It is now 1950 and I am 18. I am still working with Val, Wilma and the other girls for insurance assessor Norman Stehn and mum, dad and I are still living in North Perth. Several events occurred during 1950 so am devoting this post to that year alone. Some of it is a little personal but I hope you will bear with me as I remember people that were so much part of my life.
After Laurie and I parted company I did meet another young man, Terry Woodthorpe. He lived within walking distance from our place which was very convenient as he also didn't have a car. He was a very pleasant fellow and we had lots of good times together. I am not sure how long this relationship would have lasted but it was quite casual and one day he told me he had met another lass and would love me to meet her and him give my opinion. I thought this quite unusual but was more than happy to do so as Terry was someone who deserved to be happy. Terry arranged that we should go and have a drink in a quiet hotel in Perth and to make up the foursome his friend Brian Treasure (who also worked at WA Newspapers where Terry was a compositor) came along. I liked Mary very much and told Terry so the next day. (Brian later went on to become one of the two people that set up TVW channel 7 in Perth as well as being involved in many other entreprenurial ventures, too many to mention. He seemed to have the knack of making a success of everything he undertook. I only met him a few times (and never to actually go out with) and I remember him as a quiet but very gentlemanly young man. Brian died in 1992 after being Perth's first liver transplant recipient. The operation was successful but there were serious complications which he didn't survive. He was only 64.).
Terry and Mary were married in 1951and had two children, both of whom attended North Perth Primary School where my two children also went so they knew each other. Everything seemed to be going well until in 1962, at age 33, Terry took his own life. Whether anyone knew why this happened I don't know but it seemed such a waste of a young life and I always remember Terry with much fondness and hope that Mary and the two children were able to get over such a dreadful shock and make a good life for themselves. This photo was taken of Terry in the back garden of my brother's North Perth home in about 1949 (he would have been about 20 at that time).
A big event that took place in mid-1950 was the wedding of my best friend Judy Bracey to Barry Tassicker. This took place on 1st July in a little C/E church in Beaufort Street and I was Judy's bridesmaid. She had decided on street clothes instead of bridal gear so I made myself a silver grey dress to hopefully complement her blue one. Here is the bridal party leaving the church:
and Judy and Barry getting into the taxi to travel to the reception:
Also this year I went on my first 'camp' I had been Hon. Secretary of the North Perth branch of the Young Libs for a couple of years. We used to meet in lovely big room in the Rosemount Hotel which was owned and run by the parents of one of our members, June Trembath. Each month when we held our meeting June's mum would bring us sandwiches and cups of tea for supper and those sandwiches were always filled with kipper snacks (fish) which were delicious. They seem to be unavailable in the stores today, which is a pity as I always enjoyed them and I quite often used them as a sandwich filling in later years. Just mashed them up with a little Worchestershire sauce and perhaps some shredded lettuce....a really tasty sandwich.
Anyway in 1950 a camp was organised to be held in the Bickley Valley for lots of we Young Libs. There were big dormitories with double bunks and a huge kitchen where we all took turns in cooking, serving and cleaning up. We had a lot of fun and I am fortunate to have a snap of our own little group... L to R: Marjorie Newbold, June Trembath, Dorothy, Margaret Johnson, Shirley and me; at the back are John Lewis and Noel Kroll. They were wonderful people and I have great memories of all of them.
There is quite a story concerning the Austin A40 on the left. June decided she was going to drive across the Nullarbor Plain to the east coast and Margaret was going with her. June did a crash course on motor mechanics, made sure she had any necessary spares and off they set. I remember us receiving a post card from Margaret telling about their journey, adding "there were potholes everywhere and I'm sure June didn't miss one of them". The road at that time was not sealed and when they eventually arrived back in Perth it took them several weeks to remove all the red dust from inside the car and even their clothes took some cleaning up as well. We all took our hats off to the two girls for undertaking such a big adventure and succeeding with no mishaps.
There was still lots of dancing going on and the occasional ball but I feel I've talked enough about all that and also shown sufficient pictures as well.
I guess you could say it was the biggest event of my young life when in October of 1950 I left to work in Melbourne, Victoria. I was still very happy in my original job with Norman Stehn but mum got this idea that perhaps I should sit for the Commonwealth exam in shorthand/typing and seek a job in the eastern states. Even at 18 I did what mum wanted me to so sat for the exam, passed it without a problem and was immediately offered a position with the Department of Civil Aviation in Melbourne. It seemed a great opportunity to see a little more of this country of ours so I accepted. I waited until Dad celebrated his birthday on 8 October and left the following week.
This may sound ungrateful, but I had completely forgotten that mum and dad had thrown a farewell party for me at their home. I was looking through that website of old newspapers the other day and there it was in the "Western Mail" under "These People" on Thursday, 19 October 1950.
Farewell Party. Before leaving to take up a position with Civil Aviation in Melbourne early this week Miss Margaret Ruston was guest of honour at a party given by her parents Mr and Mrs H.T. Ruston at their home in North Perth...............Miss Ruston, who was formerly a stenographer with a Perth insurance assessor will work in that capacity in Melbourne. etc etc It then goes on to give the names of some of the guests at the party, all of whom I remember quite well. This just goes to show what a small city Perth was back then as I wasn't even 'anyone of importance' and in the West Australian on Tuesday, 17 October, 1950 was the following:
"Miss Margaret Ruston left by plane last night for Melbourne where she will take up an appointment with the Department of Civil Aviation".
Over the years I have wondered if mum had a hidden agenda for suggesting I go east to work. Looking back I feel perhaps she and dad were not getting on very well and perhaps it was best for me not to be at home. This is only supposition on my part but they did eventually go their separate ways 4 years later when I was 22 and after I had married. That is another story in itself and I won't go into it here, or perhaps never for that matter. I will have to consider that seriously before writing about it. I do remember mum once telling me that when I arrived on the scene they made a pact never to have serious arguments in my presence and this was possibly why I was so surprised when told they had decided to separate. Perhaps a few minor arguments may be good for kids to see which then would make them realise their mum and dad are just normal people with faults like everyone else's mums and dads.
This may be a good time finish this segment and continue next week with the story of my six months in the great city of Melbourne .. 1950/51 style.