Wednesday, April 18, 2012


We are now living at 518 Fitzgerald Street in North Perth where we moved to in May of 1947.  This is quite a different part of the suburb than where we were before in Auckland & Coronation Streets although would still be within walking distance if you were feeling energetic.

You may remember I had been attending City Commercial College where I sat for and obtained my Commercial Junior in 6 subjects.  Dad wouldn't let me leave before I was 15 and even then insisted I continue at the college for a while longer.  I was fortunate that in May 1947 the Principal of the College found me a very good position as a stenographer so dad agreed I could finally leave school and commence work.

This and our move from Swanbourne to North Perth all happened in the same week so I had to find out where to catch the bus to work and where to alight on the homeward trip. We were lucky that the bus stop to town was diagonally opposite the house and the one out of town was virtually opposite the house.  We could actually see the bus coming down Namur Street and be in time to run across to catch it.  Traffic back in 1947 was much lighter than it is these days when one would have to be extremely careful crossing Fitzgerald Street.

Dad had definitely decided he WAS retired and owing to a rapid rise in inflation in Australia at that time prices took a hike and mum told dad she could no longer manage on three pounds a week for groceries.  When I began work I was earning two pounds eight shilling a week ($4.80) and I paid a small amount of board to mum which I hoped her a wee bit.  I think she did suggest to dad that he perhaps find a job but no way was that man going to do that so mum decided she would try and find work.  This she did but I will not go into that here as what mum did in her life for the next 30+ years is a story in itself.

I worked with some really nice girls at the insurance assessor's office and with 3 of them I became very close friends.  (Two of those girls were my attendants at my first wedding but unfortunately they are no longer with us.)  In those days young people danced a lot and we were fortunate that many of the tennis clubs held weekly dances.  The main one we went to was the Mt Lawley tennis club but also the Alexander Park tennis club, the Kings Park tennis club and the refectory at UWA.

Wilma and June both lived in Nedlands and with public transport the only available means of getting around the suburbs, they would quite often stay over at our home when we were going to Mt Lawley or I would stay with them if we were going to dances near their homes.

We would leave our place and walk a couple of miles to the Mt Lawley hall, dance for about 3 hours and then walk the 2 miles home again.  No wonder we were fit in those days.  We also swam quite a lot and played tennis occasionally.  I also used to walk home from work nearly every afternoon if the weather was fine and that would have been at least 2 or 3 miles, mainly uphill.  I always loved to walk and one of my sorrows these days is that the arthritis I have prevents me walking even around the block.

I loved my new job, dad enjoyed his retirement and took up playing lawn bowls and also playing bridge with a few of the men from the bowling club and mum began her part-time work with the Women's Service Guild where she met many amazing women and began what eventually led to a new direction in her life.

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