After spending two summers really enjoying yachting I decided I would buy myself a yacht. I am not sure who helped me make my choice or really very much about it (unusual for me) but I finally bought a 12ft V-Jay. I do have a photo of it but once again I'm not sure how to get it into my computer so am unable to show it. This is a photo of Howard Ash sailing his V-Jay on Sydney Harbour in the 1934 and it is the same type of boat I had:
I kept it at Royal Perth Yacht Club. This was quite a posh club on the Swan River and once again I forget how I came to keep it there. A V-Jay has a crew of two and I would ask various people to come sail with me. We would usually sail down to Mosman Park, have lunch, perhaps a swim and sail home again.
I remember one day asking a young chap I knew if he'd like to come out for the day. Don knew nothing about sailing but he was game and we managed to sail from Perth to Mosman Park where we had lunch and it was a quite successful day until the wind died on the way back and we were becalmed. The only way we could make headway was to lie on each side of the deck and paddle with one arm. I think we swapped placed a few times to stop our arms from aching. It is a very long way from Mosman Park to Perth and it had got dark but still we paddled. We finally got there and were met by a member of the yacht club who happened to know me to say Mum had telephoned asking if my yacht was back. He explained about there being little or no wind but he said he was sure I'd be OK and not to worry. I am still scratching my head at how I managed to keep my little yacht at that club with people knowing I did and yet they didn't seem to mind even though I wasn't a member of the club. I guess I was fortunate that those that did know me were happy for me to do so (and it was only a little boat compared with the big cruisers that were moored there). This will give you an idea of the type of yacht it was. It only had a small cockpit and was made of plywood
I only kept the boat for one season but during that time we did take it down to Mandurah one Easter and on one particular day had a lot of fun. The ANA yachting carnival was on but on that day the weather was so bad they decided to cancel that day's event. John Webster's brother Peter was staying in Mandurah that year and he and I decided we'd take my V-Jay out regardless of the weather. These little boats are very light and if they capsize you just stand on the centre plate and up they come again. Well, on that day I think it was so windy we must have capsized about a dozen times. Peter and I had so much fun we found ourselves laughing even thought it was quite hard work sailing in those conditions. When we finally got back to the jetty Mum was waiting for us. I remarked to her that there seemed to be quite a large number of people on the foreshore and she said any of themhad been watching and enjoying our escapades out on the water. We'd not been intending to show off but just having loads of fun as young people do when they don't have a care in the world. This is obviously not a V-Jay but the principal of righting it after a capsize is similar:
I was still very much enjoying my job as a stenographer with Mr Stehn and I get on really well with the girls I worked with (or should I say 'with whom I worked'?) I had now discovered that I loved to dance and so each week I would go with friends to one of the tennis clubs where dances for young people were held every Friday or Saturday night. Our most frequent venue which was nearest to where I live, was the Mount Lawley Tennis Club but we also went (when transport was available) to the Nedlands Tennis Club, the Alexander Park Tennis Club or occasionally to the refectory at UWA (University of WA). Oh yes, the King's Park Tennis Club as well. June and Wilma from work would often stay at our place and we would walk to Mount Lawley, dance all night, and then walk home again. We certainly got lots of exercise in those days. It was probably a 2 mile walk each way. We always wore flat heeled shoes (flatties) so walking was no problem. We loved to dance and we loved to walk and it's a great pity young people can't find the same enjoyment out of simple fun like that these days.
It was at this time the "New Look" came into vogue so June and I bought a length of black satin backed crepe each and made ourselves skirts to wear with pretty tops. The skirts were below calf length and beautiful for dancing. This was the fashion, the Dior look, and very elegant it was too:
On the Monday night of the ball we were presented to Sir James Mitchell (the Governor of W.A. and strangely enough he was the gentleman who had the brother to our cat Molly...remember Molly?). I didn't have a current boyfriend at this time but a friend of mine (Don Weir), who lived locally, agreed to be my partner and he did look very handsome in his dinner suit and he was also a good dancer. I am almost sure we went to the ball and home again by taxi. This is a photograph of the debutantes at the 1949 Pleiades Ball. The two girls on the right of the front row are twins (June and Margaret Taylor) who also attended Perth College and were in my class, and I can pick out at least 5 faces of other girls I remember who also went there. I am third from the left in the front row: