as friends. Then his leave was up. We put him on the tram and I gave him the office phone number. The following Friday he rand and asked if he could see me on the weekend. I have read in books about people's hearts turning and beating fast, and it was happening to me when I was talking to him on the phone.
How cute is that? I know the timeline is a bit all over the place but that is how she was in 1993 - below is a picture of her and her beloved Joe
|Joe and Marjorie|